Our life has been a little unconventional lately, so it stands to reason that our vacation would be as well….we’re spending it at University hospital while Leeza recovers from her surgery! She had her spine detethered today and it went great. What was expected to take 6 hours took 3 and as Dr. M came to talk to us his face reminded me of one of the kids when they know they just did something really cool. He explained that her lower spine was pretty much a mess, partially due to spina bifida and partially due to whatever procedure was done on her when she was born. As they traced up her spine they found that the spinal chord was totally unprotected from about L5 down because the bone and muscles that should have grown over them just hadn’t. She had as little as 3mm of skin covering parts of this area. I am so glad we didn’t know that beforehand! Dr. M was able to pull the muscles together over this area, use a graft, and do some creative suturing to give her about 1.5 inches of protection now. He also noticed that some of the bones in her lower back/hips had no padding and those were buffed down a little to prevent them from turning into sores later as they rubbed against her skin. The nerves were detached from the bony part of her spine and then tested to see how they were responding. When the same test had been done yesterday she had no response from most nerves, but today there was a response in a hamstring and a big toe. There’s no way of knowing now if that will correspond to increased function as she heals, but it does mean it’s possible, which is VERY exciting! She’s currently hanging out in PICU while Philip and a team of nurses try to keep her from rolling over onto her back, ripping off her bandage or pulling out her IVs. Not the most relaxing vacation, but it’s one we’re awfully glad has finally come!
Once again it was amazing to watch as God’s hand so obviously took care of this little girl. She has had so many close calls and as Dr. M was explaining that her spinal fluid and nerves were almost totally unprotected I started crying. Once again, God had kept her safe. This surgery wasn’t supposed to make anything better, but we’re coming out of it with the possibility of more nerve function. Philip has this funny feeling that one day Leeza will walk by herself and I’m beginning to wonder if she will too…not because she should be physically able to, but because God just seems to keep allowing her to do things that surprise us. I have no idea what He has in mind for Leeza, but His continued care of her is amazing to watch and keeps leaving us praising Him.