Thursday, April 17, 2008

Strolling Down Memory Lane with Bubba D

I have been spending the day today....(in between phone calls, laundry loads, staying with Jen's kids, working, etc.).....perusing my Bubba D's scrapbook albums. I am woefully behind and when my kids turn 18, for some reason, I like to look at them, and try to catch up. (I'm also trying to finish up a Scout album for his Eagle Court of Honor)
When I saw this photo, my heart just melted.....
The First day of Second Grade.
1997 was a hard year for him. He had just been diagnosed with scoliosis. We had gone to a doctor who had prescribed this bulky, awful Milwaukee brace..it extends from neck to hips and he had to wear it for 23 hours a day. His curvature was already 45 degrees and it was devastating for such a little boy to have to suffer like this....at age 6.
A few months later we changed doctors who requested an MRI scan to "check" for some things (why is it they never tell you what "things" they are looking for?) and sure 'nuf, they found a problem. He had an Arnold Chiari I malformation, which is a defect within the brain stem and it was preventing the proper flow of spinal fluid-which in turn caused his scoliosis. We then became acquainted with a brilliant and compassionate pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. Kim Manwaring. He recommended immediate surgery and in the fall of 1997-at age 7, right after this photo was taken, he underwent major brain surgery. The surgery was a success for the Chiari-but he still had to endure the bracing for the next 4 years-hoping to prevent further curvature of his spine- By age 11 we had pretty much given up hope that it wasn't going to progress-it was at 59 degrees and our wonderful orthpedic surgeon suggested spinal fusionsurgery-sooner than later. We were originally going to wait until about age 18 to do the surgery but in the face of severe damage to his spine, compromised heart and lung function, we had to make the choice to do it now. So Bubba-D had another major surgery-anterior spinal fusion. "Anterior" means approaching from the front, which means they almost had to cut him in half to approach the front of the spine to put in the instrumentation to correct the curvature. (sorry to gross anyone out) Again-he was a trooper and we were really blessed because the dr. was originally going to do anterior and posterior fusion-which means from both sides of the spine, but felt like he could accomplish the goal with just the anterior approach-it cut about 3-4 hours off the surgery time!

I guess I could go on and on about this little boy's adversities-but needless to say-he has angels round about him.....I am happy to be your momma Bubba D!

7 comments:

Lisa and Ryan said...

Wow! Has it really been that long? He is so handsome! I remember all the surgeries, what a trooper. 18 !!! WOW!!

Kassi Jane said...

I guess I didnt relize all the things that poor kid had to go through. He is a trooper and he turned out pretty good!

Hero said...

That made me want to cry. I love Bubba-D so much! I think he really does have angels around him!

Stacey said...

My best friend in HS wore a Milwaukee brace all three years. They finally let her wear it just at night the spring of her Senior year. The brace did a number on her dating life but probably made her much more interesting based on the adversity.

jen said...

I think we forget how much D has been through and how amazingly well he has handled it all. It is so good to see him healthy, TALL & all grown up.

Yvonne said...

Wow! What an amazing young man. I'm glad he has such a positive attitude. It must have been very difficult on you and your husband, too.

Pedaling said...

it is so hard watching these things our kids endure at times. it all works out - but it's hard.
what a sweet good lookin guy.