Monday, October 26, 2009

Surgery...Or Not

We went to Denver this morning for x-rays and a last pre-operative visit with the surgeon. First we checked ourselves into the Ronald McDonald House. Then we headed over to the hospital for x-rays. We have been gearing up for this day for months. The grandparents were set to watch our kids. Andy was off work. Snacks and clothes and movies were packed so that we would be ready for at least a week in the hospital.

We got the x-rays and went to the orthopedist's office. He began to talk with us about Moriah's x-rays. Then he told us that he had been at a conference this past week where he discussed Moriah's case with 12 other doctors. He said they had a split opinion about whether or not this is the appropriate time for her surgery. There are lots of pros and cons on both sides. If we do it now, the rate of correction will be better because her bones are softer. However, the pins have a greater risk of coming out which would require further surgery. If we wait, her spine will have more curvature to correct, but the bones will be stronger and will hold the pins better. Also, they may be able to use a stronger rod and pin because she will be bigger. We spent about an hour talking about these and lots of other issues. Finally, Andy asked the Doctor what he would do if it were his daughter. He said he would wait. Specialists had flown in from Massachusetts to help with the surgery. Special titanium rods and pins had been ordered. But we agreed together that waiting would be the best thing for Moriah. We will have x-rays every three months. If there is rapid progression, we will know it is time to do the surgery. If it continues to progress at the rate that it has been, we can wait awhile for her to grow.

It was such a strange thing to be so geared up for something so major and then to change gears so suddenly. We feel a little like "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" because so many have been praying. One of our major prayers was for wisdom for the surgeon. So we are thankful for this answer to prayer. We are also thankful that the surgeon chose to share the opinions of these other doctors with us. We feel confident that he has her best interests at heart.

We had already made plans to have dinner with some friends who live in Denver, so we gathered our wits and enjoyed a great evening with them. About 8:00 we got home, sent my parents home and resumed normal life. It feels a little strange to be home again. But we are thankful for His leading in all of these things.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Caleb and I were working on school in the dining room the other day when I heard a strange noise from the kitchen. It was a rustling kind of sound. I listened for another minute or so and finally decided I'd better see what Moriah was up to.

That girl loves butter!! She had the whole stick in her hand and was munching away with abandon. I like butter, too, on some toast or homemade bread. But eating it straight from the stick...ugh. I'm glad the camera was handy.

The evidence!

caught in the act!


We had fun at a farm! Moriah thought the hayride was great!

We are in a strange state of mind this week. The sense of anticipation is very strong. I expected to be feeling dread or fear as we draw closer to Moriah's surgery, instead I am feeling peace and eagerness to move ahead. I am thankful for the weeks that we have had to prepare and pray and think it through. Even though the waiting has been hard, I have needed the time to process it all.

Meanwhile, Moriah is spending each day in her usual joyful way. She can put her shoes and socks on by herself (not always on the right feet.) She is talking a lot and gaining more confidence all the time. All of her earlier attachment issues with Andy seem to be forgotten as she joyfully greets him at the end of each day. She stops whatever she's doing and runs up to him to be picked up and hugged. She loves to play outside. She must have gone down the big slide at the park twenty times the other day. She wasn't phased at all by the fact that it was crowded with kids three times her size. She loves to play with other kids and gets along very well with them.

Today will be our last "normal" day of school. Tomorrow we go to Denver for blood work and other pre admission stuff. Friday we have a pediatrician appointment. Monday we head up to Denver for the pre-op appointment with the surgeon. Then bright and early Tuesday morning, Moriah will have surgery. We plan to spend about a week in the hospital. Our parents will be holding down the fort here. (Say a prayer for them!) The goal is to straighten and stabilize her back so that she will be able to stand straight and tall. The deformities in her spine will cause her kyphosis and scoliosis to continue to progress, so action is definitely needed.

We know that lots of people are praying for our little Moriah. We are comforted by that and so thankful that our Sovereign Lord is holding her in His hands, as He has since her birth. When I feel fearful, I only have to reflect on all of the amazing ways that He has cared for her throughout her life. What comfort to know that she belongs first of all to Him.

We will try to update here from time to time next week.
Thanks for your prayers.