Mia's journey always reminds us to count our blessings first. Our most recent blessing came a few weeks ago at her last endocrinologist appointment. We were so pleased to learn she gained a couple pounds and grew about 2 inches this year!!!!! Although she continues to fall way below the curve, she is making progress. Her Hershey and Nutella diet is working wonders! Wish my diets were as successful as hers. Oh, that's right, they are! My chocolate diet successfully packs on the pounds too. If only my scale could afford to go in the same direction as hers.
Our second blessing came a few days before Halloween. Mia rode a bike for the first time! Don't get me wrong, she has been on several bikes and has tried to ride each of them, "tried" being the key word. Her short stature made it impossible to reach most trike pedals and her low muscle tone limited her ability to pedal with enough strength to propel the bike forward. Consequently, most sessions ended in frustration rather quickly. With Mia's new adaptive bike (specifically geared toward kids with physical needs similar to Mia's), not only can she ride it, she loves to ride it!!!!
Those blessings counted!
Mia's next challenge is not being counted as a blessing yet, although, we are trying to look on the bright side. Yesterday Mia's x-rays revealed no change in her scoliosis since August. That is the bright side. The not so bright side is that her curve is very significant and something seen in a 12 year old child, not a 3 year old (almost 4). Mia will eventually need surgery but her orthopaedic surgeon does not recommend surgery until after puberty due to the fact that spinal surgery limits growth. Mia does complain that her back hurts. The fact that she is complaining combined with the significance of her curve, he recommends she wear a scoliosis brace. This will hopefully help slow the progression of her curve so we can postpone surgery as long as possible. The brace is a full back brace that spans from her chest to the top of her thighs. It is to be worn 23 hours a day, everyday, until she is in her "double digits"! Yes, I said 23 hours a day and double digits. As her parents, it feel more like a sentence than a blessing. We know it is the right decision but it doesn't make it easier to accept.
Here is a picture of a brace like what she will wear. She, of course, had the opportunity to choose her own design! It will arrive Dec. 7th and I will post pictures shortly after, I'm sure!
Dave and I always say Mia is such a trooper. She takes every obstacle in stride and deals better than we do. The truth is, we know Mia will have to fight for everything she has and does in life. She has already exceeded her potential and accomplished more than most her age and even older. We often think that it doesn't seem fair. However, we also know that things could be so much worse. After all, it's just a brace. It's not invasive. It's pretty stylish. And there are children struggling everyday with graver illnesses.
So, we will continue to count our blessings first!!!!! Then complain just a little!