Saturday, July 25, 2009

Update on Meeting with Surgeons

Amy Funk here. I'm feeling the funk creeping around again and think I could be on the verge of being in one but I'm saying no to the funk. Not gonna do it. Really I think what it is is that ever since we met with Ella's surgeons on July 16th about her surgery things have gotten more real and I'm just a taaaad bit more emotional. Had a big breakdown the other day and was doing the ugly-cry on sweet Rick's shoulder while he just calmly talked me back to my senses. Feels good to have a good cry every once in a while ya know? So I had my snorting, sniffling cry and should be good for another week or two and poor Rick just ended up with a wet shoulder. :) He is so sweet and is just the most amazing husband ever. I'm so blessed to have him.

I've been meaning to update for awhile now on our meeting and about surgery details. Thank you so much for the prayers, phone calls, emails and texts that day, it was so encouraging. So many of you have been so sweet to ask about how things went and your support means so much to us, thank you. Overall it was a very positive meeting and we feel good about the doctors and their plan to help Ella. With that being said, the surgeons were also very up-front with us that the problems with Ella's shoulder are very complicated but at the same time fixable. They were very pleased with the images they got from the MRI and CT Scan and feel like it has given them a good road map for what Ella's shoulder looks like, where bones are, blood flow, etc. I'm not a medical person so it's hard to explain what all is wrong but there are just lots of bones that are not in the right place or attached correctly, the main ones being her shoulder blade and collar bone. There is also some strange blood flow which is one of the main complications to the surgery. Basically, they are going to have to build a functional shoulder for Ella and do a lot of moving around of bones and reattaching of things. Despite all of the problems though, they are very pleased with the function she has in her left arm right now. This was good to hear because we have really worked hard in PT to get her moving that left arm and get it strong for surgery. Yeah Ella! Right now she has limited range of motion in her arm and neck but they are expecting that to improve once things are in the right place. They told us not to expect complete range of motion but to expect better range. They are going to do their best to create a normal looking, functional shoulder but told us to be prepared that it might not look exactly like her right shoulder or even be level with it. So, we don't really know how to prepare for what it will be like, look like, or what she will be able to do after this is all said and done but we have peace in knowing that to help Ella, this has to be done. We believe the Lord is in control and that with Him all things are possible so we're expecting blessings from this.

Even though we believe the Lord is holding little Ella in his hands through all of this it is still very hard to know something is wrong with your baby. Do I wish things were different? Yes. Am I scared? Yes. But, He is faithful and we are just taking all of this one day at a time knowing that there is still a very long road ahead and He will continue to be there every step of the way. It was very surreal sitting there listening to the surgeons and looking at images of your child's bones and blood vessels and seeing that something is very wrong. Very informative, interesting and at the same time overwhelming. I kept thinking to myself, "How did I get here? Is this for real?" and "I think I've heard enough and need to leave now." :) We were there for several hours and saw three of the main 5 surgeons that will be a part of Ella's surgery. Ella's primary surgeon has pulled together an amazing team of surgeons and in addition to the 5 there will also be numerous others who will be assisting and observing. So, needless to say there are a lot of people involved here and we are thankful that they are pulling in the best of the best to help Ella. I am listing the names of the surgeons and would ask that you be praying for each of them and that the Lord would use the talent and wisdom that He has given them to the best of their ability to help sweet Ella.
Dr. Ezaki-Ella's primary surgeon
Dr. Roden-Pediatric and vascular surgeon
Dr. Weprin-Pediatric Neurosurgeon
Dr. Oishi-Plastic surgeon
Dr. Herring-Pediatric Ortho
Thank you for your continued prayers for our family. We feel so loved and supported by all of you.

To explain a little more, I thought I would just answer some commonly asked questions about what to expect for her surgery to help inform everyone.

Q: When is her surgery?
A: Surgery will be August 19th. We will be admitted to the hospital on the 18th and will spend the night there. We don't have a definite time of day that surgery will begin yet but we're assuming it will start early morning.

Q: How long will surgery be? Will it be one surgery or multiple?
A: We're not sure. The doctors said that it could take anywhere from a few hours to all day. They don't know so to be prepared they have reserved the operating room for Ella all day. Yeah...all day, kind of makes me want to throw up. They are planning to do the repair in one surgery. They indicated that if there was a need for surgeries in the future that they would be minor or cosmetic.

Q: How long will she be in the hospital?
A: They said they expected her to have a 3-4 day hospital stay. I'm not banking on that but we'll see. I'm expecting longer but what do I know. Even if it's a week or more, that's nothing compared to our 2 1/2 month stay in the NICU.

