Wednesday, October 11, 2006


X-ray #1 is Jack
X-ray #2 is Anthony

My friend's son, Anthony, had a spinal fusion surgery done less than 2 weeks ago at UMass Medical Center. She gave me permission to share his x-ray. Anthony's surgeon used the wires that our local ortho would have used if we'd had the surgery done here. I might add that Anthony is home from the hospital, requires no body brace and is SITTING in his wheelchair already.

Okay, I will admit that comparing Jack and Anthony is like comparing apples to oranges. Jack has a neuromuscular disease, "extremely poor bone quality" (to quote the operative summary) and had a 90 degree curve (corrected to 52). Anthony has CP, better bone quality than Jack and had a 70 degree curve (corrected to 20). But, I thought it interesting to show the difference in techniques and the recovery period. It makes no sense to make myself crazy over this whole thing, but I am. I might also add that Anthony had a compassionate and personable orthopedic surgeon and Jack did not -- which is no doubt the crux of why I am having such a difficult time coming to terms with what was done to Jack and whether it was in fact the "best" procedure for him. Maybe if I'd had a surgeon with a little compassion and empathy, I'd be comfortable with my decision. Anyway, it is what it is. I'm just glad Anthony is doing so well and just a little ticked off that Jack's been through hell and he's still not where he needs to be.

There, I feel so much better now!


julie worthington said...


I can understand how frustrated you are feeling right now and I am sending lots of virtual ((((HUGS)))) across the pond. We are all guilty of comparing our kids to others, but no two kids are the same, as with the trachs - I am so jealous of all the kids that speak.

Be sure that you did, and continue to do, the best you possibly can for Jack, he is an amazing little boy and he has an amazing mom.

Hang in there.


sebby said...


i'm sorry you are having to go through this...still.

i know that you understand, *logically*, that you can't know what jack's outcome would have been with a different procedure...but i also know that you will always be thinking what if...

there's really no way around it, ann-- you made the best decision you could with the info that you had at the time. you went halfway around the country at great sacrifice to your career, your life, your comfort, to do the best you knew how to do for jack...YOU ARE A GREAT MOTHER AND YOU HAVE A GREAT KID...

as julie said, hang in and jack remain an inspiration to us.


Anonymous said...

Life just sucks sometimes. Enough said.
You and Jack are the best.
Love, Tess

Melisande said...


We love you.

Life does suck, Tess is right.

We love Jack too.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ann,

Those "what if?" questions can drive a person crazy. I'm sorry that you are having a hard time feeling peace over this situation.

Lots of hugs, Sandra

Anonymous said...


You didn't make a rash decision on Jack's surgery. I know personally that you agonized for a long time before deciding to move ahead. That being said, it is very hard to move beyond the "what ifs". I'm still there with some the decisions I have made in the care of my children. I need to seek more guidance from the "guy upstairs" before jumping in head first. I'm pretty impulsive~ you are NOT! You calculate, worry, calculate some more, investigate,and continue to worry (don't you?).

You did what you thought was best for Jack~ as you always do. I hope that you can be a little kinder to yourself!

Hugs from Kentucky,


Carrie said...


You are amazing, Jack is amazing and the situation is different. Please do not beat yourself up, please do not play the "what if" game. That game SUCKS! You have always done what you feel is the very best for Jack and you will continue to do everything in your power to make sure he gets the best care possible. This is no different, you did everything you knew to do and everything your heart told you to do. I am sorry the recovery has been so long and hard on you and Jack, I wish I could say or do something to make just one hour a little easier.
I will continue to pray for both of you and hope that each tomorrow gets a little better.

Lots of Love

Kathy Hawley said...

I'm glad everything is going smoothly. Don't compare, Jack is Jack, and you have done everything you can.
Hurray about the track lift system. One of my patients in NJ has one, and what a difference it has made. I hope you get it by the time he is allowed out of bed.
My love to all,

Anonymous said...

Don't go there (yes, I know, easier said than done). Playing the "what if" game can tear you up inside. You are an amazing mother and friend-always remember that!!

Lots of love-