Ellie After Surgery

January 27, 2010

Ellie got through her surgery with flying colors.  Here she is once she got into her room:

Don’t let that sleepy little face fool you.  She dozed off and on for a little while, but then she didn’t want to go to sleep.  The little rascal fights going to sleep, even when she needs it!

I suspect the next day or two will be a bit of a trial for her Mom and Dad, while they try to keep her occupied.  She had to lay flat for the first 24 hours after surgery, and she was upset about that.  She wants to play with her IV line… she’s the typical little kid!

But the main thing is the surgery is over, it went well, and now the process starts of healing, then therapy to re-train her muscles and help her walk.

And that’s what it’s all about… Helping Ellie Walk!

Our granddaughter is having surgery today!

January 26, 2010

In fact, by the time I get this post published, she should be IN surgery.  This is a MAJOR procedure called SDR surgery, or Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy. 

Ellie practicing using canes.

In a nutshell, the neurosurgeon will make an incision on her lower back, lift off the top part of the spine there (between 2 and 4 inches), and expose the spinal cord and nerves coming off the cord. 

He’ll test the nerves to see which ones are causing the spasticity in Ellie’s legs, and cut those so they stop sending the wrong signals.  With the spasticity relieved, Ellie should be able to walk without a scissor gait.

She’ll be in surgery 4 to 5 hours, then to the recovery room and on to ICU.

It takes a long time to recover from this surgery.  She has to have lots of therapy and re-train the muscles so they are functioning correctly.

If you want to read more about Ellie, the main site is “Helping Ellie Walk.”  It has links to her Facebook page, and her mom’s blog about the SDR surgery.

And if you’d be so kind as to keep her and her folks in your thoughts and prayers, it would sure be appreciated!

Time To Work On Calendars!

October 7, 2009

Today I’m starting work on calendars for 2010.  Every year I design three:

  1. Ellie’s wall calendar
  2. Ellie’s desk calendar
  3. Farm calendar

The big wall calendar is just that, BIG!  It’s 13.5″ wide x 19″ long, which means the pictures are about 13.5″ side x 9.5″ vertically.  We sell some of those, most mostly it’s a calendar for family.  Mainly because it’s so crazy expensive!

But you can get such great pictures on it, like the one for October 2009:

Scarecrow Ellie

Isn’t she cute? (Yeah, I know, I’m biased. but she IS.)

The desk calendars are pretty neat.  They’re kind of a tri-fold deal, and I keep a couple on top of my computer monitor – one of Ellie, and one with farm pictures.

Of course, there are lots of cute pictures on the Ellie desk calendar too, like this one from February 2009:

Ballerina Ellie

And I always have a hard time picking out which pictures to use for all the calendars, because there seem to be so many I like.

Here’s one I used for March 2009 on the farm calendar.

Goat Kid On Llama Back

Well, I need to quit looking at past calendars and get to working on the ones for this coming year!  I need to get them done sooner this year so maybe we’ll sell more.  Ellie is at Shriner’s Hospital this week for a check-up, and is likely to have spinal surgery in January, followed by at least two months of extensive therapy daily.

If this all works out, it will mean a trip to Vancouver, B.C.,  for the surgery, and then probably a couple of months in Orlando, Florida, for the therapy.

Wow.  I’d better get busy.  Now which pictures should I use. . .

Halloween, Ghosts, And Cowgirls

September 4, 2009

Wondering why I’m talking about Halloween in September?  And although Halloween and ghosts go together all right, what do cowgirls have to do with it all?

Cowgirls for Halloween

Cowgirl Ellie

Okay, first we look at the totally cute cowgirl, but don’t miss the spectacular GHOST CAKE  in the 2nd half of this post!

Now this particular Halloween scenario took place in August. You see, a set of Ellie’s great-grandparents stay at a campground during the summer. It closes before Halloween, so somewhere along the line they got the idea of having a “Trick or Treat” at the campground in August. Fun, huh?

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