"He is there not only when we cry out from the burden of sin but also when we cry out for any other reason." -Bruce D. Porter

Friday, February 21, 2014

They're Gone!

Dane had his ex-fix device removed today! He went under general anesthesia to have them removed. Because the bone hasn't healed as well as hoped, Dane will be in a cast for the next three weeks. 

Dane is a little droopy right now, but i did get him to smile for the above picture! Isnt Dane's new shoe so awesome?!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Snow Accident (WARNING: graphic images from injury)

There is that often heard question many people ask: Why do bad things happen to good people?  I know God is watching out for us, and when I come across quotes or stories that try to answer my previous asked question, I record it and keep it close to my heart.

"The Lord’s guidance and instruction are essential. He helped the faithful brother of Jared by solving one of his two challenges when He told him how to get fresh air into the barges that had been faithfully built (see Ether 2:20). But, pointedly, the Lord not only left temporarily unsolved the challenge of how to provide light, but He then made it clear that He, the Lord, would allow the buffetings and trials that necessitated its solving. He it would be who would send forth the winds, the rains, and the floods (see Ether 2:23–24).
Why would He do that? And why does He warn any of us to remove ourselves from a source of danger when He could simply stop the danger from happening? President Wilford Woodruff told the story of being spiritually warned to move the carriage that he, his wife, and child slept in, only to discover that a whirlwind shortly thereafter uprooted a large tree and dropped it exactly where the carriage had previously stood (see Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff [2004], 47).
In both of these instances, the weather could have been adjusted to eliminate the dangers. But here is the point—rather than solve the problem Himself, the Lord wants us to develop the faith that will help us rely upon Him in solving our problems and trust Him. Then we can feel His love more constantly, more powerfully, more clearly, and more personally. We become united with Him, and we can become like Him. For us to be like Him is His goal. In fact, it is His glory as well as His work (see Moses 1:39)." -Elder Terence Vinson October 2013 General Conference 
Dane has gone through a lot these past few months.  While he is having to endure all the pain and suffering, watching him go through this can be difficult.  It is easy to ask, why didn't God protect him? But more important is to remember that we live in an imperfect world with imperfect people. Bad things will happen, they certainly will! Sometimes through our own actions and sometimes through no fault of our own.  God wants us to turn to him, to ask for His help to endure the sufferings.  I know all experiences in life can be for our strengthening and growth, if we allow them and turn to God.

The following summary of Dane's accident was taken from my family's newlsetter:

"On Friday, Todd and Aaron decided to take all the kids up to Cloudcroft to go tubing. Angela and Barrett and Matt and I had gone up to Foothills park to walk the dogs and take Barrett’s dad, Papa Hartley, out for a little walk. Right as we get out of the truck Emily calls me and tells me that Dad thinks Dane broke his leg. At first I was like, ok, that’s nice, I guess they are coming back now. Then I call them back and Kate answers and was pretty upset. This is when I start to get a little more worried. Now I’m hearing stories of blood and ambulances. We decide to end our walk as Papa Hartley is getting tired. On the way back to mom and dad’s I find out that Dane and Elvis are going to be taken to Gerald Champion by ambulance. We drop Papa Hartley off at mom and dad’s and Barrett and Angie take me to the hospital. Barrett needed to head back to Big Springs, so when I saw an ambulance arrive, I thought it was Dane, so I said goodbye and went into the hospital. It wasn’t Dane and Elvis! So I went outside to wait because the ER waiting room was packed! As soon as I came out, Mom and Matt arrived. We stood outside and waited for the ambulance. We visited with Elvis’s mom and his dad and grandma. Finally the boys arrived, they were in the same ambulance. They took Elvis in first, so I got in the ambulance with Dane. Poor guy! He had been given some morphine for pain, but he was still in pain and out of it at the same time! It is funny to think of now, but I know it wasn't funny to him then! Todd and Aaron and Angie all arrived behind the ambulance. Dane was taken in to a room in the ER and they started examining him and asking questions. I was getting a little nauseous so I had to step out into the hall and sit for a bit while everything was being explained. 
Todd and Dane and Elvis had decided to do a three person train down the hill one last time before heading home. There was this tree to the side of the run, but Todd had been able to keep the kids from hitting it by pushing them away as they came down and building up a snow bank in front of it. They also figured out the best place t start at the top of the hill to avoid the tree altogether. Well, on this particular run, things didn't go as planned. Dane and Elvis were behind Todd in the train and began to turn, going a different direction than they were supposed to. As soon as Todd realized what was happening, he got rid of his tube keeping a hold of the boys, hoping that the weight and drag of his body would slow them down enough so they wouldn't hit the tree. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough. They must have been going at a very fast pace, as Dane hit the tree with his leg and busted the tibia in half and through the skin and cracked the fibula. 

