A Busy Day

Anyone that knows us: we always have busy days. Today was no different.

We had some lovely friends offer to do a mini working bee in our yard, because I am getting a bit worn out, with all the extra work I am doing with Kyah. They came over and mowed our lawns, trimmed the hedges, purchased organic soil and filled the new vegetable garden beds and topped up the old ones.

This saved me a few days of work. Thank you so very much Kylie, Paul and Mason. What you have done is such a generous act of your time, money and effort. We are both so very appreciative.

After that we had a little gathering of people to see some beautiful hand made products. Vegan skin care and make-up by Amanda, Soy wax candles with cotton wicks by Ruth, and our hand made multi-purpose accessory bags.  Kyah loved planning and co-ordinating the event. It was a good distraction for her. We had lots of people come over look, listen, smell and enjoy each others company. It was a nice way to spend the afternoon.

Kyah is now getting around on the push chair using both her feet to propel herself along. If she is not doing this, she is hopping from place to place. It seems the injury of the broken bones are no longer causing discomfort and her level of confidence is increasing.

The unfortunate aspect of all this is that Kyah is going stir crazy. Not being able to walk, dance, stretch, do most things for herself, she is getting agitated. No matter how many distractions I try to give her, she is still agitated and needs an outlet. That outlet is me, and it gets tough sometimes. Trying to deal with the physical restrictions of an injury and the psychological and emotional issues attached to it is a tough journey. Unfortunately, a journey Kyah has to walk right through to the end. Let’s hope she has the mental willpower to get there.

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The work in progress. It is easy to see where the trampoline was … and no longer is. It is gone, surprise, surprise!

Believe in Miracles

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When we were in the Emergency Department of GCUH, a lovely man came a chatted to us while we were waiting to go from x-rays to CT scans & waiting to get the cumbersome cast put on.

He had a bag of hand-made dolls, that apparently a staff member upstairs had made to give to patients. They were all lovely. Kyah was able to choose one. As soon as she saw this one, she knew it was the one she was to have.

Yes, we believe miracles do happen, & we are believing Kyah will dance again, on pointe, Prima ballerina, following her passion. This is a miracle in progress. Continue reading

Rest & Pamper

Today was a day of “rest” & “pampering “.

I wanted Kyah to do some exercise, but her little body is sore. Her pecs, lats, shoulders, arms & hands are sore from using the crutches. Her left leg is sore from the introduced weight bearing.

We compromised: she stretched while she was doing a little bit of balance work & weight bearing!

Her foot that has not seen a shower for weeks now, was looking quite rank. It is constantly shoved in a garbage bag to prevent it getting wet in the shower – this fibreglass cast cannot get wet. The state of her foot was obviously bothering her, so I set her up to scrub her toes & whatever part of her foot she could reach.

She scrubbed, rubbed, cleaned & felt so much better afterwards.

Tomorrow will be some serious exercise, if I have anything to do with it! Today has been a reprieve for her. I suppose we are both learning lessons now… I learned to ease up with the exercise. ?img_6299img_6340

The hard work begins

Well, Kyah is now able to partially weight bear. Yay! She has been placing her toes on the floor as she is walking through using her crutches. The plaster cast is flat on the bottom and quite well reinforced, so there is no flexibility or movement in the base of the cast. This is to support and stabilise the whole foot and ankle joint, but obviously makes walking properly difficult. Lucky she is not walking yet!

We are trying various ways of introducing weight bearing – sitting using a dura disc, lying using a foam pad, standing using a foam pad, “walking” using a foam balance beam, simply standing while placing weight on her foot. Kyah  did a session of about 20 minutes yesterday and her left foot and leg are now

quite sore.

We assume this is because she has not put weight on this leg and foot for 4 weeks. No pain, no gain. We also need to work on her entire left leg that has not done any weight bearing.

No road ahead. This is a good start for us. Kyah has nearly completed all her  requirements for home education, which was our plan. Do all home education while the cast is on, then when the cast comes off we have lots of time to do rehab. We are on track for that.

 

Week 4

Here we go again. Another week, let’s try to stay positive. It is very hard when you are being attacked spiritually. Both Kyah and I were very agitated and just bringing it out on each other. Thankfully, I had planned to drop Kyah to a dear friend, Ruth, for the morning. I then went to work. As life would have it, I met a lovely lady, Liz. We chatted and she knew straight away the attack we were under. She prayed with me and immediately I felt better. When I picked Kyah up, I knew she was in a different place too. Thank you God.

