William Update…

It’s Good Friday – of Semana Senta – Spanish for Holy Week – and it’s a big deal here. There will be a bull fight here in Benidorm, there will be parades galore, and there will be a LOT of partying. We were so surprised last Sunday that given all of the excitement about Palm Sunday, that people didn’t seem to know about the Biblical tie in. It should be an interesting balance of the week – today and Sunday are national holidays. If we were in a smaller, less tourism-driven town, it might be virtually impossible to get meals, find an open grocery store, etc. As it is, it may still be a bit of a challenge!

William has done phenomenonly well. I got the green light from Dr. Baltasar Thursday afternoon to go ahead and pull William’s surgical drain – output had reduced significally, and quality was excellent. (Dr. B trained me to do this a long time ago – so it’s pretty routine for me.) William seemed pretty hesitant to believe my qualifications – but eventually decided my services in this instance would suffice. He was so worried it would hurt – then, like everyone else at the end said, “That’s it? I was worried about THAT?” He’s relieved to have the tape off of his port sites and drain gone!

Dr. B had an orthopedic specialist take a look at William and his x-rays. The report came back. The normal measurement for the knee angle is in the single digits – 19% is WAY bad and horrible (top of the measurement scale). William’s right knee is 27% and left knee is 39%. Each step of the way there is reassurance that we have done the right thing. We have already noticed a marked decrease in his orthopedic pain. We find this amazing phenomenon to be true of the DS post-ops (the surgery John and I have – William’s surgery is in essence one component of ours) – we weren’t sure if it would hold true for him. We are so pleased that thus far it is!

Today is William’s first post-op day without a nap AND getting in all of his required fluids (64 oz – all post-ops struggle getting this much fluid in early post-op). He’s kept up like a real trooper. We have hopes he will sleep through the entire night. All in all – not a bad 1st week post-op at all!

We’ve tried hard not to focus on the number on the scale with William – we’ve tried to keep the focus on being proactive and conscientious about healing, giving oneself the tool needed to facilitate healing, and that the future will be bright for him. Yesterday he mentioned that he’s noticed that he looks different. This morning when we were at the farmacia William weighed himself. If the farmacia scale is to be believed – then he’s lost 11.61 lbs in the past week. He laughingly remarked that he’s doing better than the poor people in the commercials! (For diet pills, etc.)

We are really looking forward to home. Spain has been beautiful, but we miss home. Please keep us in your prayers – particularly as we drive to Madrid on Monday.

Blessed Easter, dear ones!

He is risen!

Much love,


To the beach!

William’s recovery has been textbook – or better. He went through the very normal phase of relearning body mechanics (and with IV pole in tow!) – learning to go slowly and carefully. The hardest part was the pretty typical 10-year-old kid aversion to needles.

Surgery was Friday afternoon. By 24-hours out he was walking the hall proficiently, using his breathing incentive device, and going back over the Q&A we’ve been doing for weeks. (i.e., What comes next? How long will I have pain? Is salmon a soft food? How long will I be jet lagged?)

Early Sunday morning it was pretty clear that William’s IV had given up the ghost. Dr. Baltasar gave the order to remove the IV. There was rejoicing in the ranks! We got him a shower and he realized he was feeling pretty good. Early evening he went down to radiology for the ‘big’ leak test. There are a series of tests designed to ensure that suture lines are intact. There are two that are actually done during surgery – before everything is final – with two mediums (water and methidine blue). Then the morning after surgery there is another blue dye test – the first substance taken by mouth. The surgical drain is then watched to see if any blue shows up there. The big lesk test is with having consumed gastrografin, and then a series of x-rays are taken. To be honest – it tastes WICKEDLY awful. *shudder* – gives me the willies just thinking of it. We warned him, prepped him, gave every tip known to man to make it easier. I was completely blown away at how well he did. And my shoulders really relaxed when the radiologist exclaimed, “Perfecto!” (They are so kind to allow me to sit in the control booth.)

Once we had the big leak test behind us and it was confirmed to be a-okay, the order was given to go ahead and start fluids. Sips are teaspoon sized and must be spaced at least 3 minutes apart. He is allowed water, herbal teas, fruit juice, yogurt drink, consomme, and popsicles. He must stay on the liquid diet for 2 weeks. After that, there will be a week of soft foods – defined as anything you can cut easily with a plastic fork. Following that – anything.

From Sunday evening to Monday morning there was easily an overall improvement in coloring, disposition, and marked reduction in operative pain. Monday morning Dr.Baltasar commended William for his exemplary behavior, excellent compliance, and courage – and then discharged him. We got packed up and only moved as far as the AC Hotel in Alcoy. We stayed Monday night there, and then this morning headed out for Benidorm – where we have a reservation for the coming week.

Our apartment suite is right on the beach and we have a lovely view of the beautiful Mediterannean from our balcony.

Our first item of order these coming days will be to get out and walk as much as possible, and continue to help train William regarding his new dietary needs.

Well we’re bushed, but oh so incredibly thankful to God for his watch-care over us.

More uodates later!