Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Big E

I know I write really long entries. There is so much I want to say, it's hard for me to narrow it down.

That's the way it is with Ethan.

Ethan is 3 years old now. There is so much to say about him, I can't figure out where to start. Well, I know where I'd like to start. At my pregnancy. At his birth. But that alone is worth three entries.

Then there are his first few months of life. His first year. His second. His third.

I want to write about all of that. I have to. I have to get it out of my head and into the universe. Out of my head is always a better place for stories to be.

And I will get it all out. Explain it all, even though everyone who reads this (as far as I know) already knows all about it. Maybe they don't know every detail. Maybe they'll learn something new. Maybe they'll skip the stories completely. That's fine. I'm not doing it for them. I'm doing it for me. I have to get it all out, so that I can move on with my life.

I already am moving on, in many ways, but I still feel a need to tell his story. I feel like I have to speak for him, since he will most likely never speak for himself. It will just take me some time.

In the meantime... the latest about The Big E.

He is having surgery on March 23rd. They will be doing a bilateral osteotomy. That is all probably spelled wrong and missing 40 other adjectives. But the gist of it for all us non-doctors is that his hips are messed up. His Cerebral Palsy causes his muscles to be super tight. His super tight muscles put extra tension on the bones and joints. As a result, his hips are dislocating.

The surgery will involve cutting the existing hip bones and forming them into the proper position. They will put on metal plates to hold the bones together. They may have to do additional work, depending on how bad the bones are once they get in there. How much they do will really depend on how well he tolerates the surgery. It will last somewhere from 4 to 10 hours.

After the surgery, while he is still asleep, they will fit him with a cast from chest to knee. I believe he will be in a semi-upright position. He will be in this cast for about 3 months.

The surgery is in Boston. We will be there 7 to 10 days. It will all depend on how he does. If it is anything like his stay in the NICU, he may surprise us all and do really well. Be back to himself sooner than we would think. That is what I'm hoping for.

Well-meaning relatives ask, hopefully, "So after this surgery, do they think he will walk?"

No. He will never walk.

After this surgery, they think he will be free from pain. Those are the kinds of goals we have in our day-to-day life. Keep him comfortable. Keep him free from pain. Keep him happy. That is really all we hope for. That is a success for Ethan. A day of happiness. Free of pain.

So there you go. The latest on The Big E. I'll get to the background someday. Once we get through the present.

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