We then went to Kyah’s dance teacher. Again, although she was disappointed the cumbersome cast was kept on, we need to look at the long term gains for the short term pain. They did some choreography for her repertoire she is performing in New Zealand next April and some choreography for her classical and contemporary solos she will be doing next year. The positivity of Nika is fantastic, the fact she is so accommodating with Kyah is wonderful. Kyah is able to focus on her passion for a period of time, and still have goals and something to strive for. Actually doing the dance practice is bringing the unknown closer to reality.

Wednesday we went back to Gold Coast University Hospital. Both Kyah and I had imagined from last weeks report that we would be told she would have to have a cast on for months just to make sure the foot / ankle joint was stable. We went in to see the doctors anticipating the worst. Doctor Anthony initially saw Kyah and he said there was no reason why she could not have this cumbersome cast taken off and have a fibreglass cast put on. He checked with Doctor Simon and he too confirmed there was no reason why she can’t have the cast taken off, a fibreglass cast put on and she is able to start partial weight bearing! Wow! What a huge difference from last week. Not even 6 weeks since the injury and Kyah is able to partial weight bear! YAY! You cannot imagine the relief we were both feeling right then.

We then waited to be called in to the plaster ward. Richard was fantastic, he removed the cumbersome cast, wiped Kyah’s leg and foot. He allowed me to take photos of her foot, film it totally and have a good look at it and then he put the new cast on her. It had to be pink! If you know Kyah, then you know it has to be pink. Pink it is.  He even put a bow on it.

Naturally, her foot is swollen, still a bit bruised and not very mobile. The cumbersome cast had been digging in to one part of Kyah’s foot, so it has left a deep trench in her ankle. It must have been very uncomfortable, and yes, Kyah was complaining about the discomfort, but we were not to know that was what she was complaining about. Richard said we should have come back to get it changed, but we didn’t know the plaster was doing that. Anyway, the Emergency Department did the best they could, I’m certain they did not intend for a big piece of plaster to be sticking in to her foot where her break was, it was just where the fold  of the plaster was and instead of the fold coming out, it folded in….

The new cast is great. It’s pink. It has a bow and it is very light. The best thing is; she can now partial weight bear. Yay. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted from our shoulders. Maybe we can start thinking about moving forward now.

Once we got home that day, Kyah started to “partial weight bear”. Her interpretation of this initially is the touch her toes to the floor! I do hope this weight bearing increases over the next few weeks.

Kyah had already booked in for a workshop with Youth American Grand Prix; a company based in America that holds workshops and competitions around the world and helps bridge the gap between dancers and particular dance companies around the world. So even though Kyah was not able to participate, we both thought it would be a great opportunity for her to sit and watch and actually feel like she is still part of her dance world. She had loads of fun, even though she had to sit and watch – something that would have been a very difficult time for any dancer.

Then we were blessed by a visit from our dear friends the Howie’s. Love you guys. You just dropped everything and came to see us Kylie, as I said your presence was the most special thing you could have done for us, even though your offer of physical assistance was made. Your company and your beautiful children playing with Kyah was lovely. Thank you.

Kyah went to see her new friend, Emily again and she had a great time. I’m hoping that friendship develops, they both seem to be on the same wave length and they are both very mature.

Then Sunday we had more friends come over to visit. Thanks, Kate and Misha. There was lots of laughing going on with the girls while Kate and I chatted.

Thank you everyone for your kinds words, thoughts, prayers and time. Just having people around us is definitely helping Kyah keep her spirits up, and now with the great news Kyah can start to partial weight bear is fantastic – so soon after such an horrific injury. Prise The Lord. img_6192

 

 

 

 

Week three

 

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This photo was taken 2 months ago at home. Kyah’s feet in pointe shoes.

This week we are really looking forward to Kyah getting the cumbersome cast off and having it replaced with a fibreglass one. Kyah continuously comments that it is so uncomfortable for her. Also, it is heavy, really heavy; I was trying to move her leg when she initially injured her foot I noticed how heavy it was. Her knee is now swelling from the load on it and that too is causing pain and discomfort. Pain relief is still almost a daily requirement, but not as seemingly urgent as it was. The foot is not swelling as much as it did, and therefore both malleolus (ankles bones) are not rubbing on the cast as much.

We are both trying to look to the positives in all of this. Sometimes it is hard to find one, but knowing that every trial we face here on earth has the journey of a lesson we must learn behind it, is sometimes the only positive aspect. If we are learning to draw more from God, that can only be positive. No matter the outcome, if we are learning that, then it is a good thing.

Monday: While I was working, a friend of ours, Heather, took Kyah out to the movies and lunch. Thank you Heather, Kyah really enjoyed the time with you. Her foot was swollen afterwards, but the mental and emotional benefits of the time spent with you was well worth it.

