we got into galveston on thursday morning after a bright and early flight out of atlanta. we had to get there so early because our appointment with dr. yngve was at 2. we could tell carson was a little anxious about going somewhere with just the two of us. he spotted a big olaf and nearly had a break down when we told him we couldn't buy it. this kid never breaks down. he usually lowers his head and says a pitiful "ok." but this time he lost it. he really wanted that olaf. so when i went to get my bottle of water they had a smaller version of our little friend olaf. how could i not get him, he did provide us with our quote for the year. so...
he was super excited to see that olaf had found him and he eased his sweet little mind for a little bit. well worth it.
once we made it we had to get a wataburger. duh, we're in texas. you have to go there when you're in texas.
after a hearty lunch we met with dr. yngve for the first time. we were anxious to hear what he had to say about our carson and which areas he wanted to do and how he thought carson would do post surgery. here is a video of how carson walks before surgery. i love those skinny little legs! you can kind of see in the video how carson walks on his toes. his hamstrings are so tight that he physically cannot straighten his legs enough to walk flat footed. he also has several other muscle groups that are so tight from him over compensating for his hamstrings which adds to his labored "gait" which is the way in which you walk. he may seem like he's doing pretty good now but as he grows this would only get worse. in fact, it has gotten worse over the past year or so. he was getting so tight it was hard for him to do things he could previously do which was very frustrating for carson. the SPML surgery was a way to release those muscles and loosen his legs to allow him to learn to walk with a smoother gait.
after meeting with dr. yngve, who we really liked, we were all set. he felt like carson looked pretty good already but his hamstrings were really tight. he was only going to release those and his adductors (the inner thigh muscles) and an alcohol block. i'm still not 100% sure what that does but to my best guess it stops the nerves from receiving the signal to tighten up. he did not think that his heel cords needed to be done which meant no casts which was great news! we were all set for 7 am the next morning. now just to kill some time in galveston while we anxiously waited for carson to get "new" legs. we got some recommendations for dinner, picked one and went out to celebrate carson and also andrew's birthday which just happened to fall on the same day carson was having surgery. all good things!
what do you do when your kid has to have surgery on your birthday? get every dessert the restaurant offers the night before! we figured we'd get the sampler platter thinking it would be a little sample of each. um, not so much. it was six full size desserts. it took two waiters to deliver our feast and they were laughing at us. obviously we did not finish all the treats so we had them all boxed up to take back with us to our hotel.
this was out front of our hotel on thursday. it was really cold for galveston so nobody was outside except us.
friday morning came super fast and we were headed to the surgery center with starbucks in hand (thank you farroh, schultz and habas families!) we checked in and waited. carson got a dose of happy medicine and was good to go. he was all goofy and smiles till he saw some pictures on my phone from home. then he got real weepy and sad. he wanted to go home. he missed brooks and his toys. i had some buzz and woody puppets on hand for a surprise so once he saw those all thoughts of home were forgot and he was putting on a puppet show for everyone in the room. he didn't even blink an eye when it was time for him to wheel one way and us go the other. all i could see were buzz and woody up in the air. i swear that is the worst feeling in the world, watching your baby go with strangers while you go sit and wait for the news he's all done and doing great. and really, before i could get myself too panicked (or even eat the chicken biscuit andrew got me) the doctor was coming out with a smile on his face. he had done great! his hamstrings were really tight but now they were loosey goosey. it took him longer to wake up from the anesthesia than the whole surgery did. the doctor was very pleased with how it all went and thinks that this will do wonderful things for carson. thank you, god, for bringing this option to our attention and for pushing us to do a little more research so that we could do what is absolutely best for carson.
with our buddy waiting to be wheeled back. i wish they had some mommy happy medicine to give so it's easy on me when he goes. but again, all good things...all good things.
after about 2 hours in recovery we were ready to head back to our hotel. carson was awake but still totally out of it. he rode the whole way back with his buzz puppet in the air while sound asleep.
i bought myself some bracelets to remind myself of some important things. i think they helped out.
the rest of friday carson and i spent in the bed watching all his favorite shows on my computer while andrew hiked all over galveston trying to find a pharmacy that had all the medicine we needed. once we had all that we settled in and ordered room service and rested. carson had a hard time coming off the anesthesia and was pretty sick and puny the rest of the day. the poor thing was starving but every time he tried to eat it all came back up. just about every time i closed my eyes and was just about to fall asleep i would hear the tell tale sign that he was going to throw up and since he has no idea how to use his newly loosened legs i had to pick him up and run to the toilet. i'd do it a thousand times for him though as long as he could get some rest. after a dose of some serious pain medicine he zonked right out and so did i. it was a long day but we made it through and are on the other side now. all good things from this point on!
hanging out in the bed with our knee braces on. he has to wear these at night for a few weeks to keep him from curling up in the fetal position while he sleeps. we definitely do not want his legs tightening back up after all that we've done.
this is the face we woke up to saturday morning. i could squeeze this face it's so sweet. he was just laying there between me and andrew waiting quietly till one of us woke up. what a doll baby.
saturday carson had no restrictions (using our common sense) and the doctor said we could explore galveston some if we wanted to. so we loaded up our little guy in his wheelchair and did just that. he wasn't too excited to leave his comfy bed and toys but we pushed him a little bit and he had fun.
we went to bubba gump shrimp co.
we had lunch at a neat restaurant
we saw the water
and we went to the pier
we had a great day walking around getting some much needed fresh air and sunshine. but it was time to get ready to come home. carson asked no less than 100 times if it was time to go home yet. i think someone was ready.
on the plane ready to go. let me just say that for once delta was really on point. as was both airports that we traveled through, which is saying a lot for atlanta. we were treated with all kinds of kindness (i think the small kid in a wheelchair helped but his sweet little smile and thumbs up when asked how he was doing helped too).
and when we got home we were greeted with a driveway full of our family waiting with balloons and welcome home signs. the best one of all was sweet little brooks. he was so worried about his brother having surgery. his face was beyond priceless. he was so excited to see carson come home and was so concerned about him. that just melted my heart. of all things i want my kids to be it is kind. through all that we have been through and will have to go through i have learned that being kind to everyone is the most important thing we can do. you never know what kind of day/week/month/year or life someone is having to live. a kind smile or word can make someone's day. i want my kids to know that they can make a difference and it can start with each other (and yes, i know that they are brothers and they will be at each other's throats most of the time but when it counts i know they will be there for each other and for their sister). i wish this was a video but i was frantically pulling out my phone and could only get a picture. once again, tears in my eyes. we were home. we had done something out of the box for our kid that will make his life easier. we have an amazing support system that stands behind every decision we make (and who will help out in any way possible). we are lucky. parenting is not easy but it is by far the best thing we have done.