Noelle had surgery yesterday for the bone infection in her right leg. It was supposed to take place today, but apparently everything was ready yesterday so the doctor went ahead and did it then.
The hope was to avoid amputation since the infection had entered deep into the bone and was raging away. The only response seemed to be amputation: her leg or her life. (I have been through that before with Shura: his legs or his life were the choice we had to make in 1995, and we chose, obviously, his life. He had a double amputation, but it has not slowed him down.) While one can live with amputation, clearly the preference of any rational person is to avoid it where possible.
We were delighted when a new doctor appeared on the scene before the amputation was carried out. This doctor, newly educated and coming south from a medical center and school north of us, had some fancy ideas about surgically reducing or eliminating the infection from inside the bone and set up the surgery for today, uh, yesterday. The situation going into surgery was that amputation would be avoided if at all possible. So, we were hopeful that the better of the two options would be the outcome.
At work, people told me that they were surprised that I was so calm about all this, especially about living with special needs kids (two children, two grandchildren) and accepting them as they are. Well, as they are is a pretty neat thing. I would not trade them for anyone else. When they were growing up, they were easy to take care. Oh, yes, there were the 30+ operations, medical supplies, special education in one case, and on and on. However, these kids are grateful for every good thing and every attempted good thing whether or not it is successful. They are happy and find the humor even in the things that can and do go wrong. They support each other, help their friends, and are among the first to lend a hand to strangers -- and they did that even as children and, perhaps amazingly, as teenagers. They never displayed any interest in drugs, alcohol, sneaking away from home, sassing their parents, new clothes, expensive gifts, or shiny toys. Rather, they were bonded to each other and thought that just about the best gift anyone could have is love. So, nah, I don't think I would trade any one of them in on a physically perfect model!
Back to the current day's events, actually, I was not worried, and that seems to surprise many of my co-workers. What they don't realize is that God has taken care of Noelle since the day she was born. Every time she has been given one chance in three, 25%, etc., she has always come out on the positive side. The trust bank that I have with God by now will take many, many withdrawals to deplete!
As for yesterday's surgery, it just added to that trust bank. Once inside Noelle's leg, the doctor found that for some surprising (?) reason, the infection had significantly abated. No need for any fancy surgery! All he had to do was install a pump to remove the rest. Noelle should be released home tomorrow. It may take several weeks of the pump doing its task before it can be removed and our trip to Ohio next month might be quite interesting as a result, but I don't mind dealing with the pump. Having it is a reminder that we won a very important struggle.
That's another reason I want to keep these kids. Their experiences keep reminding me how powerful (and good) God is!