Q: Will she have a cast?
A: From what I gathered, she won't have a cast but they will use some type of wrapping to keep her arm immobilized and she will wear that for 3-4 weeks. After that we will go back to Scottish Rite and they will take it off and make plans from there with regards to therapy, etc.

Hope that helps! Again, thank you so much for your constant support and care, we couldn't do this without such faithful family and friends. Be praying that little Ella stays healthy, surgery is 3 weeks from Wednesday. Crazy! Pray for peace for our family as we anticipate this hurdle. We'll update as we know more. Thanks so much!


Ashley said...

Thank you for the update. Praying for you and thinking of you!

Please know that you are not alone in this journey! Love you!

Randi Freeby said...

I am going to be in constant prayer about this. I really like having the surgeons names so we can pray for them specifically. I adored seeing you and your beautiful girls last night. I am so thankful for our friendship. I love you sweet, friend.

Specks said...

Awesome post~ I am praying nonstop for that beautiful girl....she is such a delight. You know that since I am a former Shunk that I know ALL about funks :)...... please call me whenever you are blue, I mean it. You guys are SO loved and we all just want to do whatever we can to help you all carry this emotional load. PS: Can't wait for B and E to one day meet and compare their tubes.

Kendra said...

Thanks so much for the details, friend. You are loved, prayed for and not alone in any sense of the word! Precious girl...she has such a testimony to share someday, yes? And so do you. But in the meantime, we will pray faithfully and see what God does (and feel a little sick to MY stomach pondering the surgery, too! Oh my).

Holly said...

Hey Ames-
Thanks for the update. We love you, Rick, and the girls so much. Just know that we are lifting you guys up in prayer, even when you are too tired, stressed, funkified, overwhelmed, or just too tired to do it yourself. You are an amazing mom to Ella and I am so proud of you. Thinking about you! Hang in there!
Love you!

Anonymous said...

We love you more than you can know. We're in constant prayer for you, Rick, Eva, Ella, Ann, your parents, Rick's parents, and everyone else we can think of. We are ready for this phase to be over so that the healing can begin. We're committed to being with you along the journey.

Love you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the update I have been worried and I had a very strong feeling that you may have been in a "funk" after the appointment. I am very glad to hear that the best of the best will be taking care of sweet Ella and I know that she will come through this like the trooper she has been through all of this. We are praying, praying, praying for all of you and we love you all very much. You are in my thoughts every minute. I love you very much.

Nancy Giurlanda said...

sorry, screwed that last post up.....that was from me. love you.

Kelly said...

I'm so sorry that y'all are having to go through all of this. But it sounds like you ahve a top-notch medical team. That is such a blessing! The funk is definitley understandable, and good for you for being real about it! :) Prayers for sweet Ella's recovery and for peace for you and Rick.

Summer said...

We are lifting you guys, especially Ella and the surgeons up in prayer daily, sometimes hourly. You and Ella have been on my heart a lot the last few days. Just wanted to say that I think you are an amazing mom. Seriously. The fact that you only have one good cry every two weeks is pretty amazing. I might cry every day if were dealing with the stress and difficulties you guys have been through. Your humor, faith and strength for Ella and Eva is a testimony to God's faithfulness! We love you guys.

Kate said...

Thanks for updating and answering questions. I will be praying for peace for you and your family over the next few weeks and especially the day of the surgery, for wisdom for the doctors, and for strength and healing for sweet Ella.

Sweets said...

We stand with you & pray for you! So much love your way!

Jamie Ridgell said...

Ames - We are praying daily for all of you and will specifically be praying for the surgeons and medical team working on Ella. Your faith in HIS control never fails to amaze me and I will be praying that your faith will sustain you through this whole process. We love you so very much and are here for you for anything.

mcsneeze said...

I am so thankful to know you and to be inspired by your faithfulness. After I read your post this morning, I kept thinking of the Rich Mullen's song, STEP BY STEP.
You and Rick are being led step by step through this journey. God has been so faithful with Ella's progress and I know it will continue
Oh God, You are my God
and I will ever praise You.
I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to walk in Your ways
And step by step You'll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days.

John said...

I can't imagine how hard the anticipation of the upcoming surgery/recovery is on you guys. Praying that God, in His sweet way, will make the next few weeks go by quickly for you and that He will fill your minds and hearts with His perfect peace that passes all understanding. You are prayed for and loved more than you know.

Jodi said...

Ok, I have read this post probably 15 times, but just realized I never commented!! Whaaaaauuuut?!?!? Anyways, know that we are praying for your list and then some. I just love that little Ella to pieces! All four of you actually. And we know all about being funky around here.... praying for you specifically, this month in particular. Love ya girl!

heatherw said...

Thank You God for Scottish Rite! They are awesome...Dr. Herring was my Dr. when I was a patient there. I will be praying that all goes well and for all the doctors involved.