Happy Birthday!

Yesterday was our Brave Strong Girl’s 12th birthday! This past week was a challenging one, so we had a lot to celebrate!

On Thursday, Leah was admitted for a knee manipulation. While under anesthesia, the doctor manipulated her knee, breaking bone tissue that had formed outside her knee after her growth plate surgery. This extra bone growth is unexplained, but often happens with patients that have experienced head trauma. It is likely this was a result of radiation. It caused her leg to be stiff and made physical therapy extremely painful.

We stayed at the hospital until Saturday, because Leah had an epidural to block the pain. Her leg was placed in a continuous motion machine immediately following the procedure, and after we were released, we brought the machine home with us.
When Leah isn’t on her feet, her leg is in the machine to prevent it from becoming stiff. For now, she’s also sleeping with it, to reduce the amount of pain in the morning. We turn it off for a few hours each night, so she can lay on her side and sleep comfortably.

She has four days of physical therapy this week, and then three days a week until at least the end of May. On the off days, we have specific exercises to do at home. The physical therapy is painful, but she’s making a great deal of progress. Her knee is bending much more than before the manipulation, and she’s definitely walking better.

And in the usual “when it rains it pours” fashion, the first few days home were complicated by a virus. However, on the morning of her birthday, she woke up feeling much better. 😊

We were able to go out to dinner to celebrate her birthday, and she had the energy to open cards and presents and enjoy a special double-decker birthday cupcake!

Leah always has “cash” at the top of her wish lists. She doesn’t usually buy anything… She just loves to watch that pile grow! This year, “fostering an elephant” was also at the top of her list! Now she is the proud foster mama of a baby elephant in Kenya named Ngilai. He’s cared for at a rescue and rehibilitation facility, and we can follow his growth and progress online. Very exciting stuff!

Leah’s next scan is May 5th. Praying for great results, continued healing of her knee, and that symptoms from radiation subside. Thank you for your continued prayers!