Thursday, May 9, 2013

The reality of spina bifida

Anna tumbled off of her bicycle Sunday afternoon while riding in the driveway and is now sporting scattered road rash across her adorable, little face.  I was sitting on the front steps at the time, reading a book and soaking up what remained of the afternoon sun.  It's a rare occurrence for me to read while watching the girls play outside but they're 6 years old now.  I should be able to do that.  Right?  I didn't see exactly what happened because the car parked in the driveway blocked my view but immediately after she fell, Anna yelled out, "Allie!"  As I ran over to her, I could see the blood covering the skin between her lip and nose.  Thankfully, she didn't knock any teeth out.

Anna blamed Allie for the accident and Allie was acting so nonchalant about the whole thing so I yelled at her.  Allie was near her when I arrived on scene but not a part of the accident herself.  In fact, I believe she was riding on her scooter at the time.  I calmed down as Anna calmed down.  I think Anna saw Allie coming towards her and jerked the handlebars to the side in an attempt to move out of the way even though Allie would have moved or stopped before reaching Anna.  I found Allie in the backyard on the swings and asked her what had happened, for her side of the story.  She told me and I believe her.  She hadn't made Anna fall on purpose.  As I suspected, she was near her and Anna turned too quickly.  I apologized for yelling at her and we walked up to where Anna was resting in the grass.  Allie leaned over and hugged her.  We had a family discussion regarding bikes in the driveway and what we can do to make it easier and safer for Anna.

Emily asked why Anna is always falling down.  It's a rhetorical question.  We all know the answer.

Riding a bike isn't easy for Anna but she can do it.  I've noticed a big improvement this year, especially now that her legs are longer.  She still has difficulties on uphills but I've been trying to teach her to adjust the pedals or climb off of her bike and adjust it so that she can keep moving on her own.  I don't want her to always have to rely on someone else for a push.  I like to talk about great Anna's doing because spina bifida can be a scary, heart wrenching condition.  She's a tough cookie and a good sport and she tries so hard.

A few days later, as her wounds began to show signs of healing, she complained of a sore throat.  It didn't look like anything to me and we suspected nasal drainage.  Seasonal allergies?  Her nose was stuffy.  The next day she said that her throat felt better but by the end of the day, she had stopped playing and eating.  Last night, she threw up a few times. Stomach virus?  Please don't let it be her shunt.  The girls had their six year well visits scheduled for this morning.  Perfect timing as we would have been calling in for an appointment otherwise.  Anna was diagnosed with strep throat.  Allie's and Emily's throats look absolutely fine.  For now.  We managed to go six years without a case of strep throat.  I'll take it over a shunt revision though.  A few doses of antibiotics and Anna will be as good as new.  Poor baby has had a rough week but she did smile when she was officially measured at 40.5 inches tall without shoes on and I told her that we would ride Big Thunder Mountain together next time we visit Disney.

* I want to note that the girls always wear their helmets when riding their bikes or their scooters, even if they are just in the driveway.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

That was such a sweet story and horray for no shunt revision and yea for Anna finally being able to ride Big Thunder Mountain. Hope you can get there soon. Just curious are Emily and Allie still taller?

Esther said...

poor little sweetheart...but yey for being .5 inches over the clearance at Disney!

oh boy, they are still so tiny!!!! do you have the other girls stats, too?

happy healing...

BreezieGirl said...

Poor Anna - hope she's feeling better soon! And yay for hitting the "tall enough to ride" milestone! :)

Sarah said...

Allie and Emily are both a bit taller. They hit 40 inches with shoes on last summer. Today Emily was 41.5 and Allie was 41 but she was standing with her feet out and her back against the wall so I think she's a bit over 41.

Jess said...

This makes me sad for Anna. Not only do things have to be more difficult for her, but she has to watch it be easier every single day for her sisters. Seems unfair. :(

Sarah said...

Jess - It is really unfair. SB is unfair. But you know what - Anna sees it in a different way. She goes out there and does what her sisters are doing and we all support her.

Kristina Angelo said...

My nephew has a type of retardation. I know it is isn't the same as SB but they are both difficulties in life. Despite his issues, he has led a very comfortable life has a great paying job and can do a lot of what other people can do. Your little one will too. It's tough now to see it. Don't give up hope.

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Keep your head up :)

Wendy said...

Aw, little sweetie. I would have yelled, too. I'm glad Anna's OK and I hope the rest of the girls don't get sore throats.

Kristina Angelo said...

You trusted them to draw on the hardwood? Haha! My husband would have killed me lol. Super cute though.

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Leslie said...

Anna is going to grow up to be so strong because of how you are raising her. We've worked with our daughter to be confident despite her disability, and I've noticed how she is more self-assured. It's nice the she has you and her sisters to raise her up! I also just read your scrapbook post and their books are so sweet.

Spina Bifida said...

It's always devastating when your child gets hurt and I would of most likely yelled as well...

Anyways I totally agree with what Leslie said. Maybe it's a good thing that you aren't watching 24/7 because you are giving her space and with that she can grow up to be stronger and more independent. Especially since Anna is going out there and playing with her sisters, I can already see the determination that she will conquer SB in her own way....