Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Valentine's in NYC

Kate had the opportunity to audition for the Los Angeles Ballet Summer Intensive at School of American Ballet on Saturday, February 15. We didn't think we would actually make it in time, as the entire NE was under blizzard conditions. It was an exciting time for Kate, auditioning, and seeing her first Broadway show, Cinderella. We saw New York City Ballet's Coppelia as well and ate in some great gluten free restaurants including Nizza!! Central Park was beautiful in the snow, and Kate loved hailing cabs, and running around Times Square. We even visited the set of Good Morning America and my childhood friend Maura, who is the Director of Operations there, and I had our picture made at the GMA desk. Good times!!


Monday, December 15, 2014

6 Month Post-Op

Update 19-

 November 6, 2014

We met with Dr. Samdani and his staff. Olivia and Kate both had IOS X-rays. Olivia looks great and has grown and inch since seeing him in July. He was so pleased with her progress. She will be able to go back to PE after Christmas as tolerable. He will see her in April for her nearly 1 year post surgery follow up!

Her sister Kate's scoliosis is in progression and will continue as she hits her growth spurt, undetermined at this time. She's in a Boston Brace and Dr. Samdani was pleased with the way it looks in her. However, because her main curve is high, the brace can't hold that from progressing. Her upper is now at 32.9 up from 26 in July and her lumbar is at 23 and change, up from 13 in July when he last saw scans of her. She too will need to be seen in April where a more concrete decision will be made regarding her. Dr, S is very concerned at this point and has mentioned that it is probable she will have to have surgery as well. At this time in his research he would not be able to perform the fusion less and needs to wait to see how her growth spurt will affect her spine. She too has grown an inch since September but her growth plates indicate her spurt has not begun as yet. He will not rule out a fusion less procedure for her though which is promising as his technology increases over the months.

So for now, we begin Kate's journey, and are grateful for Olivia's healing and progression in such a positive way. I forgot to mention, since she did not have to have her second surgery the curve in her lumbar spine remains. At surgery it had increased to 52 degrees, then reduced to 18 after surgery; to 13 in July, and now below 11!! We are so happy about this.

Again, thank you so much for all the continued prayers for Olivia and the many we receive for Kate as well. You all have been a real blessing to us.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

2 Month Anniversary of Surgery

Update 18- 

Jul 12- Today is the 2 month anniversary of Olivia's spine surgery! We returned home from Philadelphia after seeing Olivia's surgeon for her follow up appointment at Shriner's Hospital. The report was great! The team at Shriner's said Olivia is a poster child for her surgery. Her lumbar spine continues to get straighter! She can now swim, and play putt-putt. Boogie-boarding is still on hold as well as starting to hit tennis balls but she can begin to do a few things now.

Her next X-rays will be done in early September here in Tallahassee and then will head back up to Philly in late October/early November. This visit her sister who is now in a back brace will be seen as well. As Olivia continues to heal, we face the future now with her sister.

Thank you, thank you, for continued love and prayers as well as support that continues for us as well!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Beach and a Brace

Update 17-

June 27- update
It's been a busy last couple of weeks. But the best news for Olivia is that her incision has healed and she was able to go to the beach last weekend. Now, she couldn't swim but she did walk along the shore and dipped down into the water. She took a friend with her and I know she was happy to be outside. She was on the beach about an hour, maybe a little longer, but she really enjoyed it.

Today and this weekend, a friend is doing an event and offering some of her proceeds to help the costs surrounding her surgery. Olivia gets to model some clothes which she loves to do. Who doesn't love fashion!

We are just about 12 days out from heading to Philly for her first follow-up appointment. Hoping and believing it will be a good one.

On a side note, Olivia's sister also has scoliosis and has been placed in a Boston brace! Sadly, it seems the road for her too although unsure of what it will exactly be.

Monday, December 8, 2014

My Brave Girl

Update 15- 

June 5 update-

Olivia is a very brave girl. I am so proud of how she handled her pain in the hospital and so far through her recovery. In her mind, it has always been to be better than the day before. She continues to have what her surgeon calls "blips", but she is pushing through. As of late she is dealing with lower left back pain, and some burning in her ribs, which is nerve issues from the manipulation of her muscles in moving them from the bone during surgery. She has also felt far more dependent on others than she would like which has frustrated her. The things we take for granted are difficult for her, but those will get better in due time. Right now, it's nearly summer, school is out, and she wants to be able to swim and go to the beach, but can't. And it will be months more before she can.

On a personal note, I sound like a broken record I know, but we are so appreciative of the calls, notes, cards, and visits Olivia has received. I can't begin to tell you how helpful it is and continues to be as we transition home and Olivia starts to heal. I hope to be back to work full time soon. In the meantime, we couldn't be doing all this without all of you.

Update 16-

June 12-
Olivia continues to heal! At just over 5 weeks from her surgery, she accomplishes new things every day, regaining the ability to do small tasks she hasn't been able to do since before her surgery. This has helped in building back her confidence! Her next goal; wading in a pool. Except for a small bit of leftover scabbing, this should happen soon. It's been hard to recover with all her friends hitting the pool or beach!

Next up will be Olivia's post op appointment in Philadelphia on July 10th!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Going home

Our hero, Dr. Samdani, with his brave patient

Update 13- 

May 23- Going home!
We head home from Philadelphia today. Olivia had her post op follow up yesterday and is cleared to fly! Dr S is pleased with her progress and says she looks good (meaning her back and its healing process). He did notice a fracture in her lower back that she's had a long time, possibly since birth, that he sees in 6% of the population; nothing to be concerned about at this point.

Olivia will be back in Philly in July for another follow up appt. In the meantime walking is encouraged and resting and eating lots of protein is needed.

We thank you for the love and good thoughts as well as the financial support we've received and continue to receive. We have needed it all. She has a long road to recovery and today is our first step home to getting there.

Update 14- 

May 27 update-
We arrived home Friday evening from Olivia's surgery. It was good to be home!

Olivia is settling in to recover and finally able to rest in her own bed. She is off of her heavy painkillers 2 weeks out from surgery! She has a great attitude about recovery and doing well.

We head to Philadelphia again in July for her 6 week follow up appointment.

Again, we thank you for your love and prayerst! We have needed it all and appreciate it more than you know!