New Braces and More Dental Work

We had an exciting day last week as Ioana finally got her new braces.  Orthotic Prosthetic Solutions (OPS) is the company that built out the braces for Ioana.  The first part of the process was casting her legs so they could make custom molds.  This involved using fiberglass wrapping that was soaked in water and then Mark from OPS wrapped her legs.  He inserted a long plastic guide that was along her shin and then waited for the casts to firm up.  At this point he then cut down along the guide to get the casts off of her legs.  As you can see below we had a little fun with the casts before Mark took them away.  Click on any image to enlarge it.

A few weeks passed and last Tuesday Ioana finally got her braces.  She was excited and was really hoping that she would have had them before Shine a few weeks prior.  But they weren’t ready then and in hindsight it would not have mattered as it would not have worked too well with the shoes she wore there.  And like each new thing we encounter there are the challenges that come with it.  Immediately Ioana struggled with the fact that the braces supported her in the back of her leg instead of the front of her leg.  For the past week she has been wearing them a few hours a day to get used to them.  

Yesterday at physical therapy we made an interesting discovery that she is not able to stand in them without holding on to something. They took the braces off and she can stand just fine without support.  But with the braces on she does not trust them and immediately loses her balance.  Both Katie and an additional therapist had to scratch their heads over this.  Ioana really struggles to trust the stability in her right knee.  It has been a major focus of her therapy to gain full range of motion in the knee and to strengthen her right quadricep to support the knee without it giving out.  

The therapists finally came to the conclusion that the right brace is not offering her enough support.  OPS will have to make a new one that is stiffer and can offer her enough stability.  So we’ve taken a step back in order to continue forward.  With four weeks until her departure we’re praying to get this resolved before she goes home.

On another note a little while ago Ioana had a cleaning with our dentist and further examination and x-rays of her teeth.  It seems that she has six cavities and it is necessary to extract another bad tooth and also pull a wisdom tooth.  A great blessing came our way when Jacci Roberts inquired of her dentist about the potential to do the work free of charge.  She had sent them an email explaining Ioana’s situation.  Jacci had an appointment herself one day with the dentist so she asked about the previous email she had sent.  It seems the clinic does community service each year for people that can’t afford dental services and when Jacci had sent the email about Ioana they put her name on a list to review potential qualified applicants!  After review they selected Ioana to receive the work necessary to repair her teeth.  This was a huge blessing as the work would have cost about $2500 otherwise.

So many things like this have fallen into place for Ioana.  Of course, it’s a little difficult for Ioana to understand God’s provision when it means that she’ll be sitting in a dental chair.  But the dentist prescribed her medicine which will subdue her pretty well so that she can tolerate it better.  She had some cleaning done yesterday and will have the big work done today, so lift up a prayer for her.

I have other big news but will put that in a different post over multiple entries because God has worked in marvelous ways.  Stay tuned!