We’re still here.

Dusting this space off a bit to go back to this blog’s original purpose way back in 2009: getting news and pics to far away family. In the past few years, life has happened – as the kids get bigger and Baby To Go grows, the time to devote to posting just slips away and months go by. I sometimes think “this would make a good blog post” and want to share an anecdote or a Ludwig child accomplishment, but then other “stuff” gets in the way and then it feels like old news. Too late.

Many of you who might be reading this (if there is anyone? hello?) will already know most of this info. But Facebook has wonky algorithms and sometimes info gets out of order or missed so I’m putting it in this one space.

First: Lulu is FINE. She is coherent and as mobile as possible and her regular bubbly, sassy, social self. There is no reason at this point to believe she will not be okay, but we’ve had a rough couple of weeks.

– 12/27, Lu had a pretty bad fall on her first day skiing for the season. 4 or 5 runs in and we were *just* about to stop for lunch when she lost control at the bottom of the hill and yard saled. The ski patrol gave her a sled ride to First Aid and we took a trip to the ER where she had an x-ray and they told us she had a tibial plateau fracture. (This was after I, convinced she was overreacting/being the dramatic diva that she IS, told her to get up and come get some hot chocolate at the lodge. the words “You’re fine, walk it off” literally came out of my mouth. #oops) The ER docs put on a temporary splint and sent us on our way with spectacularly useless crutches.

– 12/28, orthopedist in New Hampshire referred us to a pediatric orthopedic specialist upon our return to NY because of concerns that the injury was on the growth plate. Firmed up the temporary splint and confirmed that we didn’t need to RUSH home.

– 1/2, pediatric ortho in NY (well, NJ, but after we got home) corrected her diagnosis to a tibia spine fracture and casted her from her tushie to her toes in hot pink glitter befitting the diva that she is. She will likely be in this seriously comically enormous cast for 4-5 weeks, and then be switched to a brace. Unfortunately, we still did not have a walker for her and he had no local resources for us so she was still completely immobile. He declined to sign off on a temp handicapped pass and so I left feeling a bit defeated and we BOTH had a rough evening. Getting the cast was physically taxing for her and having to physically carry her everywhere was taking its toll on me so we were exhausted and overwhelmed.

– 1/4, walker made it (Thank GOD for Amazon Prime.) Game changer. She is slooooooooowwwww and not going any long distances, but she can make it from the couch to, say, the bathroom independently and that made a HUGE difference. We went to Friday night services and had an uneventful weekend until Sunday night.

– 1/6, noticed her eyes crossing at dinner. No headache or nausea and she was coherent so not HUGE alarm bells, but the fall was not SO long ago so we headed off to the ER where the doc and nurses confirmed that her eyes were definitely not moving properly and I wasn’t hallucinating from exhaustion or something. CT scan was all clear so the determination was basically “just one of those things” – “Sometimes these symptoms can appear after a trauma and will resolve on their own.”

– 1/7, follow-up visits with the pediatrician and ophthalmologist who do NOT think this is “just one of those things.” Each did a fair amount of neurologic screening and gave me a laundry list of scary things it COULD be. Neither thought it is nothing to worry about, and they believe it is coincidental – unrelated to her fall. Bright spot of the day was that we got the temporary handicapped pass which makes taking her places a bit more manageable. We went for bloodwork and the results should be back in about 3 days.

– 1/8, general consensus from the doctors is that this is something muscular and will require surgical intervention. We went for a verrrrrrrry long MRI to confirm it is not neurological.

– 1/9, MRI is clear! Three different doctors confirmed that there is no neurologial issue. #notatumor No next steps yet, waiting for bloodwork.

– 1/10, Back to school for her birthday! I went in with her to get her settled and read a book to her class – plus there is no transportation set up for her yet, so I will be dropping her off and picking her up until that can get worked out. She was there for no more than an hour when the school nurse called to say she was complaining of headache and nausea. Cue panicked call to Dr. Andy who *immediately* came to the phone and called the school nurse to confer. Turns out that the “headache” is more of lightheadedness and he is not concerned – she wanted to stay at school and Dr. Andy had no problem with that. *I* am a little on edge.

FAQs

What’s up with her leg?
She has a fractured tibial spine (the top of her shin bone, behind the patella). This will likely be a long recovery, but she’s a kid so no surgery required and likely limited PT if any. She will be in the cast for about a month, after which it will be in a brace, probably for *at least* a month after that.

and her eyes?
We don’t know. We *believe* it is a muscular problem and will require surgery, but we don’t know when/if that will happen. We are waiting for the bloodwork first and then we will be referred to a specialized pediatric ophthalmologist to determine what the best course of action is.

What do you need?
First of all, THANK YOU. So many, many people have reached out. Friends have set us up with dinner for weeks, come by with cast-friendly activities and balloons for Lu, helped us manage getting Cole where he needs to be, run for groceries, and any number of other gestures of support and love. We are genuinely blown away and incredibly thankful for the amazing community we are a part of and the number of people who love Lulu. It has made an overwhelming and stressful few weeks bearable and we are so grateful for everyone who is so generous of spirit to reach out. For right now, we really don’t need anything. I am struggling to keep up with my work and emails so a bit of grace if we are tardy in communication, but our physical needs are met. I am secure in the knowledge that I can (and DO) set up a #MomSignal if something comes up, and so many people are willing to help. Some of you have your OWN stuff going on and I get that – we are not all available at all times. I am dropping the ball on reaching out to certain friends while I have been focussing on Lu so if that’s you, I’m so sorry, but hopefully everything will be back to normal soon.

Would you like the name of my friend’s/cousin’s/sister’s pediatric/neuro/ortho/ophthalmologist?
Yes. No. Maybe? We have tons of Very Smart Doctor Friends and acquaintances and I am thankful to have people who I can ask when I need clarification or confirmation. We will likely need a specialized pediatric ophthalmologist at some point, and I have quite a few names to start with when we get there. I am happy to have options, but without official diagnosis yet, I am concentrating on communicating with her doctors who have already seen her and know her medical history. It is giving me a little bit of anxiety to have quite so many suggestions and recommendations coming in. Please know I will ABSOLUTELY ask for names when/if we need them.

How is she doing?
She is FINE. This would all be soooooooo much worse if she was struggling or disoriented or ill, but aside from moments of boredom and frustration that is to be expected from being an active kid temporarily sidelined, she is really okay. Her eyes LOOK bad. They do – it is disconcerting to look at her, and it is very noticeable – but she can see and carry on a conversation and she is her regular, cheerful, sassy self.

What about Cole?
Cole is Cole. He had a few moments of jealousy when it was just her leg and she was getting a lot of attention, but with the addition of the eye thing he has been very helpful without being overly solicitous. He will carry things for her and get items she has left in another room, but only so much. If is something she doesn’t really need or she has already asked him multiple times, he is not waiting on her, but he has been very accommodating. He did NOT agree to switch beds with her (she has a loft), but that was a fair boundary for him to draw. He keeps his room just-so and I understand his reluctance, so she is sleeping on a camping cot in her room for now. He had his first gymnastics meet last weekend and did an amazing job – we are very proud of him.

If you need to get in touch with me, text is best. My emails have gotten away from me and my inbox is going to take a little while to wrestle under control. <3

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