Three Days Before Rhizotomy

We are counting down the days before Nina goes in to have her surgery. In 3 days, Andy and I will be handing Nina over to a skilled surgeon who will open up her spine and find the nerves that are not working properly, cut them, and therefore reduce her spasticity. Thinking about it makes me dizzy, it is quite the surgery, and it is quite the recovery time.

Currently Nina is taking a drug called Gabapentin. You can follow the link and read all about it if you want, but basically, she is taking it for "pain management" due to the surgery. We are thankful for this drug, since I know that the hardest part of the rhizotomies are the following 2 days. This medicine is going to help. But it has been really hard too:

"If you are giving gabapentin to your child, you should know that your child's behavior and mental abilities may change while he or she is taking gabapentin. Your child may have sudden changes in mood, become hostile or hyperactive, have difficulty concentrating or paying attention, or be drowsy or clumsy."

Nina has been an emotional mess. She is crying all the time, and recently even multiple times at night, which is pretty frustrating because all 3 of my girls share a room. She seems withdrawn, and to be honest, this is very difficult. Why? Because we are seeing the "orphan" Nina that we had not seen for about a year. Her behaviors and emotional state are pretty tough. I keep reminding myself that it is not her, it is the medicine. After the surgery, she will be done with it and we will get Nina back! So if you think about us, please pray for this particular issue.

We would also appreciate prayer for Nina while we are at the hospital. Emotionally, even without this medicine, institutionalized places are hard for her. She really dislikes hospitals. We are going to be at a hospital for a really long time. Pray that this experience will not bring back her fears associated with the orphanage and her medical interventions done in Ukraine. Pray that she feels encouraged, cared for, and we will have Andy, myself, or my mom with her at all times.

On a positive note. There is another little girl getting a rhizotomy at the same time as Nina. This little girl was adopted from Ukraine the same year, has the same type of CP Nina has, and they are the same age. Pretty sweet! I think it will be great for them to have each other and maybe even do some therapy together!

What a week this will be! Nina's last day of school is tomorrow. Andy's last day at Bethany Alliance is tomorrow, my last day with some amazing teenagers in my small group is tomorrow, and then it is all surgery from there.

We appreciate all your support and covet your prayers!

And as a side note, I will be back on facebook to keep everyone updated on Nina's surgery and progress. Stay tuned, because this blog will also have lots of photos and video.