So I feel terrible that I haven't kept up with my blog; not only to keep YOU updated, but just to document everything for ME! :) I am so tired that most of the time I can't even remember my own name, so I definitely already forget the details of 90% of whatever happens to us. :)
So this summer started out with Zahria moving up to team (Level III) in gymnastics. This is a big deal, as she has only been at the gym for two years. She has been working SO hard to get here.
When she made the team, her training basically doubled. She went from ten hours a week to almost twenty (which she was ecstatic about haha). However, after a couple of weeks of training, she came to me complaining that her feet were hurting her and that she was struggling at gymnastics; falling off the beam, doing backflips with incorrect form, missing her vaults. At first I wasn't concerned. Her pain tolerance is pretty low and her spring session was almost over. She had two days left and then she would be off for two weeks. She did both days (complaining) and I put her on ibuprofen and ice, and we elevated her feet. They appeared fine. The two weeks off seemed to help, but she still occasionally would tell me that she was hurting a little bit, and that they felt swollen inside.
The first day back at gymnastics, she came home almost in tears. I called the doctor. They sent us for an X-ray. Nothing showed up. I told them, "She definitely has stress fractures; she's never complained like this, and she has all the symptoms." They assured me there was nothing wrong with her.
So of course, me being me, I brought her to a sports ortho specialist.
She took five minutes to look at Z and the X-ray and diagnosed her with multiple stress fractures, including growth plate fractures. She also said that Z had tendonitis, and bruised bones.
You have to understand, in the past 2.5 years, Zahria has grown 13" and put on 50lb. It's INSANE. I mean, the girl is a GIANT. She is super tall, and super jacked, with a six pack and arms that put Tony Horton to shame. You look at her and you KNOW which sport she's in.
Combine that with the fact that she had basically no calcium growing up and you have the mix for a perfect storm: her body couldn't handle the insane growth, her tendons and ligaments couldn't keep up with the bone growth, her bones grew too long too quickly, and were already not super strong from the lack of calcium, and she pounds her feet with her muscular little self a million times a day by doing tumbling passes. And she doubled her gym time.
It all equals catastrophe.
Long story short, we went through a huge array of treatments all summer. We tried ankle boots and leg boots to keep her immobilized. We tried casts. We saw multiple specialists (ortho, sports ortho, podiatrists, bone specialists, etc.). Zahria was X-rayed repeatedly, and had an MRI (which confirmed the multiple stress fractures, bruising, and tendonitis). She went through physical therapy and then was put back in a cast. Her doctors tell her they have to help her heal because they know she will be on TV someday. She tells them she's going to the 2020 Olympics in Japan.
Currently, she's in her third cast and her other foot is in a big boot to her knee. She clomps around like a bionicle. An adorable bionicle. We had an appointment with another bone disease specialist in February (yeah, he's booked out pretty far). She is being treated by two specialists and is getting this cast off on Wednesday, when they will reevaluate. She will have PT again whenever it comes off.
She has been SO. GOOD. during all of this. Her attitude has been exceptional, and she has handled everything with grace and perseverance. I am so proud of her. She has continued attending most of her gymnastics classes too, so that she can mentally learn the routines and hear the teacher's explain new tricks, as well as to continue bonding with her team.
When she got her third cast a couple of weeks ago, she was definitely down. It was the closest she's coming to crying in the doctor's office. The lady putting on the cast felt so bad that she gave her two colors: purple AND pink, in candy-cane fashion. Then I took her to Wal*Mart where we bought a bunch of stick on little "diamonds" puffy paint, butterfly puffy stickers, sparkly ribbon and purple sparkle glue. We wanted to deck. that. cast. out.
It totally failed.
The glue wouldn't hold the ribbon or even the stickers to the cast. So instead she had dark glittery streaks all over her cast. Then I painstakingly glued diamond dots all over the cast and applied dots of puffy paint around them, making beautiful flowers. I drew a pretty butterfly in the paint. And then I told her to sit still and watch a movie while the paint dried. Of course, being Zahria (it has been torture trying to keep her down and off her feet all summer.....she's still doing splits in her casts), she immediately tried to do a bridge off the couch. All I heard was a thud, and then a giggle, and then, "Mom???? Can I have a paper towel?..............and does paint come off the couch???"
So all our hopes and dreams for an epically beautiful cast were smeared into my couch. And now a giant black blob which is all that remains of my butterfly decorate the front of her cast. And the pretty flowers, with the sparkling diamond centers are sad thumbprint like dots. It looks ridiculous but we just laugh and she rocks it anyway. :)
So that's the update on Zahria. Stay tuned. She's going to make her comeback.
P. S. They aren't sad in this last picture. This is their TV face. #theyarentplaying #concentration #ilovethem