12/31/17 Wrap up

On this last day of 2017, I just wanted to write up a quick update and some miscellaneous regarding the end of the year for Ren:

Leg Surgery:  On my last post, I mentioned that Ren would be having leg surgery.  She did in fact have this surgery in mid-October.  It was a “simple” outpatient surgery that involved placing some hardware on her growth plate on her knee, in order to stop growth.  What?  Stop growth, you say?  Yes.  The purpose of the surgery is to hopefully straighten out her right leg (see pic below).  The theory is that stopping the growth on the inside of the knee will allow the other side of the leg to continue to grow, thus straightening out the leg.  This has like a 99% success rate in “typical” children.  I did some research, though, and did find a case of a 4-year-old child with spina bifida having a similar surgery that did have success.  It takes a long time to see results, though, as we are waiting for the bones to grow.  For this one child, it took 2 years for it to be corrected.  So, in not less than 6 months, the doctor will take a look to see how things are going.  Pray that it is successful – that her leg will straighten out and that no complications will occur!


Halloween:  We did not do a creative costume this year, despite my good intentions.  Due to lack of time and energy, I dug through our bin of old costumes, and pulled out a Packer outfit which she also wore when she was like 4.  Somehow we made it work, though this will be the last time she can squeeze into it.  We did a short run of trick or treating — Trick or treating in a wheelchair in the cold weather is not a lot of fun.  And, let me tell you, it is on this night each year that I REALLY notice all of the NON-wheelchair friendly homes out there.  There were only 1 or 2 houses where Ren could go all the way to the door.  All of the other houses had steps, which made it impossible for her to go up to.  Thankfully most people were nice enough to bring the candy to her, or allow her brother or dad to bring it to her.

Christmas:  Ren’s school does a Christmas music program each year.  I have always been happy with the school’s intention of making sure she is fully included.  By this I just mean that they have always made sure she is standing up with her class – not separate on the floor while the rest of the class is on the risers (this happened in a previous school she attended).  Sounds like a little thing, but it is really big, and it means a lot.  This year she again stood using her walker – other staff carried her up and down the stairs to the stage, again something I am grateful for them doing.  It’s great to see her doing some singing too….in her earlier years, she just stood there looking cute.  OH!  And, this year she played “Jingle Bells” on the piano for pre-concert entertainment along with a few other kids.  They rotated at the piano, each playing a couple of times.  SO proud of her for doing this in front of the audience!

For the last couple of months, Ren has been telling T that she wants to learn how to play the guitar.  Her dad does some playing on his own, so he was very excited to hear this.  Since she was persistent in this request, we relented and found a mini-guitar to give her for Christmas.  She was VERY excited.


God is Good:  This last event is just something I wanted to share because it is pretty awesome.  One November day in church, Ren was filling out the “I Wish” pamphlet.  This is what I discovered Ren had written – all on her own – for why she wants to thank God:

I love this because in the recent past, she has lamented to me about her having spina bifida.  She would ask, “When am I going to be like my friends?”  “When am I not going to need my wheelchair?” “When will I be able to walk?” and was feeling quite sad about it all.  This made ME feel sad, and I tried to comfort her, saying that she is working on walking – that her surgery will hopefully make her leg stronger, and she will hopefully be able to walk with crutches some day.  But, then these words came in my mind and I shared with her: “But, what matters the most, is that God made you. And he does NOT make mistakes, and what He creates is always good, which means you are made good, and that you are the way that He wants you to be.”  She seemed satisfied with this last answer…so, to see her write that made me think that she too believes this.

It’s not that we are happy with or wish this disability on her, nor would we reject any opportunity of healing, as it of course brings its challenges for her.  But – It’s more of being okay with it because God created her, and there is purpose in it.  God does NOT make mistakes.  And He is good, all the time.




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