Well, would you believe that since my last post detailing a catastrophic break to Drew’s braces rendering them not usable and them getting fixed that Drew has broken yet another bar?!? This will make at least the third break. And this bar only lasted three weeks max before breaking again! Each break has occurred in the same exact point on the bar on the left and the right. After the most recent break, I called the orthotist and I sternly told them that something completely different had to be done. The frequency of bar breaks was getting ridiculous. In a matter of less than two months, he’s broken three bars and each time it disables him and is a major impact to our lives.
It did make me realize just how differently Drew looks at his braces now. When he first started wearing the braces, he hated them. It was a battle to get him to wear them and no amount of rationalization would work, He didn’t care that they helped him. He was much younger and immature at that time – unable to see the big picture – but I think he could have written off his braces and not ever walked and been fine with it. But, each time that his brace has become unusable, he is now devastated. He grieves the loss of his braces, his only source of independence. Sure, he appreciates treats of getting to sleep without his braces, but when it comes to daily life, he recognizes how much value they add to his life and when he doesn’t have them, he’s one unhappy guy.
We made yet another trip to Louisville to discuss new solutions. The bars in question were initially made of aluminum. There is a bottom bar and a top bar and between the two bars is a knee joint. Each bar – the top and bottom – are screwed into the knee joint. The breaks always occurred below the knee joint at a place was the bar had to manually bent (thus weakening the metal slightly) to fit the brace. Each time the bar broke, that one individual piece was replaced and several weeks ago, when the bottom bar broke the 2nd time, it was replaced with stainless steel – able to withstand the weight of a 400 lb man. This most recent break actually occurred on the top bar, ABOVE the knee joint and come to find out, this occurred because, the top portion was weaker metal than the stainless steel bottom. So, the technicians suggested removing EVERY aluminum piece from the braces – broken or not – and replacing it ALL with stainless steel. I was happy with this suggestion so now we are just waiting for the holiday to pass and they will be mailing our new stainless steel-barred braces shortly.
In other news, Nathan and I began discussing the surgeries scheduled in Florida next summer. He currently has two surgeries scheduled and there is a potential for a third to be scheduled and these surgeries will occur 2-4 weeks apart. So, we’re contemplating whether it’s better to stay there for two to four weeks or to make three individual roundtrips there. Either way will be financially burdening. Excessive transportation expenses or excessive hotel expenses. It’s a lose-lose. Considering we’re traveling with a physically challenged kid and a rambunctious two-year old, avoiding excessive time in airports dragging luggage, and a wheelchair, and a stroller, and paperwork, and tight seats, and carry-ons, and a two-year old is optimal. The thought of making three round-trips is enough to shave a year off of my life due to stress-related heart disease.
So, with this in mind, we have come to the conclusion that we must raise some money for these high expenses. So, to help relieve some of the organizations that we have, in my opinion, worn out our welcome, I’ve initiated a Gofundme campaign to help collect some money for these expenses. I haven’t precisely calculated expected expenses, but I’m estimating $3,000: Roundtrip tickets, $35 – $99/night hotel stay (dependent on whether we are FINALLY able to book a room in the discounted housing for Paley families for which I’ve NEVER been lucky enough to secure the six previous times I’ve attempted, even after calling MONTHS in advance), and a rental car.
So, you can help in multiple ways:
- You can donate $1. $10. Any amount you want by visiting HERE. It’s a secure link to my campaign.
- If you can’t donate money, you can still contribute to us by sharing the link to your friends using your social platforms. Share the page, tell them a little about us and why you think it’s important. Encourage friends to donate. Encourage them to share. The more shares and views, the more donations we’re likely to collect.
- “Like” my posts on Facebook regarding this campaign. Visit my Drew Walking Tall page and “Like” them. The way that these community pages work is the more “Likes” and comments on each post, the more people that see them. The fewer the “Likes” or comments, the fewer people that see it. (I made this same plea the other day, and the last check, only SEVEN people saw it because there are no “Likes.” If a lot of people “Like” or comment on the post, the views can increase to over 1,000!
So, please please please visit and “Like” and comment. I truly appreciate all of your support and love for Drew. We’re forever grateful.