Elvis broke his forearm and had some internal injuries, bruising his spleen and lacerating his liver. As Todd assessed the boys, he originally thought Dane was ok, and was more worried about Elvis. Someone had called for a first responder and they showed up and started assessing the situation. Todd and one of the first responders were going to splint Dane’s leg (they knew it was broke because he was in so much pain), but as they lifted his leg to get a splint under, they saw blood on the snow and knew it was more serious than they thought. So they cut off his pants and boot and at first were going to stop the bleeding with just some gauze and pressure. But after realizing how much pain Dane was in, Todd asked for a tourniquet, and together they got the tourniquet on his leg and stopped the bleeding. By now they decided to call an ambulance. It took them awhile to figure out how they were going to transport the two boys, but in the end they put them both in the same ambulance. At the hospital in Alamogordo, we were told that they weren’t able to get a hold of the orthopedic surgeon that worked there, so they would be transporting Dane to El Paso. Since Matt was going to be taking Mom to the airport so she could fly out to Rhonda’s, I decided to head out with them then so I could get to the hospital in El Paso as soon as possible so Dane wouldn’t be alone for too long. He would be going by Helicopter. As I was leaving, Dane was being taken to get some x-rays done. By now, he was really doped up on medicine and I heard him tell the x-ray tech, “My leg doesn’t hurt anymore.” I chuckled on the way out, happy that he wasn’t in anymore pain. As I was walking out, I had forgotten that all the kids were still outside waiting! We took Angela’s two boys back to mom’s with us and had Denise go back to the hospital and pick up Kate, Emily, and Elizabeth. Denise was so kind to make dinner for everyone and help hold down the fort until we got things settled! Matt, Mom, Dad, and I all drove to El Paso together. 

Dane's helicopter is the tiny white light in the sky!
On the way there, we watched Dane’s helicopter fly by! Todd sent us pictures of the x-ray and the original wound. I never saw what it looked like before the surgery, I couldn’t look at it. Todd was so great being able to handle it all. We dropped mom off at the airport and headed to El Paso Children’s Hospital, which wasn’t too far away. We parked and finally found out where we needed to go. As we entered the ER waiting room there, it was so packed that I am not sure there was a seat to sit in! As I inquired on Dane, I was told that only one person was allowed to go back. Since I didn’t know how long it would be, and there were so many sick people in the waiting room, Dad and Matt decided just to head back home. That was probably the best thing to do, I couldn’t believe how many people were there! I was taken back to see Dane, and he was still pretty out of it. He was in no pain and dozing in and out of sleep. I met with the doctor right away and he explained that Dane would be going into surgery to have his leg splinted from the outside, he called it an external fixation device. He reassured me that this was much better than having hardware put inside of him, so I agreed and shortly thereafter we were being wheeled upstairs to begin prep for surgery. I met the surgeon and anesthesiologist and Dane went into surgery at about 9:30 that evening. 

About an hour and a half later it was all finished and I went back to see Dane. He seemed to handle coming out of the anesthesia real well. We got him up to his room and he was ready to keep sleeping! It was a rough night for me as nurses and doctors kept coming in up until about 2 in the morning asking questions and doing things, but Dane slept well. As all the drugs began to wear off, Dane was starting to feel the pain. Poor guy. Todd drove up that morning and brought Aaron and Angie up so they could visit Elvis. Dane was ready to be released later that afternoon, I was very happy to head back to Alamo. Dane was bit apprehensive about leaving the hospital, I think he was still having some anxiety about the whole experience." (Januray 2014)

Getting ready to leave the hospital.
Up and out of bed the morning after surgery.

