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Teenager Documents Journey with Cerebral Palsy

We are excited to welcome Katharine as a Mary Free Bed Guest Blogger. She came to Mary Free Bed for rehabilitation following a complicated surgery to correct her gait. Kat is blogging about this experience, and she is allowing us to share her thoughts with you.

My Story.

Hi!

My name is Katharine, and I created this blog to share my story. I was born with minor cerebral palsy and am going to undergo a major surgery to help improve my situation. My CP is minor. In fact, although I wasn’t supposed to, I am typing this. That’s right.

When my mother was pregnant with me, she and I got extraordinarily sick from food poisoning that led to listeriosis, a deadly disease. I was due on November 26. Instead, I was born on September 26, at 3 pounds 11 ounces. I wasn’t breathing.

After staying in the neonatal ICU for a month, I was able to go home, in doll clothes. People doubted my abilities, but I proved them wrong (or my mom sent them out of the house…)

I went through preschool, young fives, and first grade in braces, but I didn’t care. I liked picking out the colors.

Throughout my life, because of the CP, I have had issues with my left leg. I can’t wiggle my toes, and my left foot sure as heck doesn’t look normal. Hopefully this surgery can help change that.

The surgery I will be having is called a femoral rotational osteotomy. If you don’t speak doctor, I’ll simplify. The doctors are going to cut my femur, rotate it, and secure it with a metal rod that goes from my hip to the base of my knee. They are going to fix some muscles in my calf, and reconstruct my foot with cadaver bone. In all, I will have seven scars. What a lucky number!

After that, I will be spending four to five days in the hospital, and after that I will be spending six to eight weeks at my new house. That’s right, we’re moving amidst all of this. Then I will be going to inpatient rehab for six to eight weeks. My recovery will last all summer.

I’ve got a week to go until my surgery, and am growing increasingly apprehensive. It’s sure to help me in the long run, but it will nonetheless be a very painful experience. I’m trusting my family and my faith to get me through it (plus some seriously good painkillers.)

This experience is sure to change my life. I want to use this experience to provide insight into the life of a typical girl, who has had to go through some atypical things. These experiences have shaped me into who I am, and will help mold me into the (hopefully) successful woman I will be.

Feel the Love

This is really overdue, but:

Hi all,

I just am so amazed at all the positive feedback I’ve been receiving. I feel so incredibly blessed to know that so many people are there for me. It’s given me so much encouragement, and I appreciate it.

The six hours of surgery went very well. Albeit a lot of apprehension about the general anesthesia, it turned out great. I didn’t feel a thing!

I have a light blue cast and bandages up my leg. I spent 5 days at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital (which is just amazing, by the way.) I had a lot of great medicine, and a lot of visitors. I’m not sure if I was exactly coherent for some of the visits, but they nonetheless made my stay much more enjoyable. My nurses were nice, and I knew they really cared about my well being. The hospital colorful, and clean, and I felt very safe there. They spared no expense, and that is evident. Its rooms are very spacious, filled with patterns and colors. My stay was a good one.

I went home on June 1st, to an inflatable mattress in my now-empty dining room (we’re moving and mom sold the dining room set, so it’s actually pretty comfortable. I slept for most of the day the day I came home and yesterday. Today is the day that I was really up and active. Not technically up, but you know what I mean.

Overall, what I would like to say is THANK YOU. Every single one of the people who have prayed, sent me messages, thought of me, followed my blog, or just have given me encouragement in any way, that’s really what’s kept me going. That and modern technology. 🙂 I give thanks to God everyday for what he has given me.

Hugs and kisses,

Kat.

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