September 18, 2008

Updates on Jack / ACU Summit

Big doin's for Jack this week. Jack has been in physical and occupational therapy for 3 and a half years. He has gotten to the point where he needed a break, actually he wanted to just not go back. I called his physical therapist and talked with her about it, and she said that it was very normal for kids Jack's age to feel like they needed a break. I was thinking a couple of weeks, but she suggested 3 months. I asked her how Jack was doing as far as progress and she said that he was certainly functional and has made major strides in improvement over the summer, but that he was still behind his age benchmark. The only time this will really come into play is with team sports. We are scheduled to go back in 3 months for an evaluation that will compare his results from this week to then. If he hasn't gone backwards then he could be officially released. Jack is currently in some activities...hip hop and thai kwon do that are like mega therapy sessions as far as balance and coordination, and that was my stipulation to him that he keep participation up in each of these activities in order to take a break from therapy. He was all for it. Jack and Rob now have their Tuesday afternoons back...hooray.
Next week is ACU Lectureship now known as Summit. For the last several years I have loved attending several of the lectures. I am looking forward to heading out to the Summit.
Back to Jack, Rob and I decided to not have the plastic surgery for the right side paralysis on his face. There was a surgical procedure that would take a muscle from the inside of his leg and then through several incisions in his face, similar to face lift incisions, attach it to the inside of his facial area. There are 5 muscles on each side of our face, this muscle transplant would over time bring movement back to the middle three. That sounds like a pretty good deal, and we would all love for Jack to have his smile back, but it has several drawbacks.
The main drawback is that the bulk of the muscle adds alot of bulk to the side of his face. The pictures we saw of other children were taken over a year past the surgery and the side of their face that the procedure was on was still several times the size of the non surgical side. For ever the right side of his face would look larger than the other. His resting face right now looks absolutely perfect, it would look lopsided after the surgery. There are several other things we just thought would look better after surgery, but after seeing the pics we just felt a letdown. So we cancelled the surgery. Every day there are new procedures that are invented and there might be a better option later. Jack was fine with canceling the surgery. I continue to ask God to intervene and bring all those nerves and muscles back to life. He could heal Jack's face with no bad side effects.