What the ex-fix device looks like.

The backward S shaped scar. 

When we returned from Alamogordo we followed up with our orthopedic surgeon at Brooke's Army Medical Center. Dane had the stitches removed and the x ray showed things looked good.  But things started to get worse than better after this.  The pain Dane was experiencing never seemed to get better, in fact as time went on, it seemed like the pain was only getting worse. Two weeks after his stitches had been removed, something strange appeared at the incision site.  The skin felt very thin and it was blueish underneath.  I thought nothing too much of it, thinking it was all part of injury and bruising that had taken place a month earlier.  Then, on a Saturday afternoon, the skin erupted! It was kind of a scary thing to see happen, as I had no idea what was going on.  Todd decided that it probably was an infection, and that it was just draining.  We were hoping it was just an infection of the incision, and nothing more.  Dane was not showing signs of a more serious infection, no redness in the leg at all, no fever, and besides the pain he was in, Dane didn't feel sick.  We are blessed that Todd has the medical background that he does.  He just packed the wound and kept it clean.  We had a pre-op appointement with the orthopedic surgeon in just a few days and would wait to see what his opinion would be.
At Dane's appointment, the surgeon examined the abscess that had formed on Dane'e leg.  At first there wasn't much concern about it, perhaps the doctor felt that it was just an infected incision as well.

"So Dane was taken for x-rays to see how the bone was healing inside.  The doctor and his colleagues came in to
discuss what was going on. The x-ray showed that
the bone wasn't healing properly. That and the
infected incision was concerning to the doctors,
although they were a little surprised that Dane wasn't
showing any other signs, like fever, sickness, and
redness. So they decided that they needed to open up
the site where the bone broke through the skin to see
how far the infection was and what it was doing to the
bone. The doctors decided it needed to be done the
next day (Wed. January 29th). So the next day we
brought Dane to the hospital at 11 a.m. to start prepping
Waiting for surgery #2!
for surgery. His surgery was suppose to commence at 2:30, but due to complications in the surgery just before him, Dane didn't go back until 5! Poor guy, he'd been without food and water all day, but he was hanging in there and not complaining! About an hour later, the doctor comes out and tells Todd what they had found. The infection was all through the incision, but it did not look like it had reached the bone. The doctor performed some tests on the bone and it appeared to be healing and that it was strong. They did do a culture at the site of the new bone growth to see if the infection had reached the bone and what the culprit might be.The plan for now was to keep Dane in the hospital for the next two days on IV antibiotics to treat the infection and wait to see what the cultures revealed. Dane was so drugged up this time around that we had to keep reminding him to take a breathe! He would wake up and talk to us, then drift off back to sleep and his oxygen sats would drop down to 80 and we'd have to tell him, "Take a deep breathe, Dane." He just wanted to sleep when we got to his room, so the nurse put oxygen on him until the medications wore off and he
could hold oxygen sats on his own. His stay was pretty
boring, although Dane was very happy not to have to go to school and that he had unlimited access to the iPad! Friday morning the doctors told Todd that the cultures done at the site of the bone came back positive for Staph. So even though it didn't look like it had reached the bone, it actually had. At first the doctors thought that they would have to place a PICC line (longer lasting IV site) so Dane could be treated for the infection intravenously. They consulted with the Infectious Disease doctors and the ID doctors said the strain of Staph that Dane had was treatable with oral medications. We were so relieved to hear this! Dane was able to come home that afternoon." (TTT, family newsletter February 2014)

So nice skipping school to hang out at the hospital and play the iPad all day!

So now it is three weeks later.  Dane is scheduled to have the ex-fix removed in the morning.  He was pain free for the first week after the second surgery.  Then for five days he was in the same pain he had experienced before surgery.  We were like, oh great, what's happening now?!  But after the fifth day, the pain disappeared and he has been pain free ever since.  It has been a roller coaster for sure!