Friday, October 26, 2012

Falling into February

It was early February 2012; my life was busy: my Master's certificate program had just started at Maryville University and I was also working frantically to complete my National Board certification.  Late one Wednesday afternoon, February 8th, I was sitting at a big round table in the Maryville University cafeteria, drinking a Diet Pepsi and waiting for my classes to start.  I pulled out my phone to kill some time and keep me company.  That's when I noticed that I had a message from the aftercare program at Willa's school.  Casually, I played the message and this is what I heard, "Willa fell on the playground and hurt her arm.  We think it's a good idea if you come and get her."  I returned her call, at which point she calmly repeated the same message.  Not thinking it was serious, and not wanting to miss one of my first classes, I called Bill.  He said that he received a similar message and was on his way to pick her up.  Class had no sooner started when Bill's text messages started rolling in.  "It might be serious." "I think it's broken."  "We're taking her to the emergency room."  "There's a lot of blood."  "Principal X is here with me."  "She might require surgery."  And, finally, "You better come to the hospital."

When I got to the hospital, I learned the extent of her injury: compound fracture - broken ulna, broken radius, severe bruising of the nerves.  Luckily, the growth plate was intact.  Surgery was necessary to repair the damage and insert flexible metal rods into both bones but it would have to wait until the morning.  Bill went home to pack a few things for Willa and get Basil, her beloved stuffed little bunny.  After surgery, Willa was in a big neon pink cast, which went from the mid-finger knuckles on her hand to her armpit.  Then, after a few weeks, she got a new neon pink cast, one that went from the upper knuckles to just over the elbow, which she wore for a few more weeks.  After a few weeks in that, Willa finally got a soft cast that she wore for a few more weeks until physical therapy started.  Finally, after 10 weeks of physical therapy we were done with doctors until the rods needed to be removed at the end of summer.  In September, just a little over a month ago, Willa went back into surgery and her doctor removed the rods.   

Willa's doing much better now, getting closer and closer to a full recovery.  She still has not regained all the feeling in her ring and pinky fingers but her doctor thinks that the feeling will return eventually and, of course, is hopeful that the scars will heal and fade over time.  I hope so.  It was miserable watching her having to go through this.
 February 8, 2012:  Willa and Bill in the Emergency Room at Children's Hospital.

 February 9, 2012: Willa and Basil - awaiting surgery with the arm newly splinted and wrapped in an Ace bandage.

 February 9, 2012: Willa - just out of surgery.

 September 14, 2012: Willa - ready for the 2nd surgery to remove the rods.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Winter Wonderland

Winter is my reward for tolerating summer.  However, winter must have taken a vacation in 2011/2012 because it barely dipped below 60 degrees all season long.  So much for a winter wonderland.  Unseasonably warm or not, we kept up with our usual winter activities.  Here is a sampling of the things that we did last winter in and around St. Louis. 

 Family Fun Day at the St. Louis Art Museum.  This session, we made sculptures inspired by the architect Antoni Gaudi.

 Photo from the annual Orchid show at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

 Willa and her friend, Madison, at the St. Margaret of Scotland School Talent Show.  They sang "Tomorrow" from the musical Annie.

 Bill and Willa goofing around at the Wild Bird Sanctuary.

 Willa and cousins, Hannah (L) and Haleigh (R), at Wild Lights at the St. Louis Zoo. 

Will and Bill posing for a photo at the St. Louis Zoo Centennial Exhibit.