Friday, July 10, 2015

Eliza Grace, the Brave - Part 1

When she was seven, Eliza Grace's awesome pediatrician noticed a slightly higher right shoulder during her yearly check up. Since that time we have closely watched for signs of scoliosis and had her checked by a specialist every year.

In January 2015 we went for her yearly check and her bigger curve had actually improved from 22 degrees to 19 degrees, so we were very encouraged.

However, I had done enough research to know that if things were going to go bad, it would happen during puberty and it would happen fast.  

And it did.

In May 2015, Eliza Grace began to complain of shoulder pain for the first time. While massaging her back I noticed that her right shoulder was not just a little raised but that she had a full fledged hump.

By the time we got to the specialist in early June, things had progressed to this:
Her thoracic curve had jumped to 42 degrees and her lumbar curve was 32 degrees.  Within minutes after viewing the new x-rays the doctor informed us that she would need surgery to correct the curve in her spine.  Without the surgery, she risked continued curvature that would eventually deform her ribs and her spine would compress her heart and lungs.

This was a pretty scary announcement for Eliza Grace and me both. After some tears and a lot of questions, Eliza Grace decided that she wanted to have the surgery as soon as possible.  

We had a full couple of weeks of camps lined up before school started in early July, so we had to work around those.  She also wanted to have time to heal before our big vacation to Hawaii which was scheduled for September.  

She was so very, very brave, asking all the right questions and making her decision based upon some really sound judgement.

It just so happened - and because of God's grace - that the doctor was available on June 29 to do the surgery.

On the drive home from the surgeon's office, Eliza Grace, in typical fashion, began to process all this in her very logical and philosophical manner. 

In the end, she decided that this was something that she had to do for her long term health, that people deal with way scarier - and more lethal - health related problems and that she would simply have to deal with it.

She was the very definition of courage: being afraid of something but, rather than letting it paralyze her, she faced it head on and with determination.

Proud does not even begin to describe how we feel about her.  More like in awe.

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