If you remember, Karissa had to follow-up with the Super-Doctor in St. Louis 6 weeks after her visit in mid-December. We decided the easiest way to get there was for us to drop the kids off (and dogs) with Karissa’s parents in Naples and fly to St. Louis while leaving the RV at a campground. We booked some cheap flights and a hotel downtown.
When the day finally came, we met Karissa’s parents at a park in Punta Gorda so Adelaide could play and we could have a picnic lunch. The park was beautiful and right on the water. On the way back to our campsite, we stopped at “shark tooth beach” in Venice and found a few shark teeth. It was awesome. We soaked in the hot tub that night (something that’s tough with two kids) and headed to bed before our early morning flight.
In St. Louis, we explored downtown – randomly walking around and going up the Gateway Arch. I’d done it as a kid while Karissa never had. It was just as I remembered it – totally awesome!
We grabbed a pizza at Pi Pizzeria, a hipster place with ethnic and creative pizza toppings. We got the chicken shawarma pizza which was awesome. Then, we had an early night to bed at the hotel.
The next morning, we made our way to the doctor’s office. Karissa was nervous, but I knew she had more ability to move her arm and wasn’t worried. The initial go-round with the doctor was a bit alarming. They’d been hoping for more recovery. They sent Karissa to get a nerve test, I think it was an EMG, which showed improvement in her middle trap and still no activity in the lower trap. We were sent back to talk to Super-Doc and her team. It took a long time. Karissa was worried. We could her bits of the conversation from outside the door. Finally, she came in and said it was a tough decision, but no surgery! She said 10 years ago, it wouldn’t have even been a consideration to do surgery given the improvement. But today, with newer techniques, it was a coin-flip. Given the risks of operating in the specific location, Super-Doc said she would advise against surgery. If it was her daughter, she wouldn’t let her go under the knife. She did say it could take up to 3 years for full recovery, which scares Karissa. I was pretty happy and relieved right away. We celebrated with lunch at an Indian buffet.
We had another somewhat early night at the hotel before the travel day the next day. We met up with Karissa’s parents and the kids at another great playground before heading back to the campsite. The kids were happy to see us (happier to be at another playground).
All-in-all, it was nice to have a little break for the kids. And wonderful news from the doctor that surgery isn’t needed helped too. We’re scheduled to see her again in 8 weeks, just to make sure everything is still progressing. But at this point, we are happy and relieved.