Tuesday, November 3, 2020

The Good, The Bad, The Hopeful


To all who reached out and prayed and messaged and e-mailed... Thank you.

What started as a 3-4 hour surgery ended up taking 7 1/2 hours. 

After surgery, he spent sometime in PACU and then was able to go to his room.

By the time he arrived, I was a bit too exhausted to blog.

Plus, I needed to process all that happened.

He came back to the room with tubes going here there and everywhere.

Thankfully, they put in a nerve block that will last 4-5 days so his pain is currently under control.

How it went is a bit of a loaded question.

The good news - after many hours of very intensive, delicate surgery (they reconstructed his entire elbow) - they were able to get Aaron's arm to bend from 40 degrees to 130 degrees. That's HUGE. Aaron's arm could only bend 10 degrees. What they accomplished was groundbreaking. There was much rejoicing in the operating room.


When they tried to sew his skin back over the open wound - things went south.

Aaron's skin cannot stretch 40 degrees to 130 degrees. It stopped at about 85 degrees. When they tried to stretch it past that - his skin split. 

They were shocked. It never dawned on them. Sixteen year olds are supposed to have soft elastic skin. They spent a long time considering all the options. They had two hand surgeons and a plastic surgeon working together on this surgery and they brainstormed every option they could think of. They are no easy solutions. Because of the need for Aaron to be moving his elbow starting today, most of the options are not options. 

By doing a little bit of jury-rigging with a skin graft from the inside of his arm, they were able to stretch the skin to 90 degrees. That jury rigging means that Aaron's wound is not fully closed. They stapled what they could close and set up a wound vac to help with healing.

In two weeks he will come back for another skin graft. They are hoping with this graft they can gain another possible10-15 degrees. 

That would hopefully get him to 105 degrees. Not 130 but a tad better. 

It's not what we were hoping for but the fact that the surgery worked was huge!

He has a fixator on his arm which provides stability. He gets to keep that crazy device on for 6 weeks or so. EWWWWWW!!!!!

His attitude this morning has been amazing. We've already had therapy sessions and he's fighting through the breakthrough pain as we move his arm. I'm being trained on how to do it. He didn't kick me when I was working on him which was a great sign and in fact told me to do more!! WHAT????

For once in my life I am ENCOURAGING him to play on his electronics to keep his arm moving. 

That makes him very happy!!

Aaron is not despairing. Our boy is brave and he's a fighter. 

I couldn't be more proud of him. Everyone coming into his room is marveling at how well he is doing considering what he went through yesterday!!

Thank you for all your prayers. We are feeling every single one.


  1. he looks soooo good - praying for him -

  2. Praising our LORD & praying for his recovery. Such great news even with the journey ahead. Blessings

  3. I am in awe of his attitude!

  4. Oh, my, what a roller-coaster! Whew - glad the wild ride slowed down and future paths look nice and level. Winding - but level.

    Not sure it would provide much arm/hand exercise, but have Aaron look up "Santa's Surprise", intended for a virtual animated greeting card but including a deceptively simple smash the ornaments game that gradually increases in difficulty. It's addictive, and helps with eye-hand coordination - and it's fun. You can turn off the Christmas music, which is pleasant but which also gets a bit annoying after umpteen repetitions.

    I hope each day will see continued healing and improvement of function for Aaron. So glad things seem to be turning out well, even with some unexpected complications.

    Safe hugs and continued prayers for healing,

    Susan in Kentucky

  5. What an amazing young man! What an amazing family!! I am praying for you!!

  6. Sending more prayers for all your family, hugs for you, and prayers for ideas and success for the doctors as Aaron faces more surgery. Such a brave young man! Barbara B

  7. Love you, Aaron and all the Palmyra Nalles! Praying for continued success and healing!

  8. Wow!!! The challenges on top of challenges! He is such a fighter and I love the way he doesn't give up or give in! May God grant him more than the docs think possible.


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!