X-citing X-ray

As a journalist, I don’t just take someone’s word for it. Somebody tells me something – I need proof. Give me a source, add up the numbers, show me some pictures. When it came time to lengthen my leg, of course I trusted the doctors that their method would work. Although if you’ve been following this blog, you’ll realize all of the equipment helping to grow my leg is on the inside of my body. For seven days, three times a day, we entered the ‘Adjustment Room’ at the hospital where we stuck a magnet on top of my leg for one minute. Each time it was supposed to make my leg .25 millimeters longer. But I couldn’t see it happening. My leg still looked the same. There was no measurement that could be taken to prove to me that this whole system was working. It didn’t quite feel real, until about a week in right before we were released from the hospital when I saw the x-ray.

This is the inside of my right leg. You can see the rod and the nails. The empty gap is where my bone is getting separated by the magnet. The gap in this picture is about 6 millimeters and everyday with the magnet that gap is getting bigger which means my leg is getting longer. Proof! It’s really working! We are now allowed to lengthen .25 mm FOUR times a day which is a millimeter a day total. Going at this rate, my legs should be the same length by the very end of May or the beginning of June. When we finish pulling the bones apart, the bone will regenerate on its own and fill in the gap naturally. I think that will take anywhere from six to eight weeks after lengthening ends.

After all the thought and prayer that went into making this decision, then all of the anticipation and nervousness leading up to the surgery, it’s very strange to sit here and think “I’m doing this. It’s happening right now.”

Since being released from the hospital on Monday, living at home in Pittsburgh with my parents has been great. I get to have my dog with me, my mom and dad are very attentive and help me with anything I need, physical therapy is going well and several people have volunteered to drive me there since both of my parents work.

 Here is my sweet pup sleeping next to me while I watch some NetFlix!

I am getting around short distances just fine on crutches, but have a wheelchair just in case we need it for longer strolls like the grocery store or mall. (I have several friends who are seriously excited to escort me through Walmart in a motorized cart. I suppose I’ll let them have their fun! How many times in life do you get to do that?!) I also got some wonderful Welcome Home decorations from my friends.

I have lived at least 10 hours away from home since I started my career five years ago. Although this time at home will not always be comfortable and sometimes painful, I feel very blessed to have this opportunity to bond again with my parents and see my hometown friends more often.

“Just keep moving toward your goal, as long as you keep moving the obstacles will move out of your way.” My mom said that and it has proven true so far!

Pain, discomfort and my mood can fluctuate hourly and daily, and it certainly hasn’t been easy. Plus we still have a ways to go. But I am still happy with my decision. It’s a challenge to stay positive all the time, but I’m trying to find joy in everyday. I never want to forget all the things I have to be thankful for!

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7 thoughts on “X-citing X-ray

  1. You are one brave young lady. I saw a show on 20-20 an don’t thing I could do it. lol
    May God be with you an bless you. I can’t help but thing thru your being brave enough to share this with us that it may help someone with same problem the nerve to do the same. Keep sharing makes us feel like family. We’ll leep praying for you. Smiles.to u.

  2. To go through this and still have such a wonderful attitude is amazing! You are amazing! We miss your beautiful face and pray for a smooth recovery every day! Hurry home to Chattanooga!

  3. It is truly amazing how God has given doctors the ability and knowledge to be able to do this procedure. We are all truly blessed. Our thought and prayers are with you. Stay strong.

  4. Carly, I love your blog. You sound like you are doing great. Prayers are being answered and God is good. Hey, this is the middle of April and then May and then June. Wow! This time will pass faster than you think. Enjoy every day that you have improving and also spending this time with your parents. God bless you and strengthen you EVERY day!

  5. Oh, Carly, I forgot to mention this to you, but when I saw the pictures of all the flowers and the sign saying, bye, bye short leg it seemed to me like it may be a funeral for the short leg. When this is all over…no more short leg! God bless you.

  6. I have so enjoyed reading your blogs and can’t get through a single one without tears welling in my eyes. You are so brave and you have wonderful parents. Stay strong and remember what is a few months compared to the rest of your life! My thoughts and prayers are with you!

  7. Thanks for the new blog entry – Love staying up-to-date on your progress.

    My dad has said “sometimes your burdens are your blessings and sometimes your blessings are your burdens” – It IS such a blessing to be able to even do this procedure. Simply Amazing. The burden of course is the pain and healing. The blessing is the end result + time with your family + time with friends + you’re encouraging readers! Hmmm, sounds like more blessings than burdens here 😉

    My dad is currently going thru chemo & we’re half way thru the journey. 6 months seemed so long to him when he started this process – but in the long run, it is truly a very short time. I told him one of the blessings with this burden is that I get to spend much more time with him than I normally would. 🙂 Truly a blessing. I’m sure your parents feel blessed that you’re there.

    So, when you may have a harder time being cheerful – that’s ok & normal! God will strengthen your mind and your body. It’s a journey and a process. And the best part is all the blessings that come with it!

    God Bless!

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