Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Update on Emily

Hey, well, Emily's asleep so I can get on the computer. We moved our old computer to the living room and hooked it up to the Internet, so I haven't been able to get online very easily. She's a computer junkie.

Her surgery (Thursday, July 24) went very well. The doctor had to remove 30 to 40% of her lateral meniscus as well as repair the ACL. Friday was her first physical therapy day (just one day after her surgery). Two therapists were working together on her and they were both just amazed at her. First they had her bend her knee to measure how far she could bend it. She bent it 68 degrees. Her good knee bent to 115%, so she was already over half there. Then when they were helping her with her knee, they noticed that she was holding her leg pretty much on her own. Evidently, these two things are extremely remarkable for someone to do the day after surgery. They said most people aren't at that point at two weeks. Then Monday, she went back and she bent her knee 88 degrees and did leg lifts and rode the bicycle. The therapist gave her instructions and then went to help someone else. She said, "Use your left foot and your right will just be there. You won't be able to go all the way around." Well, you guessed it: she went all the way around.

At home, she's been jolly the last three days (after we hooked up her computer) and has hardly needed any pain medication. The first two days, she wasn't bad, she just groaned and moaned a lot. I'd ask if she wanted some medicine and she'd decline. Finally, she said, "Don't ask me, okay. If it's time just give it to me because I'm gonna say no every time because I don't want to take it." After that we got along a lot better. She's way different than I am. Oh, she even has a particular way I'm supposed to hand her her crutches. I never could figure it out, because it made no sense to me, so finally she explained it to me. Now, I don't have to see her disgusted face when I hand her her crutches.

One thing that will probably seem weird is that Dee helped her get into the car right after surgery and he botched it, according to Emily, and she won't let him touch her anymore. Instead, she called for Mom and continues to ask for me. Probably most people would not think it was a good thing to be the only one she'd let help her, but Dee and she have been so close ever since he started coaching her basketball team 4 1/2 years ago that I have felt like an outsider in their private world, so I'm welcoming this opportunity to be the star of her life. That's pretty pathetic, I know, but it's truth anyway. When she reached her hand out to me before her surgery, I had to fight hard to control the tears. She hasn't acted like she needed her mom for a long time.

Yesterday was really hard on Emily and me. It was the first day we tried the exercises at home. She cried. I cried. Yet, she was bound and determined that if it said it on the paper, she was going to do it. Then we tackled washing her hair. I got two dining room table chairs and one bar stool chair and lined them up. She sat down on the bar stool. I helped her lift her leg (she won't be able to do that on her own for a while yet), and she scooted back toward the tub, so her legs were higher than her head. Then I stood in the tub, held her head and poured water over it. It took about 30 minutes. Before I was done, my back felt like it needed therapy. Oh, yeah, and after that I cut buckets of corn off the cob and cooked it and froze it.

We go back to therapy today and tomorrow for this week and then probably at least three days next week. She sees the doctor again next Wed. I start back to work Monday the 11th. I sure hope I can survive work and taking care of Emily. I am already getting really fatigued and making stupid mistakes like catching my hand between the end table and the chair when I release it to let Emily go to the bathroom and forgetting to plug her tubes back in before I turn her machine on. If I get more loopy, I'm gonna hurt myself or someone else.

We'd also like to ask for prayer for Emily's friend Alicia, who has been going through an extremely hard time. About three weeks ago she started having severe stomach pains and rectal bleeding. She ended up in the hospital for over a week and finally having to receive a blood transfusion. They discovered she has E-Coli. Now she's taken a turn for the worse again. They took her back to the hospital in Springfield, but they couldn't help her because they had already blown all her veins during her previous stay. They sent her home with medicine. If you don't mind to remember them, I'd appreciate it. They also struggle financially (as do we) and are concerned about their medical bills.


Juanita said...

Kim - When I glanced at that picture I thought at first it was you in the bed, not your daughter! I'm glad to hear the surgery went well and that Emily's progress is already more than expected. Such a brave, determined daughter you have ...

What kind of tubes have to be re-connected? Drainage? Did she have to use the leg-bending machine that knee replacement patients use? Gary had to be on that machine for two hours at a time, three times a day, while it slowly worked his knee, bending it up and down to ever-increasing degrees. I liked it when he was on it because I knew I had those two hours to do my own work rather than help him here and there, with this and that.

My prayers to you and Emily for strength, and to Alicia as well.

KIM MOSER said...


Thanks for the compliment: you thought it was me in the bed. Ha Ha. Thanks also for your prayers and encouragement. I have learned a lot about my daughter from this event.

The tubes are those connected to a refrigeration machine that cools her leg to keep down the swelling. It also compresses to avoid deep vein thrombosis. She's off this machine as of yesterday.

She still goes to therapy three days a week all the way in Rolla, but she's doing great.