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Laura had yet another tethered cord release surgery on December 15, 2002. Yup right before Christmas. She was out of the hospital on December 22, so she did get to spend Christmas with us as a family at home.

The recovery from this was a bit longer and tougher than the last tethered cord release, but she has come through it all pretty well. We have had some concerns as of late and have made our fair share of trips to the doctors in the last six weeks. At least one appointment and sometimes three a week to see all the different doctors and get all the tests needed.

There are some concerns, but nothing that requires immediate attention or surgery to fix. Laura did get new braces again. Her AFKO's now have a metal brace on both sides on her leg with a knee strap to keep her knees from buckling in. (I will try to get a picture of them up soon.) She has some trouble with them as they are a bit more cumbersome and she has not fully regained the strength in her legs that she had before the December surgery. We are now starting to realize that she may never regain all the strength she had before.

The major thing that is going on right not is that Laura had entered prepubescent puberty. In layman's terms, she's starting puberty too early. This is a cause for great concern in that when a girl enters puberty her growth plates in her bones fuse and she quits growing. If this occurs before its normal time then you have a really short adult. This alone is not a great concern in itself. However, if a child is supposed to be 5'7" and her bones fuse making them 4'10" the body organs will continue to grow as if the person was going to be 5'7". Thus the organs run out of room to grow and causes many complications, some life threatening.

Fortunately, there is an easy fix to this. It is a wonderful medicine called Lupron. It is a shot that stops the puberty process and allows the child to continue on their normal growth path. Unfortunately, Lupron also is VERY EXPENSIVE! Laura received her first shot two days ago and must have one every 28 days at a cost of $1200.00 USD per shot. I have not received the first insurance statement yet on how much of this cost they allow as "resonable and customary" and what I'll be responsible for each time.

Other than that, Laura has been doing great. She passed the 2nd grade this year with all A's and B's. She is a little social bug that knows everyone and everyone knows her.

It is a joy and wonder to watch this young lady grow up. My family has been blessed in so many ways. Even with all the worries and struggles Laura's condition deals us, I would not trade my life for that of anyone else. Except maybe Laura, so she wouldn't have to go through the struggles she does.