Week 7

Nothing will shock you more than News 25 reporter calling you unexpectedly wanting to come by for an interview within the next hour.  I can tell you that because that. just. happened.  So, hair washed and did, a mad rush to straighten the apartment in a feeble attempt to portray the resemblance of a neat and orderly family, and a list of bribes to secure Drew’s charming and funny wit, we welcomed a cameraman and reporter in to meet Drew. They filmed Drew playing with his toy and racing in his wheelchair and we got to share with them all about Drew and our adventure down here.  Wanna see the entire story?

In bigger and more exciting news: Daddy’s home!  Nathan’s long, looong, looooooooooooooong shift at work, that seemed to NEVER end finally did come to an end and even better, his arrival flight was about thirty minutes earlier than scheduled!  Thanks Delta!

When it came to me or Drew, I’m not sure who was more excited about seeing Daddy.  Drew and I both missed Daddy tremendously.  Drew, being a  Daddy’s boy, enjoys their rough-housing and playful bouts of wrestling and toying around.  And, it’s a nice break from Mama kissing him and trying to cuddle with him all of the time!  What four-year old boy wants his Mama loving on him all of the time? Though, I still try to sneak one in every now and then.

I, of course, have been missing having a conversation with a close partner.  Sure, I’ve had conversations with people since Nathan’s departure, but it’s not the same carrying on a conversation with a stranger who isn’t familiar with anything you are going through.  It wasn’t as big of deal at home in Kentucky when he went off on his three-week shifts because I have family members and friends that I regularly talk with.  But, Nathan’s first trip away from this family in our alternate home left me with nobody to really talk to.  I missed Nathan because he wasn’t there to talk to is my story and I’m sticking to it. 😉

Immediately after picking Nathan up at the airport, we were off to the theater to watch Madagascar 3 which Drew has been anxiously awaiting since he first started appearing in previews.  We went to the most fascinating and beautiful theater I have ever seen.  It was three floors, cathedral ceilings, ornate adornments, grand staircases to each of the floors, assigned seating and even ushers to wave their flashlights to direct you to your seat.  Now I know why I paid $10 per ticket and nearly $11 dollars on A small popcorn and A small drink.  But, the movie was hilarious and we had a great time.

Drew had taken his wheelchair with us to the airport and to the theater, located in downtown West Palm Beach and while he did very well, Nathan and I were a nervous wreck watching him closely so he didn’t run into innocent pedestrians or have any accidents. After running me down a few weeks ago, I’m a little more suspicious of his motives these days.  But, he did very well and everybody was fascinated with his wheelchair.  We had many looks and many curious people who complimented Drew on his chair.  It was like nobody had ever seen a power wheelchair before!  Though, I suppose his chair is a lot more flashy and unique that your traditional power wheelchair.  And, who can resist such a cute boy driving one!

Nathan and I got to enjoy a nice romantic dinner at a downtown Italian restaurant. Well, about as romantic as you could expect with your four-year old child and a drunk admirer who introduced himself to Drew and talked sports.  But, I found myself admiring my surroundings with its clean and quaint shops, perky crowds, awesome band playing awesome cover songs in the town center, nice cool breeze and wonderful atmosphere.  I decided that I really liked West Palm Beach.  Of course, there was my momentary phase of being drawn back to Kentucky, but West Palm Beach has grown on me.  But, don’t worry folks, I’m not staying!  I like West Palm Beach, sure, but I miss the grass!  And trees (the non-palm kinds that is.) And, quiet roads. Speaking of quiet roads, the minimal traffic.  Many more, I could go on but I don’t want to spoil my new-found comfort and enjoyment of living in West Palm Beach.

Nathan being home has of course opened up my day to focus on work which could not have come at a better time with some big projects coming my way.  Now, Nathan is escorting Drew to therapy and having to fight the exhausting battle to complete all of his necessary exercises.  Though, I was sad to have missed our second follow-up appointment with Dr. Paley due to my delivering some training that I was committed to.  It was so hard to  not run in and get a progress report when I heard them return home from their long departure at the doctors.  The big question: do we have to do anymore adjustments on the bottom portion of Drew’s fixator?

We have two adjustment schedules, one for above the knee and one below the knee and his schedule of adjustments below the knee was scheduled to end on June 18th.  So, I was anxious to see if we were indeed finished with making those adjustments which, of course, meant we were that much closer to the end of all of this.  Well, I was bummed to learn that Dr. Paley had to add 20 more days of adjustments as, according to his expert eye, his leg below the knee needed further correction.  His foot looked perfectly straight up to me, but I’m not the foremost experts on limb lengthening.

So, now our new schedule runs until July 7th for below the knee and July 9th for above the knee.  And, we have a follow-up appointment on July 9th to further examine Drew’s need for further correction.  Dr. Paley did say that once all of the adjustments are made, we can come home.  I got butterflies in my stomach thinking about the possibility of coming home in July.  First of all, Nathan will be on the boat and don’t think that I won’t be so determined to come home to not pack up and leave by myself. Second, Drew will still have his fixator on for at least two months while his bone heals and being so far away from the experts that are familiar with his equipment.  What if something were to go wrong?  What if we had a problem?

But, don’t get too excited about the possibility of us coming home in July.  Dr. Paley said that more often than not, further adjustments are needed and Drew’s schedule has already changed twice.  Just sayin’.  And, it’s not that this process is going way better than expected.  I always thought that we wouldn’t be able to come home until after the fixator was removed because I didn’t know about the period in which the bone heals and we aren’t making adjustments.

Drew’s leg has become especially yucky.  When it first began, I was concerned he had developed some type of skin disease, but Dr. Paley and Drew’s therapist reassured me it’s normal.  Drew’s skin has been sloughing off.  Usually, clothes and friction from other things like your bed and chairs will rub off the flakes of skin that you naturally shed.  But, when you have three large rings that act like a barrier from anything touching your skin, there is nothing to rub it off so the skin just gets real weird.  You can tell how good of a tan he once had on his leg because the darker tinted skin reveals lighter skin underneath, but only in stripes and patches.  His skin is dry and his scabs are starting to fall off (ewwwwww!!!)  He’s even began to grow hair on his right leg!!!  He actually has hair growing on the top of his foot!  His therapist, Don, said that people’s limbs just react funny to this strange device installed and often do these things.

This week marks our seventh week of correction.  See below:

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