I think she was having muscle spasms, for 5 weeks she was waking up 3-5 times a night crying from pain, being uncomfortable, or just needing help getting comfortable. She also learned very quickly how to get attention and how to dramatize and manipulate the situation....... She's 5, she also spent the first 3 years of her life crying and no one really listening. Well I guess, I don't know that for sure, but I have a pretty good idea...... Anyway, it's been hard, let me just say that. Now don't get me wrong I can't imagine what it's like to have bent legs your entire life that you can easily move and then wake up one day with your legs straight, well straighter than they've ever been before, in casts, with a bar across the middle, leaving you completey immobile.....of course, you would whine and cry......I know I would. But after 6. long. weeks. of whining, crying, and little sleep......I may have done some crying with her. Needless to say, we have all been more than ready to get these casts off.
About 4 or 5 days before her appointment I noticed a smell coming from the top of one of her casts, only one. The other smelt fine. I was quite worried to find out what was causing the smell. Well as you can imagine when they were removing the casts it was HORRIBLE! The cast was covered in drainage from a little area behind her knee that had opened. No one (dr, nurse, resident) seemed too concerned about it because it wasn't draining puss. I'm now thankful that she had been on antibiotics for strep the past week and a half! (God always has a plan!).
Did I mention how we (the family) had 5 weeks of sickness, about 2 weeks of no sickness and then another 2 weeks of Mike and Olivia sick, Olivia getting strep for the SECOND time in two months........ Maybe another reason we are drained! Anyway, after a crazy long day at the hospital, like 6 1/2 hours long, Olivia got her new braces that she has to wear all.the.time. 😁 We're not talking the cute short ones.....nope, the ones that come almost to her booty...... Luckily she's sleeping pretty well. However, now we have new problems to deal with......
For a few days after surgery Olivia couldn't move her left foot because the nerves had been stretched too far. Well the feeling came back but anytime ANYTHING touched her toes she would scream and cry. Since she was in casts they were pretty well protected and didn't get hit too often, but now that she's out of casts......ugh! I have to touch her feet to put her braces on, put her socks on, wash her feet, you get the picture.......she screams and cries, big tears! The dr said it feels like when you hit your funny bone.....but you know it's not funny.
The other problem I am realizing is that Olivia has lost a lot of her will and this has been the hardest on me this weekend. She use to walk completely unassisted, just her braces, no walker, no one holding her hand and she LOVED it. Now she walks with a walker and complains about how tired her arms are because she's basically JUST using her arms and not much of her legs. I know that things are really sensitive after being in casts for 3 months, believe me I know. But I just don't see the determination in her that she has always had.......and I pray it comes back. She's constantly asking me if she can sit down or ride in her stroller.
So this is where I have to ask all of you that see us maybe every once in a while or every day.......
PLEASE try to avoid helping her. I know that sounds bad but she is very good at the puppy dog eyes and turning on the crocodile tears when she just doesn't want to do something. She will even say something hurts, when it really doesn't because she just doesn't want to do what ever it is you want her to do. For example, she'll say "my knee hurts and it won't let me eat."....... I know it's hard to want to do whatever it is she's asking you to do for her, (she is quite cute when she asks) or picking her up so she doesn't have to walk......but this will hurt her more than help her. She's lost most of the muscle (which wasn't much to begin with) in her legs and the only way she is going to gain that strength back is by using those legs and getting mobile again.
I refuse to let her give up!
Today we had a PT appointment and she now has crutches to use when she walks. The last time we tried crutches she pretty much carried them, didn't use them for any assistance. Again, I know that the muscle is most likely gone and it's hard for her to walk, but I also know that if I (we) give in and don't let her do it on her own, she may never get the muscle and strength back. It's like working out, if you don't do it, you don't get bigger muscles!
This little girl has been through so much, my heart breaks for her when she is in pain or when she's just over it, but I want her to be HER best! It's going to be a rough few months getting back to where she was, but I know she can do it. Thank you for loving and supporting us through this!!