Surgery’s Dark Valley

Since getting Sweet G’s diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy 6 + years ago we have been aware that he would most likely someday face surgery. When children have big growth spurts at around 2, 4, 6 years old they are at risk for developing contractures (fancy word for bones grow faster than muscle and tendons) causing them to loose range of motion in their joints.Last week we made a trip to the neurologist thinking we would schedule Botox injections. But the doctor feels that it may be time for orthopedic surgery. We still have to go see the Orthopedic Surgeon to see what he thinks but I find myself becoming fearful. We have tried to keep Sweet G stretched regularly but after our last doctor’s visit I can’t help feeling that I didn’t do enough; didn’t give it my all.
I stopped by during G’s physical therapy last week to see what his therapist thinks about his treatment and she agreed that it may be time for surgery. When I asked her how bad it is going to be she said, “It won’t be easy, but we will get through it.” Code words for it is going to be 3-6 weeks of living hell.

I absolutely love G’s doctors and especially his therapists that have treated him over the years. His therapists have been friends, encouragers, confidants, shoulders to cry on, cheerleaders, and our only guidance in dark and scary times. They seem to know just what to say and how to say it so that I can accept whatever it is we are about to face. God has blessed us with the best of the best and I am so thankful for each of them.

On the same day I talked to his PT I also talked to his Speech Therapist about this strange new speech issue that G is having. I was not sure if it was a phase he was going through which he thought was cute or if it was something we should be concerned with. When I asked her she said that she had noticed it and had talked to his other therapist who all were concerned. She also talked to G about what is happening and feels that he is not aware of what he is doing so it isn’t intentional. Yet another hurdle for us to face.

I know that God is in control. He allowed G to have the condition that he has to the exact extent that he is affected by it. He could have much more involvement or much less involvement. Either way I think it would somehow be easier. But God put him right smack in the middle. G has so much possible potential yet so many limitations. He is affected in all parts of his body, his legs being the most affected. He can eat but is at risk of choking. He has use of his hands but does not have the fine motor skills necessary for writing. He can walk but it will probably never be a functional means of mobility for him in most situations. His speech is affected and scores only slightly below normal on a good day.

Middle of the road. It is a good place to be but it is also a very hard place to be. It reminds me of the Christian walk. God wants us to walk on the narrow path He has placed us on. Sounds easy enough but we have weak flesh that draws us to the edge of the path giving us the desire to take another way. It would be easier to live without temptation and walk unaffected by the struggles of life, or even to be completely disobedient and go in the direction we want doing what feels good at the time. But as Christians we must walk down the middle of the road. God will not remove our temptations and I personally am not willing to just walk away. So, as hard as it is we walk down the middle of the road, keeping our eyes on Jesus knowing that He is in control. When things are scary like they are now I can’t take my eyes off my Jesus for fear I will fall.  I just keep walking and trust that He who holds the world in His hands is able to lead us through this journey called Cerebral Palsy.

G’s favorite song right now is “We Will Remember”. Our choir sang it for him today after he requested it from the soloist, the pastor, and finally the music minister. I love the whole song but here is a short exerpt that fits where I am in my walk tonight.

When we walk through life’s darkest valleys

We will look back at all You have done

And we will shout our God is good

And He is the faithful one

Thank you Lord for walking with us through the valleys of life.

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