Monday, June 30, 2008

Surgery Date

We received a nice surprise today. We received the phone call to schedule Sophie Wei's Surgery and Pre-Operation Appointment. We were thinking that we would be waiting a week or two so this was nice.

Her surgery will be on Wednesday September 10th, 2008.

Her Pre-Operation surgery will be Friday August 29th, 2008.

We were a little bummed that they could not due it in August since we both have the time off from work and now we both have to use sick days, etc. but I am sure there is a good reason for this to all be working out this way. They told us this was the first available time.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Longer CNN Video

Another version of Sophie Wei's Story(click to view.)

Today another version of Sophie Wei's story was on CNN International. Since we do not have that channel or do any of our friends and family my friend A. will be sending us a copy of the longer version. Not sure if this is it but I just found it on their web site???

We are SO blessed for Sophie Wei to have this and for her friends Kyung, S. M. and A. We can't wait for some day to get you all together again.

We love you guys!!!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hettinger Girls

Hettinger Girls stopped by for a visit, brought us a yummy pot roast for dinner and our girls adore THEM!!

The are have a blast on their vacation in Florida and I miss them! Today is Nixon's birthday. She called me to tell me she just ran into Hulk Hogan and his daughter Brooke going into Chili's Restaurant. WOW! Every time they are down their they see someone famous.

Nixon, Sophie Wei and Reagan. (With Jeni below.)

When I took this photo Rick said, "look Sophie is almost as big as Reagan!" It was funny because both Sophie Wei and Reagan are small. They look so cute together.
Sophie Wei was loving giving Reagan kisses!!! These photos crack me up.

Sophie Wei's facial expressions are priceless.

Nixon wanted to bring us some flowers. I love these.
After they left we gave the girls a bath. Sophie Wei has been soooooo good for bath time because Simone is not a fan of water while Sophie Wei loves to splash!!! Due to all of Simone's ear problems she is very protective of her ears and still when she gets her ears under water she gets clogged up. Sophie Wei has helped Simone not be so afraid. Simone now lets us wash her hair and then use the sprayer to rinse!!!! So much easier than the way we have been doing it. Needless to say bath time is easier now a days.

Here are the girls below after bath time in their PJ's.
Simone's hair is changing. We just had Janet trim it before we left for China and it is getting a little fuller.

Sophie Wei's hair is thick and their is a lot of it, just like mine. Her hair also likes to go forward towards the face.

One decided to do their top this way and then the other one had to copy!! Go figure.
I know this photo below is washed out but I love it because her is Sophie Wei again with her personality while she is running.
I love our life!! What a blessing each day is!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Tenative Medical Plan

(This photo was taken on our last day in China, June 19th. After things settle down I will finish posting about our trip and you will see more of these photos. I thought these two photos were fitting for this post.)

Today we met with Sophie Wei's Pediatric Orthapetic Surgeon and his Intern who is studying under him. We felt so comfortable with both of them!! What a blessing. My friend Melissa has been sharing with me about how important it is that you feel comfortable with your child's doctor so we are blessed that things went well today and maybe Rick and I can get some sleep! I went to bed at two am last night and not sure when I finally drifted off to sleep. Rick also has not been sleeping.

Simone got to stay with her Auntie Rachel today. She enjoyed playing with Lauren and Jake. Then Tammy (my friend from college) came over with her daughters Grace and new born baby girl Mei. Simone had a blast with them all and was smiling on the way home.

The doctors spent around 1.5 hours with us and we felt NO RUSH! The hardest part was the traffic on the way home, it took us an hour to reach Rachel's when it sho
uld be around 25 minutes - 30 minutes.

Things went well from the start. Traffic was light, we walked right in, checked in, paid the co-pay and then they came out to call us in. Went in talked with the Nurse and met the Doctors real quick. Then we were sent down to take an x-ray.

As the x-ray machine started to move in the quite room, I hear, click click grrr. I duck my head and the sound of it moving started to make my tummy sick and I was doing every thing to hold back my tears as Sophie Wei's eyes start to tear up as she reached both hands out to me so I could pick her up but could not. She then assumed her position, sucking on her two fingers.

When when we arrived back in the Doctors exam room and while looking at the x-ray that they had just taken of Sophie the doctor starts to explain what is going

Sophie Wei has a hip dislocation, also known as Hip Dysplasia. Here is one good web site I found with great information and here is another.

She will have done:
1. Open reduction (bikini line opening),
2. Femur reduction (cutting the femur bone and attaching it to the pelvis to help repair the flat shelf) and

3. Pemberton Osteotomy

I start crying as soon as he started talking about cutting the femur bone on her right leg and using that to repair the shelf lip fold on her pelvis. One of the doctors hands me a tissue and then she handed the box to Rick. Then I needed to sit down, put Sophie Wei in my lap and then she reminds me that she wants her own spot on the chair in between Rick and I. He continues to say that the femur bone will regrow. If there still is a big difference in limb lengths then we could shorten the longer femur or use inserts but that is a decision for way down the road.
He also said that it is easier to deal with a limb difference than not having a hip that does not work. (I had quick flash backs of what I learned in Anatomy and Physiology Class, understanding what he is talking about and recognizing most words but at the same time thinking, this is happening to our little girl and she has been through so much already.) There will also be some other considerations once he gets in there but these are the big ones.

He said he is not sure if he will do her tendon surgery in her calf as well but will know more and most likely will do it so she will not need another surgery.

He also gave us information to contact the Prosthetics and Orthotics company. He ordered her Denis Brown Bar and shoes so we can continue with her club feet treatment. We have an appointment set up for July 8th to get fitted for that. We hope that our insurance will cover this because it is a durable medical piece of equipment. We of course will still get it even if it is not covered.

