Friday, August 12, 2011

The Morning After

Well, we made it through!  Kenny's surgery was last on the schedule, so after getting up at 5:00 AM he didn't end up having surgery until 1:30 or so.  The long wait wasn't so bad, as Mom had brilliantly brought along school work to occupy any downtime we might encounter :-) 

Man, my teacher is SUCH a taskmaster!
The surgery went very well, took about 3 hours or so, and the results have made Kenny very, very happy.  Thankfully, he went into this with very realistic expectations, and also knew that swelling would keep him from seeing clearly what the end result might eventually be.  He was not in a lot of pain after the first hour or so, and said that on a scale of 1-10, he was only at about a 2!!  I am so glad this was not as difficult as the last two surgeries were.  He ended up having the nose revision, which was subtle and just the right amount of change to keep him looking like Kenny LaJoy and yet correct a couple of small issues that bothered him.  Most would not notice much of a difference, but already I can see that this will be a beautiful outcome for him.  His scars were straightened :-)  That is what is so funny, it bothered him a LOT that his scars were "crooked", and if we provide good aftercare they will be much thinner than his original ones.  His lip is definitely more evened out, although I never thought it looked all that bad before.  He slept really well last night but is still quite tired today, and even said he might take a nap later.  That is after the Taskmaster makes him do some school work :-) 

They also pulled 2 of the 3 teeth that needed to be removed, so we still have to deal with the impacted tooth eventually so oral surgery is ahead for that.  Many cleft kids have oddball teeth hanging around that are badly misplaced.  We also discovered at our orthodontist visit right before we came out that he has a rotten front tooth, which is the one we weren't sure would be saved all along.  The braces straightened it out and where the face of it had been completely turned and was against another tooth and couldn't be cleaned, it had decayed.  They want to leave it in as long as they can though, as that is where his previous bone graft is and it needs to be stronger before they remove it.  So it hangs there, wiggly and brown, and eventually going to be extracted as well.  I have lost count of how many teeth have already been pulled or will need to be pulled, but I think it is somewhere around 6.  And no, I am not able to even fathom what implants might eventually cost us to replace those.  Breathe deeply, one step at a time, pay off the orthodontia first, right??

The important thing is what he said this morning "Mommy, I am really pleased with how this looks!".  He will gain confidence and feel as handsome as he has always looked all along.  Dominick and I are so happy for him, and also glad we eliminated a couple more procedures with this one visit.

Here is a little better picture than I was able to take yesterday:

This is his attempt at a smile...that old brilliant Kenny grin will be back soon!

Doesn't he look about 15 years old in this picture??  In person he is still so tiny...a mere 78 lbs (he had managed to hit 80 but lost a couple!) that it is hard to believe he is almost 13, especially when he is standing next to his gargantuan "baby" brother, Matthew! Hahaha!  Mutt and Jeff, totally!

So, we take off on Sunday, and then it is on to Matthew's Shriner's visit in Salt Lake, where we hope we can get him more relief with his feet and leg issues.  Not sure if it will be new orthotics, or what.  Hoping surgery is not ahead of us for that one. 

Then, and only then, maybe we can get back to normal life.

Yea...I know what you are saying...LaJoy's normal?  Never!


Trisha said...

Glad to hear he is happy with the results and things went smoother than you though they would! Always a joy.

Anonymous said...

What a handsome kid!--but then he always was. His heart has always made him beautiful. And a hero to boot--along with his mother--and his family.

Congratulations, Kenny.