New things on the horizon
Since Gary's bike ride for Bella, she's been asking for a "snapping hand" like Gary's. She doesn't know much about prosthetics other than the few that she's seen. Gary's being one of them and the only other one was at our Hanger Prosthetic appointment a few months ago. She didn't want a "plastic" hand and said it looked weird. Because it wasn't in use by someone, I think it was hard for her to understand how it could have been useful to her. Maybe I'm wrong though, maybe it just looked odd to her. She kept saying it just looked like a "baby doll hand", when I put myself in her shoes, that's exactly what it looked like except on a larger scale.
We were very lucky to have networked with Shriner's Hospital prior to Bella's birth and get into their system even though we have never utilized their services. We've been seen at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin up until now... By being seen, I mean we've gone there three times. Once when I was pregnant, once when Bella was first born and another time when she was complaining about pain to her nub where her thumb would have been. Even with insurance, it's expensive to go there and get services there. For our first visit, which included x-rays and being seen by an Ortho doctor, we paid over $200 out of pocket. At Shriner's, they bill your insurance and then their services are free. They will even transport you TO and FROM the hospital if you need transportation!
We have our first appointment at Shriner's scheduled for December 20th. Ryan, Bella and I will spend the day together, driving down to Chicago, being seen my one of their ortho/prosthetic specialists and then driving back. I'm hoping we have time to stop for a fun lunch date or something. I've heard appointments there are lengthy, 2-3 hours. So we'll pack plenty of snacks and things to do for Bella. Since this is a prosthetic appointment, we'll discuss options with them and hopefully Bella will get to SEE some of the options. I'm also hopeful that since that day there's a prosthetic clinic that she may get to meet some other kids like her and see some of their prosthetics in use.
When she verbalizes wanting another hand, she has given us specific uses for why she needs one. She wants to hold her baby dolls. She wants to be able to hold paper with one hand and cut paper with the other hand. She'd like to play with barbies with two hands. I'll be honest, it's heartbreaking to hear your four year old daughter talk about all the reasons two hands would be useful to her. I believe she is perfect as she is but I can sympathize with her in why she feels two hands would be beneficial. I have no idea how I would do many of the daily tasks that I do one handed. I would learn and adapt, just as she has. She teaches me so much about life and faces challenges head on. I'm hoping this appointment will help her and us to decide what will be best for her and start the process of getting a prosthetic.
I have many different emotions about this. She's my girl, my daughter, my first born. She teaches me about being a mother every single day. I love her just the way she is. It's my job as the strongest woman role model in her life to teach her to be confident and strong. To face challenges knowing that she'll overcome them or find a way to get through them. To teach her that being confident does not mean being cocky. To face bullies in a way that's caring, realizing that they may be bullying because they are unsure of themselves. To not back down, ever! I want her to realize and understand that she's perfect as she is, she can dye her hair if she wants, but the way she is, is just perfect. That her little sleepy hazel eyes are incredible, there's no need for them to be blue like mine or brown like daddy's. That she's not fat or skinny but that her body is just right for her. Being a woman, presents its challenges. We are always more critical of ourselves. I want her to be confident and bold as a toddler, girl, teen and adult. I'm crying as I wrote this because the love she brings to my life makes me heart overflow. I'm sure anyone who has come in contact with her would agree that her laughter is contagious. I have big shoes to fill for this little girl but I'm up to the challenge!