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Personal Notes

Cole really needs our prayers.  His hand is not healing, in fact it’s doing the opposite (Westberry’s Only).  He originally had on a half cast that caused him nothing but pain.  He refused to go back to the ER, insisting on school, activities, etc. I finally ambushed him on Saturday and dragged him back in.

I almost cried when they took the cast off.  His hand was so misshapen, so swollen, so horrific.  The pain he must’ve felt, and here was my baby being stoic.  His cast had been put on wrong, and way too tight.  Even the ER doctor was shocked at the state of his hand.

A lovely one-armed tech, Sven, put a new half cast on absolutely beautifully.  He took his time, he made sure all Cole’s pressure points were relieved, and he made sure to have it snug but not too tight. It’s entirely possible Cole fell a little bit in love with Sven.

Yesterday was our ER Surgery appointment. Again the cast came off.  This time was equally horrific.  His hand was much better, still swollen but no longer misshapen, but his eczema had flared-up exponentially.  The vast majority of his skin was peeling and bleeding, the skin in between his fingers gone.  Again the ER surgeon was shocked at the state of his hand.  So shocked he was speechless.

Finally, there really was nothing left to do but treat the eczema (with cream, and special cotton finger coverings, and oral medications) before recasting in another half cast.  Surgery is not an option. The risk of infection to his bone with that much open wound is not acceptable.  Unfortunately the half casts are not protecting his bone enough and in the past week it’s shifted even more out of place.  We are talking millimeters, but millimeters matter in a hand bone.

For  now we go back every two days for a new cast and eczema treatment.  The good news is they can put each new cast on a little tighter to help the bone shift into place and heal.  I have fingers & toes crossed it’s enough.

I am obviously not sharing gruesome hand photo’s.  That’s a little much to bear with our morning coffee, and Cole would not be happy with me.  Instead, one of my favorite memories from my too-brief trip away from it all.  On our way to Giants Causeway we swung by the Dark Hedges.  Something everyone who has done the drive to Giants Causeway recommend.

It was everything I expected, and more.  These 300-year-old beeches are another land within a foreign land.  They are spooky, ancient, hauntingly beautiful and something I could’ve spent a day & a night photographing. I’ve had the hardest time picking out just one photo to share.  I actually love the black & white photo more, but the luscious green of the Irish countryside insisted I share it.  I love Ireland.


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I was going to wax poetic about Ireland today, and it’s still coming, you can’t stop me!  But, gosh there’s always a “but” isn’t there?  I was at the emergency room again last night.

I know, I know, I barely skimmed over Lindsay’s break in my Week I Review of Sorens visit home (Whirlwind).  But she did break her wrist (the scaphoid bone) snowboarding in Garmisch, beautiful, sunny, perfect Garmisch, while she was here.

Lindsay (Sorens girlfriend) was a Trooper!  I had no idea she’d hurt herself halfway down the mountain. And we snowboarded allllll the way down the mountain (Garmisch Hausberg, 1.3 km long).  Not only did we snowboard allllll the way down, but Lindsay wound up carrying Tess’ poles most of the way down.  Tess gave up. She hates skiing. She hates snowboarding (I think I’m disowning her).  Soren carried his sister down, while herding rocket-boy Dane.  Lindsay carried her poles, with her broken wrist, while I carried her skiis.

To top it off, Lindsay & I got lost.  Somehow we wound up off the run, on the other side of the mountain, on the other side of the small but raging brook.  Thankfully there was a fabulous, wobbly, rickety wooden plank we could use to cross the raging brook.  An elderly German man watched us cross it with great trepidation (carrying boards & skiis).  I asked him;

“Is it safe?” In my best German, of course.
“Yes.  Try it.” Says he.  “Then I can cross too.” Though I imagine he would not have crossed had the board snapped under my weight, and the raging brook carried me away.

The next day we took Lindsay to the ER, because she was stoic & fine that first day.  However. I caught on very quickly when she couldn’t brush her hair, teeth, or feed herself properly.

Last night Cole came home, with Dave, and I took one look at his hand & knew we were going right back to the same ER. He had a broken bone too.  Cole was stoic too, not a a tear was shed, but, LOL, he broke it horsing around with a buddy.  Really just talking with his hands, with his whole body, the way we all do, and his hand connected with his buddies moving knee.  The buddy is fine, not even a bruise.  Cole… well… he & Lindsay are now twinsies & I think they’ve put up a “Westberry’s Only” sign at our ER.

cole and lindsay

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I am bursting with happiness. I’ve got words spilling out of  my fingers faster than they can type.  My oldest, my golden child, my beautiful first born, Soren is here!  He arrived safe & sound & full of energy to explore the world early Sunday morning.  It has been a whirlwind ever since.

We’ve been to 1 1/2 Faschings Umzugs (Carnival parades), we’ve shopped in countless stores (that boy is a shop-a-holic just like his Oma). We’ve gotten lost in the most beautiful, treacherous part of Austria (lesson learned: read a map.  Don’t just trust your GPS).  We’ve been skiing and snowboarding (I can still do both!).  We learned that Dane has the “Rocketride” technique of skiing down pat, and it gives us all heart attacks, he points straight down & GOES until someone yells stop.  Then he crashes.  Dane would like to ski every single day please. We had dinner at our favorite Gasthaus in Garmisch (Gasthaus Fraundorfer) and completely enjoyed the warm bier, topped with whipped cream, liquors.  Dinner and dessert were equally fabulous and oh so very German.  If you are ever in the area… I highly recommend a visit.

We had two hospital visits, one in downtown Stuttgart for Dane’s yearly check-up with his “Giant” doctor (Dane’s Giant Doctor).  While Dane is still in the high normal, his “S” curve is back in his right carotid and we are still on yearly checks.  His blood flow is good, and that’s what is really important.  Our second visit was late last night, turns out Lindsay (Soren’s girlfriend) broke something in her wrist. But not her bone.  My German isn’t good enough to know what she broke, but she is in a beautiful blue cast.  What a trooper! Barely a peep out of her (though now she has been sleeping 14+ hours).

On our last day we journeyed up to the top of the Mount Osterfeldkopf to brave the views from the Alpspix.  Despite being made of strong metal beams, imbedded in hard rock, venturing out on the platform 1,000 meters above the valley is an adrenaline rush I’d rather skip.  But I did it. For the view.  For the photo’s. For my kids, so they learn not to fear.

Still, Dane did fear it very much.  Getting him to the very end took lots of coaxing and gummy bears.  And a big promise to stay crouched down, so there was zero chance of falling overboard.  I love my kids.

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