Erika made the brave decision to have surgery to remove the plates and pins from her hip, and tho have the bone trimmed back on her left stump.
I am really proud of her. At first, she just said, "No"....
Then we talked it over about the ramifications of her decision. Was she willing to live with pain in her hip, if it could be eliminated? Did she want to have continuous problems with fittings, if we left the protruding bone on?
After about a week of thinking about it, weighing the pain, because it IS painful, weighing the long term ramifications, she made the mature decision and opted for surgery.
I know that some do not agree with our decision to include our children in this process and believe we should make those decisions period. I would like to explain why we Do.
The surgery is not life or death related. It is more for function. If she needed emergency heart surgery, that would be a different story, and I do believe she would opt to save her own life.
I used to take care of a woman many years ago, when our boys were little, who was quadriplegic. She was in a wheel chair. It is a long story how we came to meet, but let's just say our first meeting was rather sad. Her aide left and didn't come back. She was living in an apartment alone, and needed somebody to take her to the bathroom. It had been 24 hours.
She knocked on my door and said, "this is an odd question, but can you take me to the bathroom?" And then she burst into tears.
That began a relationship we had for years. :) I became her aide until a replacement could be found 6 months later, and then I became her aide again for the same reasons. She lived with me for awhile until we found a permanent solution for her.
During the time she stayed with me, she told me about the surgeries she endured, and how she felt she didn't have a voice over her own body. She said everything was decided without her. And she resented it. Her wise words to me were, "Don't do that to your kids". So I didn't. It really is that simple.
As our son grew up, he had surgery at 5 and surgery at 6. The surgery he had at 6 was nothing short of a disaster. He had bilateral femoral osteotomy and aductor releases, to help the scissoring of his legs so he could walk better after the heel cord surgery. The pain medication was not written into his order. So, after waking up from surgery, he went 4 hours without any pain meds..... THEN, the wrong dosage was given and he suffered greatly. I finally went to the director of the hospital in his office, and asked him to please come with me because I was so worried. Let's just say a few heads rolled and he was given the proper meds. This was a long time ago, and YES, I do believe care was not taken because our son was handicapped. I can't imagine how much more it would have effected him, had he had zero say in the process.
We moved to Texas a couple of years later and Tim started going to Scottish Rite. The thought of surgery made him shiver with fear. He really did need one more... but we waited. We let him know that he didn't have to do it if he didn't want to. It was HIS body. Just giving that small amount of control, empowered him to make the decision a few months later. Not only was he mentally and emotionally prepared, he went home in record time. In fact, he only missed 2 days of school.
I believe our children can recover faster when they are included. I also believe emotional health and a happy outlook on life, is WAY more important than trying to improve our bodies. I remember my friend's words, as I listened to her recall the pain and emotional scars of her memories as a child who was not treated as a person.
Erika's body is never going to be perfect. She will never move freely on this earth, or have proper use of her legs. She will not be able to bend. So the purpose for this surgery is to keep her out of pain in the long run both on her hip and on the stump and to make it easier to fit her for prosthesis.
I want to always strive to treat my children with the dignity and respect they deserve. And a good lesson for our girls is that their body is THEIRS. This lesson has many other applications.
“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis
― C. S. Lewis
I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)