Saturday, October 4, 2014

Overly Emotional Hypochondriac Father Weighs In

So my wife and daughter have weighed in so it's my turn to share some thoughts. Jodi mentioned a couple times that if she was incorrect about something that I'd jump in and correct her. That won't be necessary as she got the important stuff right.

Having to absorb the news during that first appointment was pretty tough. Between Jodi and I it's clear I'm the overly emotional one and I wanted so much to hold it together and keep Avery thinking positively that I'm afraid I may have swung the pendulum the other direction afterwards and in the car on the way home. Was I not compassionate enough? Did I hide too much of what I was feeling? Questions that will never be answered that bother me. All I know at this point is that I'm super proud of our little girl. Have you read her post? It was her first blog post and it was about her having to have spinal surgery. Talk about a challenge! I think my first ever blog post was about how I get frustrated with people screwing up my fast food order.

It's been a long, frustrating year since May. On one hand I have every confidence in Avery's surgeon and all of the staff at the hospital, on the other we have the waiting, and the waiting, and the waiting. Have I mentioned the waiting? I see that Jodi just did a post that talked about the waiting. I don't think it can be over stated how frustrating it is. Now, that being said, the big trade off of all this not costing us anything is the waiting. They can only do one surgery a month at the hospital and there's a lot of kids on that list, so we wait our turn. We get Avery checked every few months and when the tables turn she gets bumped higher up on the list. It's not a perfect system (don't even get me started on the second opinion we're still waiting for - and have been since the summer), but it's the one we have. Play the cards your dealt, I suppose.

So how's the overly emotional hypochondriac father doing? Not bad. I work for a medical imaging software company so I have access to all sorts of pre and post op scans from just about every medical procedure you can think of, including spinal surgeries. Pro tip: don't look at them. We don't get the story behind any of the images. They're all anonymous and are mixed in with different reports and a good many of them are extreme cases. Let's just say flipping through a database of random test data is the shortest path to a panic attack.

What I found more helpful was images of actual patients from a website of an actual pediatric scoliosis surgeon. You get to see things like this:

Images borrowed without permission from Dr. Lawrence Lenke - patient Molly F. 

This is an image of a girl five years post op who was a few years younger than Avery at the time of surgery. Her spine angles weren't the same but you get the basic idea of how it all unfolded. I'm not sure how Avery or Jodi feel about it for for me it's comforting to see what they can do and how it works out. It's also reassuring to know that this is a well established procedure and that Avery's surgeon has done more than a few. So there's that.

For now we go to yoga every Wednesday (big shout out to Mike at Breathe Into Motion Yoga Studios who has been amazing with Avery) and we wait (and wait and wait) for her follow up appointment on October 20, and as Princess Pants so eloquently put it, find our own way to make it not so bad.

- Dad

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