Tuesday: Kyah’s trip to Nika this week was again very positive. She is so encouraging with Kyah and they are focusing on the things Kyah is able to do, not what she cannot do at the moment. There is a life after the cast and they are preparing for that. We are all hoping this cumbersome cast comes off tomorrow.

Wednesday: After a rather long wait at the fracture clinic, we were called in for an X-ray of Kyah’s foot. Having such a thick, heavy cast on, did not permit a really clear X-ray, but the bony structure of her foot could be seen. It showed that all the bones are in place and it looks quite structurally sound. The avulsion fracture of her fibula was still visible; this should not cause Kyah any grief at all, (hence no operation necessary). The fracture of her tibia was not as visible compared to the initial X-ray, which indicates that is healing, which is fantastic.

We then needed to sit and wait to see the specialist. Both of us were anticipating the removal of this cumbersome cast due to the positive X-rays. When we got to go in and see the specialist, we were told, the cast needs to stay on another week. Oh no! How disappointing. Why? Apparently because the fracture was such and unstable and extreme fracture they wanted to keep the foot fixed and stable for another week. If they replaced the cast this week, they may destabilise the whole foot and cause further problems and risk permanent damage. So even though the knee is terribly swollen, and painful, the cast must stay on another week. The knee is the least of Kyah’s concerns; once the cast comes off the swelling will subside and the knee will return to normal. Again, something we are believing for – complete healing.

So very disappointing for Kyah. We must look at the positives; at least the specialists are thinking long term complete healing and reducing the risk of any injuries and destabilising in the short term. So as hard as it may be, Kyah needs to wear the cumbersome cast for another week. Let’s just trust that we are in the right hands and God is watching over Kyah and ensuring she is being given the right medical advice. Patience is also a skill we both need to learn. This is a good way to test that skill.

Thursday and Friday were “normal” days with icing, elevating, school, rest, and now the added issue of “reality” knocking on the door. How bad was this injury? How long will Kyah have to wear the cast for? If she needs to wear this one for another week, then will she have to wear the next one for? Will she have to wear a moon boot after wards? How long for? This could really be a very long rehabilitation process, especially if she is in a cast for months and months. Morale was getting lower.

It is amazing how some people (in general), can be quite negative about the possibility of Kyah ever dancing again, let alone professionally which is her dream. Children are generally very optimistic, and I am definitely telling Kyah she will be able to achieve her dreams, and God’s will for her, because He is in control. Not dancing is not an option for her. She is on a journey now, learning lessons, she needs to learn. There is no reason she will not be able to dance again. I have said to her many times that when she does get back to dancing, she will be one of the most successful dancers because she knows how to deal with abuse, negativity and hard work. She has had to fight to get where she is, every step of the way. That is character building, and that has been teaching her to push into God to have Him be her strength and her guide every step of the way.

Saturday: Kyah caught up with someone she has just met. Emily lives just around the corner, does Distance Ed, is an ice skater and just a really nice girl. It was lovely meeting both Emily and her mum. After a morning tea, both Kyah and I decided we would like to encourage more contact and hopefully develop a friendship between the two girls. Their paths have been very similar in a lot of aspects and they seem to have a lot in common, including the superficial life aspects.

We also went to Mia’s birthday party. Kyah had a great time. Our lovely friends made Kyah feel so welcome at the party. Even though Kyah was not able to participate in some party activities, she was sitting, watching the kids doing things, Kyah was happy for them, she was enjoying being a part of it all. Charmaine was able to modify some activities so Kyah was able to participate and she felt like part of the celebrations. Thank you so much Charmaine, Mia and Chloe – you are beautiful people.

Sunday was a day of rest for Kyah. Neither of us are sleeping properly, so rest is a good thing to help with the healing. I notice Kyah is getting more concerned about the possibility of never being able to dance again. She is becoming agitated with not being able to get around, not being able to dance, not being able to stretch, just so frustrated with being stuck where she is and having no way out, except having to walk the journey. It is hard, she knows she has to do it, but doesn’t want to. Like most of us, we know there are things we have to do, and we will procrastinate and avoid doing it as much as we can, in order to avoid the pain, because usually it is painful, but we know the outcome is a better us. It is definitely a journey we are on and eventually those of us who try to put our heads in the sand and pretend it is not happening will have to come up for air at some stage and then it will be time for us to take our journey. May as well face it head-on when the opportunity arises and this is what Kyah is doing.

Life is nice when you surround yourself with lovely people; we definitely have some nice people around us. A huge thank you to those of you who are showing support, and interest in Kyah and her progress.

