Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A toast.

A toast, indeed. 
What are we toasting? A toast to a possible snow day tomorrow. A toast to the home I am still as excited to wake up in as the day we moved in. A toast to my little Emily who giggles happily whenever I make faces at her. A toast to my wife who laughed until her stomach hurt after I told her that as a child I used to wipe boogers on the wall behind my bed. (It's true. And gross. Don't judge me.) 
But most importantly, I am toasting optimism. I know, it goes against almost everything we here at The Gray Area stand for, but we are talking about real, shiny, giddy optimism. Little Orphan Annie-level optimism. The first feeling of optimism I've felt since my daughter was two hours old and the doctor sat down in front of us with a pile of vague information and a concerned look.
Last week, Kate started calling doctors in search of second, third and fourth opinions regarding Emily's leg. Since her diagnosis, people have come out of the woodwork to recommend a doctor, point out a helpful resource, share a similar experience or just to say a prayer. In our research, we came across a Dr. Dror Paley who founded a limb lengthening facility in Baltimore. He is an expert in PFFD. It's his life's work. People travel from all over the globe for his help with this condition. And everyone says the same thing...he's good. Very, very good. 
Unfortunately, Dr. Paley is no longer taking new patients as he is moving to Orlando in June. He's starting a new facility at the Disney Children's Hospital. Of course, he is leaving behind a capable team that has trained with him for years. We will be in good hands if Maryland is where we choose to be. 
Then he called. 
Dr. Paley, upon receiving an e-mail from Kate, called her from his cell phone at 7 PM on his way home from work. 
That part deserves its own paragraph. What doctor, let alone one considered to be a worldwide leader in any field, calls prospective patients whom he doesn't even know on his way home from work on a Friday???
Kate was supposed to be at work, but decided her co-workers could do without her for a few minutes while she sat in the parking garage and discussed little Emily. 
Dr. Paley asked for information about our daughter. He listened. He gave his opinion. He outlined a treatment program. He admitted it's a little hectic at the clinic these days, could you just come in on a Saturday? The office will be closed, but I'll meet you there and we'll talk about the possibilities for Emily's care. 
I will probably save Kate's voicemail forever. She was as excited as I've ever heard her. It was not the forced positivity that many of us have expressed these last few months. There was excitement and enthusiasm and, finally, confidence. Confidence that we can do this. 
We can do this. 
This will not be a walk in the park. All procedures will take place at Paley's new hospital in Florida. A week for "super-hip" surgery at age two. Lengthening surgeries with four months of daily, painful rehab at ages four, eight and 12. 
But, for the first time in months, I have this unshakeable feeling. It's almost overwhelming. 
We can do this. 
She can do this. 
And, I think...I hope....HE can do this. 


Ashley said...

Crying happy tears here in Beantown, Timmy. I love you guys.

Amy said...

Hi there Tim, it's Amy Kath's sister-in-law. I wanted you to know that we are kept informed on Baby Emily from Kath regularly. This is the first time I went to your blog, and have to say it is fantastic. Baby Emily is beautiful!
I hope you don't think I'm a freak or imposing. I would like to share something with you. I used to think "why me? what did I do wrong?" I do not do that anymore. I now get out of bed everyday ready for a new challenge and a positive attitude that my daughter is going to do something to surprise us. I have not been let down. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. We may never know why, but I do believe that god has given us our children knowing that we are strong and will handle what is coming our way. I will not lie to you and tell you it has been an easy road. By looking at those pictures I can tell that you and Kate are blessed parents and Baby Emily will do just fine. No matter what. I will continue to keep updated on your beautiful little girl, and best of luck to you and Kate. Always think positive.

AS said...

Miracles happen. You have every right to be more than positive. That is a phone call that Kate will remember forever! Many prayers coming your way. Love you more than tongue can tell! AS

Daniel Charles Rigby said...

Hi Tim and Kate,

Thanks for your message on our blog (Daniel Rigby). I really enjoyed reading your blog - you have expressed the feelings of having a child with PFFD so well. It looks like we are going to be going on the same journey as you. We are pretty sure that we are going to go down the lengthening path with Dr Paley as well.

Best Wishes to you and Emily,

Kristen, Shane and Daniel Rigby

Sarah said...

Dear Tim and Kate
Please know my heart is with your family as your journey begins with Emily. While my son 17 does not have PFFD, he has had many surgeries of the same type that Emily will need. Dr. Paley is not only AMAZING doctor, but human being as well. I have known Dr. Paley for many years. I am the person that is now putting up his new website. Thanks for adding his link to your bog.

Emily is truly in the best of hands! Speaking from one parent to another!


Sarah Ziegler
MHE Research Foundation Vice President