Some have asked how we spent our summer. I just added up all our doctor's visits, and since the girls came home we have had 39 different specialists/ pediatric appointments, and one surgery. Many of the appointments were in Louisville, an hour drive away. Enya had her first eye surgery this past Monday. The surgeon is hopeful that she won't need the other two surgeries - we are praying for that, also. It was an outpatient surgery and in less than 6 hours we were back home. LiLi won the hearts of her nurses, and was saying 'thank you so much!' to them as we were leaving. Zeb (my oldest son - 26 yrs old) went with me and LiLi, since he was off that day, so we could save Virgil's vacation days for Xiaoyun's surgery. Everyone evidently thought I'd robbed the cradle, because they all thought he was my husband. It was nice to say this is my oldest child and this is my youngest. The hardest part of the surgery was once we got home. Enya wasn't allowed to run, bend or lift for a week. It's obvious the doctor doesn't know my little whirlwind, or he would have prescribed something to make her sleep for the entire week ;-) ! When Enya first saw her eye after the patch was removed, her comment was 'too big!!' Enya has another surgery on October 24. It will be a repair of her lip. After that, she shouldn't need anymore surgery until she's around 10 yrs old (another repair of her lip and palate).
Xiaoyun has had quite a few appointments to make sure she would be able to have her scoliosis corrected. There were three areas of concern. Her heart was good and strong and her kidneys were both present and functioning. Unfortunately, her lungs were not so good. She has only 33% lung function and she also has asthma. There was a point where the surgeon wasn't sure if surgery was an option because of that, but the pulmonologist gave approval, with the understanding that the surgeries would need to be monitored closely. Also, the threat of pneumonia while in the hospital is a great concern. Xiaoyun will have, what they think now, 4 surgeries over the course of at least six weeks in the hospital. The first surgery is to put a halo on, after which they will do traction and try to stretch the vertebrae as much as possible. The next two will involve removing bone (some of her ribs have grown up into the curve of her spine). Finally, after several weeks of traction she will have rods inserted and 'build' her backbone. We do not have the exact date, but as of now, she will have surgery the beginning of January. This will give us time to try and put some weight on her (she weighs 44 lbs), which the doctor felt was important because the drugs they will give her will cut her appetite. It will also allow us to celebrate their first Thanksgiving and Christmas at home. She has an appointment the end of October with the surgeon. If she hasn't started putting on any weight, they will not schedule the appointment, so please be in prayer that she gains at least 2 pounds before then (so far I think I'm the only one gaining the weight!).
We haven't explained to Xiaoyun exactly what will take place. We don't want her to worry, so we won't say much about it until shortly before the surgeries. She's excited to be able to have the surgery, and at this point that is enough.