Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Free to Run!

Yesterday we had Jacob's next follow-up appointment with the surgeon, the one where we hoped he'd get clearance to get back to all normal activities.  Just one x-ray stood between him and running, jumping, playing sports, and generally getting on with all of our lives after three months of being in a bit of a holding pattern.  And thank goodness, everything looks fine and he is free to resume all normal activities!

He is very relieved and is saying that his leg feels even better now than it did before all of this happened.  I don't know how true that is, since supposedly he shouldn't have had any symptoms of the tumor, but I suppose it's possible that there was some sort of inherent weakness, or maybe the muscles were compensating for the bone structure...or maybe he just feels like the bionic man now that he has a plate and a few screws holding his leg together!  I think he's going to love being able to run with his friends at school and especially to play at the afterschool program, where I think things were pretty dull without gym time.  This comes right in the nick of time, too, since next week is spring break and I think another week of low activity at the afterschool all-day spring break program might have driven him insane.  He hates it as it is, but February break sunk to new lows.  We can only go up from here, I think.

As a parent it's still a little scary watching him get back to his normal daredevil self.  I had to remind him countless times in the last couple weeks (as I figured I would) to calm down and take it easy, because he was starting to pick up speed, try diving lacrosse shots, and hop around on his bad leg.  I knew that it was probably fine if he felt okay, but you can't be too careful.  But even with the green light from the surgeon, watching him tumble around the driveway playing lacrosse last night (yes, it was cold) made me more nervous than ever.  I can only imagine how I'll feel when he's back out on the field playing an actual game with a dozen other kids wielding sticks.  That's what started this whole chain of events, after all.

But he needs to get back out there.  I think it will do wonders for his attitude and his overactive body parts.  His inability to sit (and sit normally, might I add) is almost disturbing at times.  He sometimes reminds me of Mork from Ork (ahhhh, Mork and Mindy), with how Mork's normal means of sitting was upside down, on his head.  He is all over the place, particularly when we're at counseling and he has his own giant armchair.  Feet on the chair, sitting sideways, knees on the floor facing the chair, head and back on the seat with his feet in the air.  It's exhausting.  He also takes to half-sitting on chair arms or tables, usually just to be near one of us, and the squirming is ridiculous.  So, my hope is that getting out some extra energy will help his body to chill out a bit at quieter times.

His leg is looking pretty good these days, a massive improvement from the day the cast came off.  The scar is large and obvious, but it's healing nicely.  His leg also seems to be regaining some of its muscle mass, but he's still got a ways to go. 

They look closer in size here than they do in person

I have no doubt it will improve a ton now that he can use it fully.  The limp is still there but minor, and again, I think it's just getting his full range of motion back, and that will come with time.

We have to go back in three months for one more x-ray.  I'm not sure how I feel about yet another x-ray on a leg that already seems to have had its fair share of irregularities--a benign tumor and an irregular mole--but I know we just want to be sure it's perfect so I will trust the doctors on this one.  But that aside, it's so nice to know we're done.  We can finally put this whole thing behind us and move forward.

Looking back on the last three months, it's been quite an experience.  We certainly had our rougher moments, but as a whole I think we made it through relatively well.  Jacob wasn't always the easiest to deal with, but I have to give him credit for being relatively manageable during a very difficult time.  Yes, he was stubborn.  Yes, post-surgery toileting and nausea were low points.  Yes, the many requests for snacks and the iPad were annoying.  But he could have whined and complained constantly about not being able to run.  He could have screamed in pain for days.  He could have refused to follow the rules after surgery.  But he did fine.  With all the issues we have with him on a daily basis, it could have been exponentially worse.  But it wasn't.  Aside from having him on crutches or crawling around, things were a lot closer to normal than I expected.  But it was still different and it was exhausting, and I am so happy it's over.  But it has been a good reminder to take things day by day, and that eventually you'll get through it.  We got through it.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled sports...

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