One of the major benefits of Magec rods is the fact that they can be lengthened externally. Each rod has a small motor that is activated magnetically via remote control and will expand the rod to a predetermined length. This means that the rods can lengthened to suit the amount she's growing, as well as the surgeon being able to lengthen one side more than the other to gradually correct the spine.
Evelyne has been having lengthenings every 3 months since the rods were placed in January 2016.
Whilst it is so much better than surgery, it is still painful. The first lengthening was especially painful. Possibly due to the length of time since surgery, possibly due to recent bone work and bone grafts, possibly her spine may have been starting to fuse in places. Yet again we weren't prepared for it to be painful. I had been told by other parents that lengthenings were pain free, but unfortunately this was not our experience. Each time the pain has lessened, and now we give her pain medication before we go.
Today was Evelyne's 6th lengthening. To our surprise, it turns out today was the last lengthening for this set of rods. As she was so small when her surgeon first inserted the rods, he was only able to fit the smaller length in. We had thought we had a bit more time before the next surgery, but it is now to be scheduled for September. The good news is, the doctor anticipates that he will be able to keep the current screws in place and just replace the rods to the longer version. This will result in a slightly shorter surgery, and hopefully shorter recovery.
A few tears from Evie today as she thought of another surgery. Last time we saw the surgeon and he mentioned another surgery soon, I said "I only just got over the last one!" To which Evie replied "I still haven't gotten over it!
I was recently reminded of a previous blog post of mine Dealing with disappointment. Whilst some appointments and parts of this journey are disappointing, it is good to remind myself how far she's come since 2011, as well as remind myself that God is indeed in control, and find comfort in that.
A painting Evie made for her doctor today. He affectionately calls her "E.B"