Week 2

img_6043This week was spent icing and elevating Kyah’s foot at every possible moment. We need to get her swelling down and pain levels under control in order to boost her confidence and general morale.

We had already had a day at Harbourtown organised with a dear friend of Kyah’s, Ebony. We were not going to miss that because of a broken foot! So 1 week after the accident, what does any normal girl do??? She goes shopping! So, we went shopping!!! Praise The Lord for wheelchairs. We had hired a wheelchair for home, to make life easier, with the leg extension attachment, this was the perfect shopping accessory for the girls. The 2 girls had so much fun going around Harbourtown, doing lots of retail therapy. Many shop assistants and even customers moved clothes racks so the girls could meander through the shops and look at the clothing. One shop even opened up a special change room so Kyah could fit in there with her wheelchair. We caught up with another friend, Gerry, who was our entertainment for the day (thanks Gerry). We even managed to fit a movie in there as well. That day was very special for Kyah, thank you so much Ebony, you are a beautiful person.

Doing school work was a challenge; it was very hard for Kyah to focus on school when her foot was hurting constantly, the raw pain of freshly broken bones, both of these rubbing on the plaster, the foot swelling to beyond the size of belief, and the questions of her future always lurking in the forefront of her mind.

A blur of a week again with the shock of her accident finally becoming a reality for us.

Seeing Kyah’s new dance teacher, Nika, was a huge blessing. She is so positive, encouraging, caring and concerned for Kyah, it is such a breath of fresh air. Recently Kyah has been through a very tough time with some real negative situations and comments being made by people that were supposed to be building her up for her dance career. This had been happening over a period of time,  so much so, that her self-esteem and self-belief were almost non-existent. It was time to move on. The past is in the cast – our new motto. Move on from all the negativity, once this cast is off, there is to be no reference to the negative aspects of the past at all.

Kyah is performing at an  international dance competition in April 2017.  Nika and Kyah are going to start working on her set repertoire and choreography for her dances. Even though no legs will be involved for the interim, the upper body can be used. Mental imagery can also be a huge tool for success  with any athlete. This will also give Kyah a focus, something she is familiar with and is her absolute passion. Again, we are praying every day, God allows her to dance again; with that blessing He gave her – such a beautiful ballerina.

Trying to do rehab is a no-go at the moment. The weight of the cast and pain in her foot are the huge restricting factors. She is not able to get her body into any positions to work her trunk or left upper leg at the moment, but having a rest is probably a good thing. Her body is recovering from a huge trauma and needs some time out.

Even trying to stretch to maintain her excellent flexibility is a challenge. Stretching certain muscles directly impacts on her leg, which then impacts on her fibula which is causing her a lot of grief. Let’s just hope this heavy, cumbersome cast comes of next Wednesday so Kyah can do something that makes her feel good – stretch and move. Not being able to move is a huge depressor when you have been active and dancing 11 of your 13 years of existence.

There have definitely been some down times this week with trying to move forward and maintian the positive attitude, but the pain is such a restricting factor it does tend to get you down, no matter how much you try to stay positive. I continue to say to Kyah that when she gets back to dancing, she will be one of the most determined, strong-willed dancers in the world. She will know where her strength comes from (Our Lord) because He is our all and we are totally dependent on Him for everything. This is part of her journey she must walk and realise.

The end of the week saw us give our trampoline to some friends of ours. It was Kyah’s decision to give it away, and I agreed. She would never enjoy the trampoline again, so it needed to go somewhere it would be utilised and enjoyed. Our friends are under strict instructions not to do aerials, flips, somersaults or anything else that is high risk. Even though Kyah had done it thousands of times before, this one time, something went wrong. It could have been much worse, and praise The Lord it wasn’t.

The first week

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Coming home from hospital & back to our “normality”, that was no longer normal any more, felt so surreal. Where to from here? Will Kyah ever be able to dance again? How is her soft tissue: ligaments, tendons? Are they torn? We need to cancel so many planned dance events- the spring  workshop she was participating in, the upcoming RAD exam, her participation in the YAGP workshop, her audition with Queensland Ballet. So many normal things for us would not be a part of our lives for a period of time.

Would “normal” ever return?

It is amazing how your life can take a dramatic turn to the unplanned in an instance. Again, God knows all the plans He has for us. It was no surprise for Him. Just trying to tell Kyah that He loves her so much, & even though He did not do this to her, He will now use it for His glory & His purpose. She needs to draw from Him to find out what He wants from her.

As hard as it is, we need to stay positive & not deviate from the promises He has given us.

