When Super-Spouse took him to the ortho specialist in August and he heard that he would be having surgery for the very first time in his life, Superhero 4 looked up at his daddy and asked, "Daddy, what's surgery?"
"Well, the doctor is first going to put you to sleep."
"Sleep?!" he cried. "I LOVE sleep!"
"And then," he proceeded, "the doctor is going to do some things to your legs while you are sleeping that will help you learn to walk."
"Walk?! Superhero 4 LOVE to walk!" he exclaimed.
"Then, when you wake up, the nurses will give you popsicles."
His eyes about bugged out of his head.
"Popsicles?! SUPERHERO 4 LOVE POPSICLES! When I get surgery?!"
Today was the sleep-enjoying, walk-anticipating, popsicle-devouring, not-quite-as-awesome-as-Christmas-morning-although-he-woke-us-up-at-5-with-his-surgery-day-announcement-like-it-was day. 🏥😴🍦
After telling his brothers all week, “Doctors gonna cut my skin off, then I watch movies — ALL the movies,” this hilarious little man spent the morning in the operating room of one of our favorite local children’s hospitals.
There, his pediatric orthopedic surgeon lengthened the hamstrings, hip adductors and hip flexors on both legs and gave him what Super-Spouse and I agree is the best opportunity for his constantly crouching little body to stand up straight and independently walk. (He currently walks on his toes and relies on his walker and crutches for any sense of mobility.)
Although this little man woke up from anesthesia slightly less enamored by this day he pictured as a Mama-Daddy popsicle party, his pain block kept him in check enough that he was easily distracted by food. (That’s what happens when the hungriest 5-year-old boy we’ve ever seen goes 15 straight hours without sustenance to prepare for surgery. The prospect of food is far greater than the notion of pain, and Pad Thai, homemade bread and hand-delivered pulled pork fixes 5-year-old life forever.)
Although the surgery itself was only about an hour and a half long, the recovery from this procedure is a tad bit longer.
Like three months longer.
Superhero 4 will be in braces and a separator pillow that holds his legs in an A-frame shape for the next two weeks like casts. (You could hear the hallelujah echo throughout the hospital when the doc let us know he went with a brace versus the cast we had already prepped ourselves to get excited about bathing around.)
After that, this little man will only wear these braces and a pillow at night.
Thank you, Lord, for giving us a recovery plan FAR easier than the worst case scenario we had prepared for following pre-op.
We are all just enamored and amazed by this tiny little warrior who has defied the odds time and time again.
Like when this hidden treasure left China as a boy with one of the two most unlikely diagnoses for adopted children — immobility and Down syndrome.
And when this boy who was documented as “cognitively delayed” learned English, conquered humor and told jokes that outwitted his father after just one year home.
And when this child who we were told may never learn to walk took his first independent steps on the floor of our home.
This indomitable, unconquerable, unbeatable superhero doesn’t know the word “can’t.”
And we’re believing that, with hamstrings and adductors and hip flexors that are now loose enough to allow the motion he needs to balance and walk, he will someday accomplish his long-time dream of beating his big brother cross country runner in a five-mile race.
Because if we’ve learned anything after two years with this little conqueror in our home, it’s that with Superhero 4, Jesus and the amazing doctors He places in our lives, anything is indeed possible.
We can’t even believe we get a front-row seat to the unfolding story. 💕