Part of my decision to do the Achilles Tendon Lengthening surgery was the fear that if I didn’t do the surgery now it would mean Bridget would not walk later. I was worried about the post-op, the recovery but that did not weigh as much as what happens if because of toe-walking Bridget becomes wheelchair bound?
The day of the surgery did not go well. The surgery went great, the before and after not so much. It started going sideways when they made her put on a hospital gown. Bridget really hates the gown. Thankfully she had her iPad.
After the surgery, I won’t lie….it was tough. Bridget came out of anesthesia like Rocky Balboa fighting the USSR. It was difficult for the nurse to determine what was pain versus behavior. This is why I will always admire the nurses at Children’s Hospital Boston…they listen to the parent. When I said this is pain, they gave pain meds. When I said that this is behavior because she is mad that she cannot bend her legs, they listened and asked me what to do to calm her.
It took a long time to calm her.
Thankfully, again the nurses are awesome, the nurse advised me to leave Bridget so that I could run to the hospital pharmacy for our take-home meds. She knew how difficult it would be for me to not only get Bridget into a wheelchair but navigate the hallways, wait for the meds and then get to the parking garage.
(If your child ever needs surgery, may I suggest the fine folks at Childrens Hospital Boston?)
The ride home was not fun. Bridget was in pain and not happy. I honestly did not think we were going to make it home or what the next few weeks would bring.
Then unlike other parents, instead of staying home with Bridget. The next day we took to her favorite place, camping. It was the right decision. Instead of laying on the couch, Bridget was distracted and able to have fun.
It wasn’t easy. She had moments of quiet time in the camper. We had to balance pain management with pushing her not to focus on the pain. Then the following Monday we sent her to school
Yup, we sent her to school in a wheelchair, 3-days post op. If I have made mistakes with Bridget, this was not one of them.
At school, Bridget not only did not lose out on her routine but she was taught how to not only how to get in and out of the wheelchair but how to navigate with it!
Which brings me to my long-winded point. About what Bridget has taught me (once again) this week.
Nothing stops her. I have been so afraid about what happens if Bridget loses mobility. What if she cannot walk in the future?
In the past week, she has navigated Campground bingo, Market Basket, School and the 99 Restaurant. With some assistance, for sure. But not what I thought. Bridget is so stubborn and independent that she has learned not only how to use the chair but walls and furniture to help her navigate whatever obstacles are in her way. Including the dog.
The surgery was needed. It will hopefully help her mobility and she will be walking for a long time. But if not, Bridget taught me this week that she can handle anything this unexpected life throws at her.
Even if it is on wheels.
i enjoy your posts however i use a wheelchair and find the term wheelchair bound offensive because my wheelchair is my legs and is liberating
Thank you, first for reading. Seconding for commenting and lastly for letting my know that “wheelchair bound” may be offensive to some. I am not going to edit the post because I want people to see your comment and understand your point of view.
The point I was trying to make (and apparently failed!) was that Bridget won’t be “bound” by a wheelchair. That was my fear. What she has proven is that if she is one day unable to be mobile using her legs the chair will continue to give her the independence she loves.
Thanks again, for not only reading but letting me know how the post impacted you.