|Chandler testing out the mask|
So we had a tour with the Child Life person at the hospital and was given a bag with things to get Chandler mentally ready for surgery. They gave us bandaids, alcohol swabs, gloves, mask, a doll with a hospital gown on as well as a couple beanie babies and even a mask that they will use for administering anesthesia. Since both Chandler & Lincoln were there for the tour they both got a bag. It was so awesome. We played with those things, Chandler liked talking like Darth Vader with the anesthesia mask on. And he was comfortable with it. Whew.
|Chandler & Dad in pre-op|
The morning of his surgery we went to the hospital, he was going to be having surgery around 9 am, he was pushed back due to an emergency. So we got to the hospital, and were all checked in. He got changed into his outfit and we waited. He was all smiles as we waited. He was nervous when they finally gave him some meds to make him calm and loopy (see video in link below-it’s funny).
|Watching Star Wars|
We waited for him to come out of surgery with his preschool teachers. Our pastor offered to come as well, and it was so sweet. Grandma Brown had Lincoln at the house, but she knew we’d be well taken care of since Chandler would be under her friend, Jane’s, care. Jane was such a blessing to Pat, and was there right after Lincoln was born. So when Dr. Wheby came out to give us the scoop of how his surgery went, we were in great company. Turns out Chandler’s spine had an unusually thick filum terminale, which is a cord that anchors the cord to the tail bone area. Normally it’s about 1mm thick and acts like a rubber band. Chandlers, however, was 5 mm thick and was more like a rope; thus the spinal cord didn’t have room to move freely or be elastic. She just cut it, so he has a dangling spinal cord. 🙂
|Dad surprises Chandler in the garden|
Chandler had to lay flat for 24 hrs, and it was not as hard as I thought it would be. But man, the bed sucked for me. I totally couldn’t imagine having to be there for more than 1 night. He had a hard time coming out of the anesthesia, couldn’t calm down, had the shakes really bad…nothing a mama wants to see! Once we got to this room, Jane got him some Morphine, and he was much better, asking for his DVD player and Star Wars toy that was in the car (for post surgery fun). He was good having the IV in his hand, and was brave when they pulled it out.
Once he was cleared to be more vertical, the next morning, he got to go in the wagon and see the garden,and then it was time to be discharged and head home! 24 hrs in the hospital! Amazing!
|Recovering at home on the couch.|
When we got home, he did a full Star Wars (originals) marathon! We had to keep Lincoln off him, which was a hard one to do.
|Dr. Monica Wheby & Chandler at his Post-Op check, cleared for activity!|
After 4 weeks, Chandler was enrolled in Taekwondo at Family Kicks Martial Arts. When he began TKD: he couldn’t bunny hop, balance longer than 3 seconds on 1 foot, his run was really choppy/spastic, His kick was about 8 inches off the ground. Needless to say, he was like a 3 year old (per his PT eval).
|Ax Kick, when he began 7/11|
Now, 1 year later (11 months since starting TKD), he is a yellow belt! He’s confident, has balance, jumping capabilities (he jumps from the 2nd step at the house!), his gait is much more fluid, he has more range of motion in his kicks. It’s truly amazing where he is now. I never (ever) regret the decision to do the surgery. I regret that I didn’t listen to my mother in law, who suspected he has a tethered cord when he was 8 months old. I am so grateful to all those doctors who helped us help Chandler. I feel like our family was so blessed to be able to help Chandler. I know there are so many out there who are not either as lucky or cannot afford medical care.
So, I am thankful for all those who prayed for us, who visited Chandler, and have been helping us work with him to become the young boy he’s meant to be. I am so thankful to his Speech teacher (Mr. Minear) and his Kindergarten teacher (Mrs. Bacos) and especially Master Jim Null & Master Adrienne Null. They have made Taekwondo a form of physical therapy that he loves. Watch out world, Chandler’s got plans to be a black belt! And if he’s anything like his parents, he’ll be determined to do it!
|Training w/ Uncle Vino, check out the height 3/11|