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Category: Family Moments (Page 1 of 3)

Max’s scoliosis journey — recovery

Well finally getting around to an updated blog post. What a year! Max’s surgery went wonderfully overall but it was a rough time for him poor guy. He was in the operating room for about 8 hours.


The staff at All Children’s Hospital in St Petersburg were great though and kept coming out every hour or so to update us. He ended up with 36 screws and two rods in his back. They took out the stabilizer bones and ground those up with cadaver bone then pasted that over the screws. This is now growing into new bone and fusing the rods and screws. During surgery he had all kinds of electrodes on him with people constantly checking to make sure the screws didn’t hit any nerves in his spinal column. The precision was incredible.


We had been warned he would look very rough when he came out because he had been on his stomach all that time so his face was very swollen. But no matter what the warning, seeing your baby look like that is just horrible. He was in a lot of pain but had an entire team of doctors whose job during his 6 days in the hospital was to focus on keeping the pain at a minimum. He was on such massive amounts though it created various secondary issues so of course more medication for that. Poor kid.


I stayed with him the entire time and he had other family members coming and going. Now of course he cannot remember much of anything about the stay (thanks to meds) which is really a good thing given the pain.


His doctor has claimed he is now scoliosis and kyphosis free. It was hard to do but they managed to shift his entire body to be straight. He looks fantastic and the scar is rapidly healing. The three month check up was all good and we are almost ready for his six month one. Some limitations to his activity but basically he is almost back to regular life.


The process has been hard but Max is incredible. He has so much inner strength that we were all in awe of him. He met many things with a smile (sometimes more of a grimace) and tried to keep up his positive attitude. We are all truly blessed to have such an amazing son/brother/grandson.


Max’s Scoliosis Journey

Well we left Dubai at the end of January to return back to Florida because of our worries about Max’s back. In May, 2014 he was diagnosed with scoliosis and prescribed a Boston Brace which was made in a tiny little shop on a side street of Dubai. The brace was very heavy and rather archaic (and expensive) and he really could not sit or live life in it and was supposed to have this on for 23 hours a day.
So after researching options, we headed back to the US for another opinion. There however they discovered his curvature had gone from low 30s to 47% plus he has kurtosis. The doctors at All Children’s Hospital (a part of Johns Hopkins) immediately said there was no option but surgery and he was scheduled in for April 23.
So now two days before that, we are trying to get all the pre-op appointments out of the way. His cardiology appointment has left questions and we have to go back tomorrow (hours before surgery) for another test plus visit with doctor. We do not know yet what that is going to uncover but hope it won’t delay surgery or be anything serious.
With Max’s permission. we are putting pictures of his back onto the blog so that he can remember what it looked like and understand how important the surgery is. We will all need to remember that with a 6-7 hour surgery ahead plus 6 days in the hospital. Then it’s going to be many weeks and months until he is back to regular level. Daunting to be facing.
Max is the most amazing young man though. When facing this he was optimistic and said, “well at least he would plenty of excuse to lie around and play video games.” He is also mid-negotiations as to how much disability pay he should be receiving if he cannot physically do his chores.
Max: Age 12. Scoliosis and Kurtosis Pictures


Happy New Year


Dubai manages to amaze constantly and the New Year fireworks were impressive — the Littles and I watched on live television from our comfy villa though. Older boys were out and about with their uncle and friends. Braver souls than I am to delve into 1.5 million people expected were out watching fireworks at both the Burj Khalifa and Burj al Arab.

It’s another beautiful morning though this January 1. I will miss this view when we leave here in 3 weeks. I am not sure where next New Year’s Eve will be spent (Florida probably) but I am hoping for another year as amazing and wonderful as this one has been.

dubai back yard

Wishing the best to everyone.

US visit

I went back to the US for a week to visit family. Most importantly to spend time with my first grandson who is of course the smartest and most wonderful toddler EVER!


We flew direct on Delta from Dubai to Atlanta (15 hours) and then onto Tampa. Delta was OK but no cleaning of the bathrooms so that was unpleasant. I think possibly breaking the journey in Europe is better. There are only so many movies I can watch in one sitting!

Jet lag is so much fun. Anyway unpacked mostly and now am repacking as we leave in 3 days for our two month excursion to S. E. Asia. More to come on that.

Darwin the Easter “bunny.”

Our first Easter in Dubai, Jake and I decided that on a trip to Abu Dhabi we would visit the pet souk and get a bunny for the Littles who were seriously missing their dogs in the US. However we made the mistake of holding a floppy eared beagle instead of the bunny and immediately fell in love. After turning over ridiculous amounts of money (we are normally shelter-dog people so this was painful and against our regular values), we drove home with this guy.


The kids were all enamored with him and he quickly has become a family member. Took awhile to get a name down but then we decided on Darwin (yes that goes with Beagle). We have always had border collies and labs before but my mom has a bloodhound so I am somewhat familiar with the trials and tribulations of hounds. Darwin has lived up to this reputation spectacularly and is a crazy and wild pup. He is not to be trusted with food, trash, shoes, clothing, small toys (we look like an amputee ward), or anything he can get into his mouth really. I’ve never known a dog eat so many things and so rapidly destroy household items. He took ages to housebreak but thankfully we have tiles throughout the house.


I don’t really know why he is adored by all of us but somehow he is. Certainly has made Dubai more home-like.


Big news

OK this is way more exciting than pictures of buildings and before anyone faints I will share this is my first grandchild!!

Sam and Erika are pregnant with first baby. How exciting.

Sam and Erika

I am seeing more and more reason to head back to Paris for a few days as I have shopping to do!

We are exploring a name for me to be called. I am not a granny thank you very much:)

Ideas welcomed.


This is a summer of change and one in which the term roots and wings is beginning to seem like a bad idea — no more wings for my kids!

Jacob left this morning to move into the dorm in his Atlanta university. I’ve called him twice and he’s called me twice so we are even. It’s an exciting time and I think will be a good fit for him but is hard on mom (and siblings — Charlotte shed tears when she woke this morning and he’d already gone). Sam will be moving to Denver next week so we get to go through it all over again.

I found some old family beach photos that I thought would be fun to post. Good reminders of the many trips and joys we have shared and hopes of many more to come! Forgive my wandering into the past but the changes make a mom sentimental.

Three here from Scarborough beach in England — about 1990-92. My home and birthplace and somewhere the older two boys loved.




Moving on in years — some memories from Hawaii:


Then Jacob (the biggest) and Ben in Khorfikan, United Arab Emirates:


And lastly a teenage Sam parasailing in Malaysia:


Posted to Family Moments by KateG on August 21, 2009 1:44 AM

Charlotte and Noodle

A new friend from ballet class gave Charlotte a princess hat and the next day she saw a cat-sized matching one in a store. Too good to pass up although I think the cat wishes someone would turn into a frog!


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