It’s that time of year…..school clothes, school supplies, homework, drama practice, football games and more!!! Yes, we’ve survived back to school and it is so hard to believe that I have a Junior and a 7th grader this year!!
The first week of school my 7th grader brought home an English assignment titled “By looking at me, you would never know…..” He chose to say “By looking at me, you would never know that I have had SIX surgeries”. As we listed the six surgeries (kidney surgery, tubes twice, adenoids removed, hernia surgery and tonsil surgery), I was filled with so many memories of each one. His very first surgery was at 4 months of age to remove a blockage at his ureter and bladder. The blockage was causing complications with his right kidney. The OB/GYN found the blockage when I was 32 weeks pregnant when the ultrasound showed that his right kidney was shaped more like a baseball than a kidney bean! After researching I found the best doctor to do the surgery on our tiny little baby boy. As confident as we felt in our doctor, it was very painful to turn my little baby over to the team to be put under anesthesia and operated on. The surgery was successful and after he healed, we found that he had a lot of tummy weakness from his incision. They cut him across the front of his stomach in order to reach his bladder (like a c-section scar). We immediately enrolled him in the Easter Seals Infant Program because he needed physical therapy to strengthen his stomach muscles so that he could crawl. Once he started crawling, he has never slowed down since!!
We continued on with the other surgeries with the last one being in 5th grade. Due to the numerous surgeries and doctor’s appointments, he developed extreme anxiety. We had to work with a therapist for several years to help him overcome the fears that he felt.
My heart smiled as I read how he ended his paper for school. “All of my surgeries have taught me how to face life’s challenges. Enjoy every day as you never know what life will bring you.” What an inspirational and strong young man he has become!
Dena Day, Infant Program Director