One In a Million Blessings

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Update Time

Well I guess it's safe to say that no one should expect to get frequent updates from me. I apologize for being a sub-par blogger. I think about blogging a lot, but that's usually as far as I get. 

So, here I sit, attempting to catch you up on what's been happening on our end for the past three months...because it has been THAT LONG since I posted!

Last time we chatted, Elijah was being fitted for his prosthetic. At that time he was just starting to figure out how the whole crawling thing worked. My oh my, how life has changed since then!!

Within days of having his new leg Elijah was crawling all over the place, as if he'd been doing it for forever; within weeks he was regularly bearing weight in the standing position (something he had never experienced until October); about a month ago he began pulling himself up to a stand, and he is now cruising all over our house, using tables, chairs, and anything else he can reach to help steady himself.

{I have been trying, for the last hour, to insert a video here of him walking across our living room pushing my laundry basket, but my technological brilliance has once again gotten the better of me. So, use your imagination. It's a super cute video.}

Our little guy is amazing us every single day.

So, what now, you ask? Now we move on to his hands.

As a quick recap, Elijah was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome (ABS). Not only did this cause congenital amputation of his lower left leg, but it also caused malformation of his fingers. (Fancy-schmancy lingo to basically state that he was born without his lower left leg, and his three middle fingers on each hand are shortened and fused together.)

As you can see, Elijah has both thumbs, a full pinky on the left hand, and the majority of his pinky on the right. It's a little hard to tell from this picture, but the left hand has three defined fingers that are shortened (due to a band) and fused together; the right hand is more like a large lump of skin in the middle of the thumb and pinky. While he is extremely functional with his hands, we couldn't help but think that having five separate digits would increase his functionality.  

So this past week we traveled to St. Louis and met with a team of surgeons and therapists who just so happen to specialize in cases such as this. Up to this point we had no clue of the bone structure in Elijah's hands, which meant we had no idea what options, if any, were available for him.

After lots of x-rays and testing from many different specialists, the team was able to determine that Elijah's left hand is the perfect candidate for a finger separation surgery that should result in five functional fingers. We won't know for sure until surgery, but it appears that Eli's index finger has the lower two joints, which means he will have all but the tip of this finger, while the middle and ring finger will most likely be a bit shorter than that.

Surgery has been scheduled for later this spring. I assure you that we did not come to this decision lightly or quickly. We are very much aware that there are risks involved. We have talked about, prayed about, and researched this for months. I have talked with adults and teenagers born with ABS, as well as parents of children who have had the same or very similar surgeries. 

We are convinced that this is the best possible option for Elijah. We covet your prayers and support as we take off on our newest adventure. 

Eli is a tough little man, and I have no doubt in my mind that he will continue to defy the odds.