The first week was an absolute whirlwind of adjustment;keeping her pain levels under control with medication and constant ice packs around her plaster cast, foot elevated all the time to keep the swelling down. Every time her foot swelled up the 2 broken ankle bones would rub on the plaster cast causing a great deal of pain and discomfort. Notifying family, close friends and changing appointments that would not be possible for us to make in the near future. Keeping people up to date on her progress. Helping Kyah with everything.  Deciding and preparing to get all her home education done in the weeks she is in the plaster cast, so when it does finally come off, she is able to spend the majority of her time doing rehab – strengthening her ankle, improving its stability again, preparing her foot for pointe shoes again…. Also, praying all the time that Kyah would be ok; that His promises will come to fruition. Then life on top of that. So many things that needed to be done, everything takes time and a toll,  it was such a whirlwind.

The plaster was uncomfortable, cumbersome & made life hard. It was essential & Kyah knew that, but it didn’t make dealing with it any easier. She was only able to sit, stand and lie on her back. No other position was comfortable for her foot. The weight of the cast just hurt too much on the broken ankle bones.

Through the first week she was an absolute trooper. Hardly complained, felt bad that people were doing everything for her, & tried to help when she could.

We managed week 1; a few appointments had to be rescheduled, additional ones needed to be made, lots of ice packs used, lots of praying, searching for answers, not much sleep, but….all in all we managed.

Kyah’s Journey

IMG_6017.JPGNo-ones foot should ever look like this, especially someone who has spent her entire young life striving to be a Prima Ballerina.

On September 26, 2016, at 4.30pm, Kyah was doing her usual acrobatic muck around on her trampoline. She must have landed perfectly wrong this particular time, with  her aerial, & this is what resulted.

An ambulance was called.  When they finally arrived they said they needed a specialist paramedic to relocate her foot. After 40 minutes in total,  waiting calmly,   with her grandpa on the phone & me (Kyah’s mum), all praying there would be no long term damage done to a foot that had been dancing on pointe for 18 months, with 3 major dance events within the next month… obviously they would need to be postponed/cancelled.

The specialist paramedic arrived & Kyah was adequately prepared for the relocation: The stuff in the green whistle worked wonders to relax her ligaments & have her level of consciousness at a point she was unaware what was happening.

Then it was off to the hospital. The ambulance officers & all the staff at Gold Coast University Hospital were fantastic; thank you everyone.

X-rays & CT scans showed a break in the distal end of the tibia, & an avulsion fracture in the distal end of her fibula. Other than that, the structure of her foot looked great.

Praise God her skin did not rip or tear with the dislocation, & praise God there was no damage to her growth plates or anything else.

With the assistance of twilight anaesthetic, a very sturdy, supportive plaster cast was put on Kyah’s leg. This was to help reduce any swelling, help maintain stability in her ankle & provide support for her.

We were informed she would need major surgery first thing in the morning: pins and plates to reattach the avulsion fracture of the fibula & a plate with pins across the front of her ankle to stabilise her entire foot.

I would not agree to any surgery at that hour, it was now 11pm. I knew that if she had that type of surgery she would never dance again, especially on pointe & especially at the level she was moving into.

A very dear friend, Madeleine drove up twice that night, to GCUH to bring us dinner, collect our house keys & bring us essential items back. Thank you so much beautiful lady, ?.

It was almost midnight by the time we were moved to a ward.  Both of us tried to sleep. Kyah was on good medication to help with her pain, however,  it did not erase the image she had of the sole of her foot looking directly at her. She didn’t sleep much.  Every time I closed my eyes I had the vision (above) of her foot clearly etched in my brain. Will this girl ever dance again? Why has this happened to her? Where does this take us now? What does God want us to do?

I got 2 x 30 minutes of sleep that entire night. Praying about what to do & promises that had been made, that were now seemingly falling apart. I was sure about one thing – I was continually being told “no-one will cut her skin”.

In the morning I spoke with my dad to try to figure out if what I was hearing was correct. I just knew I heard the words ” no-one will cut her skin”, & yet it seemed destined that she would have an op.

Finally the specialist came in & said no-one is to operate on this child. She is 13 years old, her ankle will heal itself, if I go in & try to fix something, I could do the foot more harm than good.

What a huge relief. Praise God, there would be no operation.

After seeing other people in the hospital, collecting crutches, getting the plaster trimmed to below the knee, we were allowed to go home.

Another dear friend, Ruth, came & picked us up & drove us all the way back home again. Thank you beautiful friend, ?.

Both of us still in complete shock with the events of the last 24 hours, we sat down & had some food!

Where to from here?