Hello to all! We mentioned a few months ago that we would post more frequently, but that has not happened. We want to thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers. Clay's eyes, hand, and donor site seem to be healing well from the surgery he had on Sept. 18. If you place your hands under your eyes and pull down hard, you will have an idea of what Clay was experiencing before his surgery. The skin grafts placed under his eyes are full-thickness skin grafts (contains all the layers of the skin including blood vessels); therefore, theses grafts are less likely to contract.
Clay has skin grafts on about 65% of his body (chest, back, head, face, hands, and a portion of his left leg). These grafts are split-thickness grafts (top layer/layers of skin only) and these types of grafts really contract because they do not have the elasticity that full-thickness ones would have. Therefore, this makes his skin resistant to stretching and prevents his normal movement. The scar formation has pulled his chin down to his chest & his bottom lip is almost totally inverted. Clay's next surgery will be a neck release. They will cut into those scars to release them and this will give Clay the ability to lift his head. I am not a doctor, but I have explained some of what we have learned with Clay.
We went back to the doctor about 2 wks. ago (Sept.28) and they cut his cast off to look at the pins in two of his fingers. The doctor wanted to keep the pins in for 3-4 more weeks; so, Clay got to pick the color for his new cast. He picked a "fluorescent" yellow-he can't hide with this one. :-) After two weeks of wear, his cast is now a dull looking color (it's hard to keep little boys' casts clean).
Chance gave us quite a scare on Sept. 24. We were getting the boys ready for school and Chance told me he thought he was having the symptoms of a heart attack. We called his cousin who is a doctor in Seymour (30 miles away) & he told me what to do and that he would be waiting for us at the emergency room. Some of our neighbors came down to get Carson & Cody to school and to watch Clay. Of course, by this time, the boys and I were all in tears and I was trying to reassure the boys that everything would be okay. Chance's cousin (Dr. Martin) had all the tests run on him and everything looked fine. Could have been angina, pleurisy, indigestion...... Could it have been caused by the stress of the past months? He will go back for a stress test soon. We are just so thankful he is feeling better. We also celebrated Chance's 40th birthday on Sept. 27th. We had a potluck birthday party at lunch and then a surprise party that evening. He was surprised! Now he's "over the hill" and feeling fine!
Carson showed a steer at the Texas State Fair last Thursday (Cody will be old enough to show animals next year). It was our first trip to Dallas, in a long time, with no doctor appointments or hospital stays. After the steer show, we had an appointment at the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. They wanted to interview our family for their Fall newsletter. It was special to see the wonderful staff and volunteers again.
We continue to drive to Clay's therapy appointments 2 days a week and have therapists at our house 2 days a week. Clay is enjoying his schoolwork and "homebound" teacher. He is enrolled in a Kindergarten teacher's class at school and this teacher sends all of Clay's lessons with the "homebound" teacher. The homebound teacher takes his work back to his Kindergarten teacher to grade and then returns it to Clay. He really likes to look at his graded papers~it makes him feel like he is part of the class. He looks forward to his brothers coming home from school each day because he's always ready to play.
Thank you, thank you, thank you again! We will never be able to say this enough for all your care, prayers, support, and kindness. ~Chance, Deidra (DD), Carson, Cody, & Clay Fite