Monday, September 13, 2010

Now & Then

This is supposed to be a "C" shaped pancake to celebrate Carter's first day of school.

It looks more like a tadpole, my talent in the kitchen is hard to fathom.

As I left Carter at school this morning, I started thinking back to his very first day of school. Just a month before he was to start kindergarten, he had his first surgery which was also his first leg lengthening. That surgery was a doosey. I'll never forget when he was taken from us and wheeled behind those double doors, I thought I was going to puke or pass out or both. Caitlin was a chubby, cuddly two year old at the time, so I held her close while I missed my little boy and somehow it made me feel better. Colby was in second grade, home with Aunt Jenny and carrying a burden that none of us realized, until he had an accident at school. When Jenny arrived to bring him dry clothes, he told her that he just wished he had a short leg. I remember Jenny explaining the situation to me over the phone while I felt helpless and guilty for not realizing that Carter's surgery would affect everyone in the family.

It seemed like an eternity before we were escorted back to the recovery room where he was crying, shaking and clutching sharky (his loyal companion through every single one of his surgeries). I remember his little lips quivering as he tried to mouth the words, "my leg hurts." I was able to reach over the bed and cradle his head and whisper to him that we were there. It was all I could do to help him. Slowly, he began to improve and we learned how to care for him and his fixator. Before long, it was time to take him home and get back to life and that meant starting school.

He was a sweet, on-the-go five year old boy who wanted so much to run around and play with his kindergarten classmates. But, he was so little and unsteady and would lose his balance all the time. His first lengthening was riddled with complications right from the start, including a trip to the operating room at his two week post-op appointment. Because of the complications, he was not allowed to put any weight on his leg. At school that meant staying in the wheelchair, but at home and in the yard, he could scoot around like nobodies business; never wanting to be left behind by his brother. It pains me to remember what a hard year that was, we had no idea on the first day of school what obstacles were ahead. The many surgeries, the broken bone that wouldn't heal, the ambulance ride, the Spica cast. And that was just one year.

No comments: