Friday, April 30, 2010

First Night After Surgery

Bath Time from a Bucket!

Hadrian described last night as the "worst night of my life." I actually thought she did well. She and I slept some, so that is always a good thing! She was in a lot of pain off and on through the night, but the pain medicine does give relief. I spoke with a nurse today, and she said we can bump the time between doses up to every 3 hours, so that should help.

She woke me up at 5 a.m. and made the announcement that she had to go to the bathroom. So, here we go. We turn the light on, get all of her hoses unhooked, slide her to the edge of the bed, and now what?! LOL

Her toes were so swollen, and when she put her feet on the floor, she decided she was not going to be able to stand up. So, we get the wheelchair, and went through the process of transferring her from the bed to the chair. We roll to the bathroom, and again, now what?! LOL

I tried lifting, she tried standing, and we tried everything we could think of to get her to the potty, but it wasn't happening. I got the crutches, and we pushed, pulled, and tugged with the crutches for a while. Finally, after thirty minutes of her trying to pull and stand, and me trying to lift and pull, Hadrian decided she would just hold her pee because that was a whole lot less painful than getting to the toilet. I reminded her that she couldn't hold it forever! It would come out sooner or later! HA

So, here we go rolling the wheelchair back to the bed, getting her transferred from the chair to the bed, repositioned with all of her pillows, reconnected to all of her pump hoses, and now she is in tremendous pain from this whole process. So, she gets more pain medicine and is trying to get comfortable again from the potty escapade. So, an hour after we started, she is back comfortable again, but she still hasn't emptied her bladder which was the whole purpose to start with! Whew!! I called her dad to see if he could come help, but before he was on the way, Hadrian decided she didn't need any help. She was back in the bed and that is where she planned to stay!

So, she made it until about 8 a.m. this morning, and she had to go! Well, she called a boy friend (Cory) from work over, and he just carried her to the potty. Seriously easy considering all of the painful drama we had gone through earlier trying to get the same result!

So, she went potty and brushed her teeth, all while not having to stand up, and Cory carried her back to the bed, and wella!! Mission accomplished!! Hurray!! But, that caused her legs to hurt and made her tired, so she took a nice nap.

Earlier today, we had bath time from a bucket, changed into fresh clothes, and she was ready to go!

And, now Hadrian is watching Avatar (her favorite movie) from her bed and life is good . . . . . . for now! : ) And, a wonderful friend, Monica, is bringing her specialty brisket over for dinner! Yummy! Life is wonderful! : )

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Big Day Has Arrived! Surgery!!

Hadrian had her surgery today! The nurses took her back at 10 a.m. Right on time! She was finished just before noon. Dr. Cullen said that she did great and everything turned out as expected. He said he did his very best not to clip any nerves, and he made all of her incisions the same so all of her scars will match! Awesome!! We certainly wouldn't want any mismatched scars! ; )

Hadrian was super impressed with the fashionable hospital gowns!

Hadrian talking on her cell phone and facebook to kill time before surgery.
She was saying all of her final goodbyes.

The last picture of her legs (calves) before surgery! We like how the doctor has to sign the body parts he is performing surgery on.

Recovering after surgery. She was going in and out of consciousness.
I am sure she doesn't mind me taking a picture and posting it for all to see! HA

Made it home and Hadrian is laying in bed! She has the water pump keeping her legs iced at all times!

Those pain pills make it hard for a girl to stay awake!

I know a lot of people have been praying for Hadrian today. We appreciate your prayers very much!! So far, so good. According to Dr. Cullen, we are probably in for a few rough days. She has to stand and walk on these legs to go to the bathroom. Lucky for us, Hadrian can hold her pee for a very long time! LOL

Dr. Cullen said the first week is bad, but then we will see steady improvement with the pain during the second week. I am just hoping we can manage the pain so that Hadrian can stay comfortable. So, please continue to pray for good days!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pre Op Visit

Today was the Pre Op Visit for Hadrian. I think it became real today that the surgery is really about to happen. Hadrian says she is okay with it unless she really thinks about the incisions. She and I both are concerned about the pain level after the surgery! Hopefully, the Oxycodone prescribed by Dr. Cullen will keep the pain at a tolerable level!?

So, tomorrow I have to get her temporary handicapped parking permit, get her prescriptions filled, and find leg attachments for the wheelchair I borrowed from my dad. If I can't find leg attachments, then I will have to rent a different wheelchair. Her legs are not allowed to hang down at all. They must be flat or elevated until we go for the Post Op Visit on May 10th! Plus, I need to go to the grocery store and buy all of her comfort foods!

Dr. Cullen assured Hadrian the surgery should go smoothly without complications. Like he said, there are no major arteries or organs near her calves, and she will probably lose no more than two tablespoons full of blood. So, there is not alot of risk for complications. The main concerns are simply that the surgery will work and that Dr. Cullen doesn't clip any nerves!

The office staff told us today that it was difficult to write up her surgical orders because they never do these surgeries! In fact, we had to wait for them to write the orders a second time because the first ones were not correct! And, we were told that Dr. Cullen wants a second physician in surgery with him. I asked if we have to pay for this second doctor in surgery, and yes, of course we do! We will get a separate bill from this unspecified unknown doctor. Lovely!

So, Thursday is the big day at 10 a.m. Hadrian has to check in at 8 a.m. in her gym shorts and house slippers! We will be at Gwinnett Medical in Duluth.

I will let you know how she did when the surgery is over! Please pray for things to go smoothly! We really appreciate your thoughts and prayers!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Posted April 18, 2010

Well, Hadrian has been resting her legs for about three weeks now. She doesn't feel that resting is doing her one bit of good. So, we were hoping to get a second opinion from a doctor who might be a little bit more aggressive with treatment.

Friday, we saw Dr. Cullen with Georgia Sports Medicine. He told us that for Hadrian to rest for six weeks waiting to see if there is any improvement is a total waste of time (which we were feeling!) He said after six weeks of rest, there would be an absolute zero chance of seeing improvement. He said after resting her legs for six months, there might be a twenty percent chance of seeing improvement. But, Hadrian is in a time crunch. Next year is her senior year. Waiting around doesn't do her a bit of good since she wants to try to rehabilitate back to play club and high school soccer again.

Dr. Cullen totally agreed with Dr. Traub on the diagnosis of the "dreaded" compartment syndrome. He was so sure that he didn't feel the need to put Hadrian through the testing which is very painful in itself. So, yay for that! He said that all of her muscle compartments are involved which means more extensive surgery and a bigger incision. And, he thinks she needs to have surgery right away. Ok! This is what Hadrian wanted to hear!

So, the surgery date is April 29! She will have surgery on a Thursday, and must stay home for ten days. After ten days, she should be able to walk on crutches and get back to school. Dr. Cullen told Hadrian that this will not be a pleasant experience, and there is a risk of cutting nerves during surgery which could cause problems later. But, the chances for a full recovery are 80 percent. Eighty percent, hhmmmm. Not perfect, but Hadrian wants to take the chance. Really, what choice does she have?

They will cut both her legs like the picture shows. They cut into some muscle, so therefore, it can be very painful after the surgery. Hadrian is just really glad she will be asleep! : ) I am wondering if we can keep her asleep for the ten days following surgery! ; )

So, we will be preparing for surgery! I will move Hadrian's stuff to our guest bedroom downstairs, and she will be busy getting things in order at school so she won't fall too far behind. There is never a good time to fit in a surgery, but we will just have to make it work. I think we are ready to just dive in and get it over with! We will keep you posted!

Posted March 24, 2010

Ever since high school soccer season started this spring, Hadrian has been having excruciating pain in her lower legs. I kept listening to her compaints, and kept thinking hhhmmmm. Ok, Hadrian. I took her seriously, but at the same time, I am thinking these are some really weird symptoms you are having! I was hoping her legs might just heal on their own. You know, one of those miracle cures where it just suddenly all feels better! The sports trainer at school has been working with her. She has been getting stretched, and pulled, and massaged, and taped and iced all through the day at school. All by our young, amazingly cute, sports trainer. It has been making me wonder if she wasn't somehow enjoying this pain!? : )

But, watching her play soccer has just about been too much for me. Grayson was playing Parkview (last year's state champions) and Hadrian played so hard - all the while dying!! I could tell every single minute of the game was pure torture because her legs were hurting so very badly, but she played right through the pain. And, she played very well. What a girl! I love that she has such a competitive spirit and always wants to be in the game.

Well, we had an appointment scheduled yesterday with the sports doctor. The PA first came in and checked her out, and he said he had seen this problem only once before in a girl who had sickle cell anemia. And, since Hadrian doesn't have sickle cell anemia, he wasn't sure if he was correct with his diagnosis, so he went to get the real doctor.

Well, Dr. Traub agreed with the PA, but he wanted to test Hadrian. She had to run until the pain started (which took all of 2 minutes), and then he checked her again. He said her legs were so swollen on the inside after two minutes of running that there was no doubt in his mind that she has the dreaded compartment syndrome. Usually, making this diagnosis is very difficult. It usually takes test after test after test, and they usually stick needles with measuring instruments in your legs to check the pressure in the compartments. But, Hadrian didn't need any of the tests! The reason this is so hard to diagnose is because the legs look perfectly normal on the outside but they swell on the inside. But, it is good we got a definitive diagnosis immediately so we know what we are dealing with here.

Since this is such an uncommon condition, let me explain. Muscles are enclosed within a tight tissue called a fascia. Normally, the fascia has enough extra room to allow the muscle to function without a problem. With Hadrian, her fascia is too tight, and it constricts the muscle during activity. This stops the blood flow to the muscle. The lack of blood flow causes ischemia which is the same phenomenon as a heart attack. So, just as a heart attack causes chest pain, this lack of blood flow in the legs causes severe leg pain.

So, Hadrian has to completely rest her legs for six weeks while taking anti-inflammatories. We will see if this helps. If not, we move on to surgery which is called a fasciotomy. Dr. Traub thinks he has performed two of these in his entire 14 year career. Seriously?!

Well, there is never a dull moment around our house. Always something happening, or in this case, not happening. No soccer for six weeks?! What will we do?!