The year has flown, and I (Kate) have been a bit remiss as I have been blindsided by an academic term that’s almost over. That being said, Matthew has been busy ‘rebuilding’ over the past few months and here at last is an update.
Matthew celebrated a birthday with a ‘pirates and princesses’ party, as Emily’s birthday is a week prior, so they shared a celebration. It was a celebration because Matthew was able to stand on his legs to cut the cake, which was no mean feat after months of weight-bearing exercises on the tilt-table. Here is a photo.
After a few setbacks with his legs and a LOT of downtime, Matthew made another trip to Melbourne in early April for operations to join the abutments (bolts) to implants in his arms. The operation went well, but he needed to return unexpectedly after adjustments needed to be made to one of the arms.
Here’s a photo of Emily and Matthew after recovery from one of his operations.
He also developed a haematoma in his groin that required a trip to the Mater’s ED, but this proved to be nothing to worry about.
Matthew is also at war with his phantom pain. It’s always been worse in his arms, and whenever he has real pain, the phantom pain seems to flare up to exceed that real pain which was always in other parts of his body. In this case, the real pain was also in his arms, so the phantom pain has been quite extreme. Matthew says the upside is that he knows the phantom pain isn’t real and it won’t be forever (we hope).
In between trips to Melbourne (which were separated by a fortnight), Matthew and Diane had the privilege of meeting Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, at the Queensland State function on the 19th of April. They were hot off the plane having returned to Brisbane the previous evening, and Matthew was still swathed in bandages, but they were pleased to make the effort and very thankful to friends Peter and Clare Malyon who nominated them to attend the function in the first place. They were guests with hundreds of others, and while they did actually get to meet William, they said the best part of the day was getting to meet a wonderful group of people who have done amazing things. Here are some photos…
So the last few months have largely been about recuperation and rehabilitation (between a few parties). Now that the operations have been completed, he moves into the next phase of training for new limbs. Even at this early stage, Matthew’s excited by the new length on his stumps. Dad has worked with Matthew to attach an interim extension, and even with this temporary measure, he’s able to scratch his head, and type e-mails and texts. The thought of things to come is very exciting.
Finally, and more importantly at the moment, our thoughts are with Diane’s sister Jenny and her family, as Jenny has received some bad news about her health. All the small problems in the world seem completely insignificant when people you love are struggling.
Until next time.