Here are some of the things we learned about Sophie Wei's condition from her doctors:

  • Congenital hip abnormalities are higher in girls, more common in the left foot and Sophie Wei's is the right which is not normally seen.
  • Can be from being born in the breech position.
  • He eased our minds that she should not be in any pain as for now.
  • On the top of the femur there is a ball and that has not developed normally and it is very important that she has this fixed to help reduce severe problems later in life for example arthritis.
  • The top of her femur does not fit into her hip socket.
  • He will know more about the tendons and ligaments once he is in surgery.
  • He noticed the way she walks and Rick talked with him about how stiff she when she first gets up to walk after sitting down.
  • She will have a full body cast on. From the chest down, full right leg and half left. There will be an area left open to go to the bathroom. Not sure who the diaper will work but he did say that for kids that are potty trained parents have not had problems, only one did.
  • She will be in the hospital for at least three days.
  • We will be at a different location for the surgery which we feel very comfortable where it is, up on the Hill at Dornbeckers!
They will be calling us in a around two weeks for surgery. Tentatively the surgery will be in four to six weeks, that is the first opening. She will be in a full body cast for six weeks. No therapy right away because she needs to remain stiff for a while to keep the healing going and then therapy.

Today was also a very big day for our good friend Mike.

We were unable to attend his change of command ceremony due to it being out of town but we are SO HAPPY for his new position. He is going to be in charge of a very prestigious Motor Life Boat School for the US Coast Guard. We know you will miss running your station on down on the coast and we will miss traveling down there to see you and the pottery place but it will be so sweet for you guys to go back home for a while! Just think where the Russell's began.

Thanks Mike for all that you do for our Country and we are so PROUD OF YOU!! xoxo

So thankful for the Amundson's for bringing us over dinner yesterday for today! Once again we are so blessed with the support of our friends and family. Thanks everyone for the emails and comments. We do appreciate and read them all. We are just having a hard time keeping up with the reply's.

Time for me to go to sleep.

As I go to bed tonight I pray for Sophie Wei's health and her continued transition in a positive direction, her bonding with our family, for Simnon's transition/adjustment and for Rick & I to have the strength to remain positive and provide a healthy environment for Sophie Wei and Simone so they do not sense our worries about this procedure, to live for today and enjoy every moment.

So for now I will continue to get caught on blogging about our trip to China but after that I be putting my camera away for a while and take a brake from blogging so I can just enjoy our family.

I will still be posting home updates and medical updates but less photos and entry's. We really do appreciate everyones prayers and find great comfort in reading other friends blogs.

I feel that I need more sleep and I usually blog after everyone has gone to bed. I also need to devote more time to my work outs. I was doing so good the past few months thanks to motivation from my friend Beth and fellow school friends but a few weeks before we went to China my progress halted. At the time I was OK with it because so MUCH had to be done but I need to get back on track!!

Yesterday and the day before was my first day back running and I could barely do three miles. I started watching the timer at twelve minutes and had to turn my speed way down. Honestly I find huge comfort in eating during stressful times but when I am working out it keeps my focus on healthy eating in check. I also benefit greatly in the results from the exercise and sleep better which I need a lot of that now.

I am also reflecting back on the verse that I found on Shanas(click here for her blog) blog, Remembering that God is in control and we are so thankful for him:

Come to me and rest in my loving presence. You know that this day will bring difficulties, and you are trying to think your way through those trials. As you anticipate what is ahead of you, you forget that I am with you - now and always. Rehearsing your troubles results in experiencing them many times, whereas you are meant to go through them only when they actually occur. Do not multiply your suffering in this way! Instead, come to me and relax in my peace. I will strengthen you and prepare you for this day, transforming your fear into confident trust. (Matthew 11:28-30; Joshua 1:5, 9)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Spillane Cousins

Our Cousins Zack and Danny! (Zack was born on my 30th Birthday!!! On the 27th of this month he turns 4 and I turn 34. He is my Birthday Bud and I am so lucky to share a Birthday with him!! IT is so special since his Dad is one of my favorite cousins!! )
Sophie Wei loves to play on our old cell phones.
I love the messy mirror in the play room. I can not keep it clean!!! Seeing all the hand prints and kisses on it remind me of how much fun they are having in there!

Simone and Sophie Wei are wearing their new outfits from their cousins: Pat, Liz, Zack and Danny.
We spent the afternoon this day hanging out in our back yard. Sophie Wei does not like to walk on grass!! Simone did not either when she was little.

We also purchased new shoes for Sophie Wei at Nordstrom. My friend Becca told me that Nordstrom will sell you two different sized shoes. We are so happy to find this out because they will do it for ANY BRAND for anyone that has a medical issue. They were so good with us and brought out so many different pairs of shoes. We ended up with this strudy Stride Right shoe. (The specialist asked us to make sure we do not get her shoes where her feet will get banged up and try to protect her feet so she does not have scabs for surgery.) She told us not to always rely on this brand for Sophie Wei because they are normally wider, it just happens that this shoe was not. NORDSTROM you are the best and thanks for doing this for so many people.

I love this photo of Simone and Lew even though it is blurry. Simone loves playing with Lew and he has settled down now that he is back from the Watson Training Camp. Sophie Wei is still affraid of him.
Up, all done!
How did we ever get so lucky :O)

The girls are starting to get closer and allowing each other into their personal space.
Sophie Wei really looks up to Simone already and copy's every thing she does.
Time to Mess Around.