Tuesday, July 8, 2014

You put your right hip in...

Dear family and friends,

Today's appointment went well...thank you for the prayers! There were a couple of different tests that were done. First, the radiologist consulted with Joseph's orthopedic surgeon to read a hip ultrasound and together they thought that everything looked pretty good with his right hip. After that scan, the doctors also wanted a CT scan to provide more detailed images. As part of general procedure, Joseph was scheduled for general anesthesia, including intubation. As it turned out, the small dose of sedative that they gave Joseph just to take him back for anesthesia ended up being sufficient for the whole procedure. Praise God! The nurse who was assisting with things said that he just held her hand the whole time and did great. What a trooper! Because he didn't need general anesthesia, we were able to come home fairly quickly and recovery was a snap. We won't hear the results from the CT yet for a couple of days but the orthopedic surgeon did earn us that another surgery was still likely, given that the joint cups weren't very well formed. Thankfully, this sounds like something we'll be able to address a little ways down the road. Thanks again for the prayers and please keep them coming. We know that God is at work in all of this.

In gratitude,
Nick and Rachel

Monday, July 7, 2014

Prayers for Tuesday's Appointment

Dear Family and Friends,

Please pray for us tomorrow morning (Tuesday).  At 7am, we will be meeting with Joseph's orthopedic doctor and two radiologists.  They will be taking another look at Joseph's right hip to see whether it is truly in place or whether further treatment will be necessary.  We are fervently praying that everything will look as it should.  Please pray with us and we will keep you posted.

St. Joseph, pray for us.
St. Francis, pray for us.

In gratitude,
Nick and Rachel

Monday, June 23, 2014

Update on Hips

Dear Family and Friends,

It has been a wonderful week and a half of freedom!  Every day, Joseph seems to be using his legs more and becoming stronger and more comfortable. The physical therapists are impressed with his progress and so are we!  It must be those prayers!  

However, Joseph never lets us get too comfortable...we received a difficult phone call at the end of last week.  One of the scans that was done showed that his right hip might not quite line up the way the doctors would like.  Apparently, two different radiologists read the scan and they read it differently. One thought that everything looked fine while the other thinks there's an issue.  The plan is to do a conference ultrasound early next month, with Joseph's orthopedic surgeon and both radiologists present.  From that appointment, they will determine if Joseph will need further surgery or procedures.  
Please pray:
- Pray that the upcoming scan will reveal Joseph's hips are in alignment
- Pray for Joseph to continue to continue to gain strength to be able to sit, crawl, and walk.
- Pray for patience and endurance during our string of 14 appointments in the next 2 months.
- Pray for God's will to be done.

St. Joseph, pray for us.
St. Francis, pray for us.

In gratitude,
Rachel, Nick, and Joseph

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Free!

Joseph's cast is off!!! He is stiff and sore, but excited to be able to move his body and legs again. It's so exciting to watch him re-discover movement and so wonderful to be able to snuggle him close without fiberglass between us. We start physical therapy on Friday and are scheduled for a follow-up appointment at the hospital in a month to see how things are looking and if further treatment is needed. Thank you so much for your prayers... today, please join us in a prayer of joy and thanksgiving!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

3...2...1...Cast off!


Dear Family and Friends,

At Joseph's orthopedic appointment last week, the doctors gave us a definitive date for the spica cast to come off...Wednesday, June 11th! The day can't come fast enough! Unfortunately for Joseph's little furry friend here in the picture below, we aren't sure if the same can be said for his little spica cast. We are still in negotiation with the doctors to get his cast off :)

As for prayers, please pray for -

- No complications with his hips in these final stages or in the removal of the cast
- For Joseph to travel comfortably as we head to Pittsburgh and for Aunt Bethany and Uncle Mike on     their wedding day
- For the weather to not go above 80 degrees until June 12th :)

St. Joseph, pray for us.
St. Francis, pray for us.

In gratitude,
Nick & Rachel


Joseph "standing" with his Spica Bear

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Four Weeks Down

Dear Family & Friends,


Joseph playing with his new light-up water toy
Four weeks down, six weeks to go: we're smack in the middle of this whole spica cast journey.  An appointment this past week confirmed that things look good, but that it will be at least six more weeks until Joseph's cast can come off.  Sometimes we feel like we've got it down pat, while other days were not sure how were going to make it. Mostly, everything just takes longer, is more complicated, and requires A LOT of patience. For example, when Joseph gets sick (which thankfully doesn't happen nearly as often as it used to), it's quite the lengthy production: First, it's the challenge of positioning Joseph so that the cast stays clean... which usually means that EVERYTHING else ends up dirty. Then, the blankets, pillows, bean bag, etc which have been proping him up must all be washed.  We have to change Joseph's clothes, balancing him on one knee and awkwardly stretching clothes to go over his cast.  The cast must be inspected and cleaned if necessary, but it doesn't clean up very well.  And then we're back to feeding, since he's lost important calories toward his daily quota.  This is a glimpse into spica life, but we figure that if Joseph can handle it, then so can we.

Of course, there are also many blessings and happy moments, and just looking back at where we've been makes us thankful to be right here, right now, with a growing baby in a spica cast.  Please pray:
- for healing of Joseph's hips
- for an increased appetite and desire to eat
- for patience for all three of us

Thank you so much for your prayers and for sticking with us through everything!

St. Joseph, pray for us.
St. Francis, pray for us.

In gratitude,

Nick and Rachel


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Home

Dear Family & Friends,

The hip procedure went incredibly well yesterday. As with his first procedure, Dr. Farley shortened Joseph's left femur by 2 cm so that it would fit into the socket. She placed several pins and plates to secure the joint and then casted Joseph's entire body once again from chest to toes. Unlike the right hip though, he may have to stay in the spica cast for eight weeks instead of six because the right hip slips out easily from the back. In our consultation with Dr. Farley, she shared with us that an additional two weeks is much better than the alternative, which would be another spica cast and two more long months.

After surgery, Joseph had an extremely smooth transition from surgery to recover to coming home! For this procedure, the doctors took a slightly different approach with Joseph's pain management after surgery and it worked out very well. He was able to sleep through most of the night, waking up occassionally for vitals, but for the most part doing great. 

We were able to be discharged at about 4PM today which was even earlier than our last visit. No qualms from us! We were thrilled to get home, enjoy a delicious meal from a dear friend, and settle in to home life once again. 

Please pray for:

- Joseph's continued recovery to be brief and infection free
- For no major physical setbacks after wearing the spica cast for eight weeks
- Strength for both Rachel and I as we continue to face the difficulties of having a child in a spica cast

St. Joseph, pray for us.
St. Francis, pray for us.

Have a blessed Holy Week!

In gratitude,
Nick & Rachel