when the little things become big

A day or so after coming home from the hospital I washed the big girls' clothes.  The outfits that came out of the dryer were a stark constrast to our current reality.  It really had only been countable days but so much had changed.  I found myself weeping over a pair of little jeans. It seems silly in the grand scheme of everything happening.  I mean, really, out of everything that we had experienced the jeans are what broke me.  My little girl was not going to wear jeans that day or for the many days to come.  I allowed myself to be sad for a few minutes and then quickly packed up all the unwearable pants into storage under the bed.  Moving on, dresses and nightgowns were to be her current wardrobe.  Using the restroom in anything but that was just far too complicated and the incision sites still far too painful.  Sweatpants would be reserved for just when we had to have them to be around people other than family.

 She has worn this stabilizer since she came out of surgery.  We are so thankful that we have a surgeon who does not cast unless totally necessary.  This did allow for us to remove the brace to clean up, but otherwise she was told to be in this 24/7.  Somehow I learned how to carry her up and down the stairs, in and out of bed, in and out of the wheelchair, and the most complicated - on and off the toliet.... all while wearing this foam block. It has not been easy.
We went back to see our orthopedic surgeon this past week.  He was so impressed by her progress.  He always thought she would do well, but he did not expect this level of improvement.  I believe this is due to many factors.  First off, she is a rock star.  Seriously.  She is very tough.  Not only did she have her bones moved and reformed, but her cerebral palsy makes the spasms on that side intense.  She is also being prayed for by people all around the world and God is answering their prayers beyond what we could imagine.  And then she has a mom and dad who love her intensely but tend to be a bit like marine corp drill Sargents when it comes to therapy. Throw in all the essential oils encouraging her body to heal itself and we have set her up, as much as we can, for a win.

I knew she was was doing better but I really had no idea what the doctor was going to say.  And then there it was..."She doesn't need to wear this anymore".   It took everything I had to hold it together at that moment.  After all the hard work of the past few weeks I felt like a huge weight had been taken off my shoulders.

She left the office holding this brace.  We were even able to navigate using the public restroom.  Huge accomplishment.  I asked her if she wanted to wear it in the car. No.  I asked her if she wanted her feet propped up.  Nope.  She wanted to sit like this.
"Look at me, mom, I am a normal person."

A few weeks ago I never would have thought twice about my children being able to sit in the car.  Today it felt like we had climbed Mt. Everest.

We have celebrated milestones almost everyday since that one.  Putting on her own pants through a method that she invented on her own.  Going from not being able to move her right leg at all to small kicks at the side of the bed to bending her leg up and down.

And a big hurdle for the whole family.... a trip to the farmer's market.

We are still a long way from walking, but tomorrow we will reach one more milestone.  Tomorrow morning Elie will go to school for a few hours.  We didn't expect her to go back until January.  It is going to be hard for me to leave her there.  I feel like we are back at the first day she went to school.  But she is eager and ready.  And tomorrow night we will have one more big thing to celebrate.

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