The traditional Easter greeting took on a footnote for me this year.
Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.
The phrase, known as the Paschal Greeting, has its origins in the ancient church. In fact, the custom emulates the first disciples who said, “It is true! The Lord has risen,” (Luke 24:34) after recognizing the risen Savior. It is a phrase bubbling over with joy, relief, comfort, and hope. Nothing can overshadow the meaning of this phrase, yet when I saw it spelled out this Easter season, I couldn’t help but also think of our own little Christ.
And that leads me to the footnote …
At just 3 weeks after his bilateral amputation, Christ has indeed risen. I am amazed at the resilience of kids! I complain of a hang nail or a stubbed toe for days, but Christ was smiling the evening of his surgery. Dr. Abbott said everything went as planned and confirmed his satisfaction with Christ’s healing at his two-week post-op appointment last week, when we left the hospital with nothing but a single bandaid over a tiny portion of one incision that was still a little raw.
If you would have told me that a child would be released from the hospital just 24 hours after a double amputation, I would have met that statement with a significant amount of skepticism. Yet, that’s what happened! He slept much of the first day and night, then eased back into his usual routine over the following few days. We used the stroller in the house for several days until it was clear he wasn’t having it any more. On day 5 post-surgery, we gave in. He was not going to be kept down.
His bandages were to remain on his stumps until his two-week follow-up appointment, but he decided to take them off around day 10. I had a bit of a flashback panic moment … the time when Ma took out her prosthetic eye for the first time. Like then, I just started screeching, “Don’t panic. Nobody panic. It’s totally fine. We’re not panicking,” as I obviously panicked. But like then, there was no need to panic. I whisked him to the first aid kit only to observe a very clean and boring-looking sewed-up incision. Boring is good. We like boring when it comes to medical stuff.
Christ’s attitude throughout all of this has been amazing. Generally speaking, he is easy-going and pleasant and seems mostly unfazed by his surgery … except for the day last week when his bandages came off for good. He kept pulling up his shorts and looking for the rest of his legs, then looking at me for answers. This is where the communication barrier grows taller than Trump’s proposed wall.
Just as I was feeling terrible about his predicament, I was reminded by a friend that this is why he came. His parents knew why they were sending him. And his doctor knew that this was the best course of action, his best chance at future mobility. And if that reassurance wasn’t enough, I had three different people share personal stories with me about how the choice to amputate a limb was the best choice they or their loved-one ever made … easing them of pain and frustration, and opening the doors to mobility and a normal life.
It is my understanding that Christ will go home in another month or so with compression sleeves for his stumps. They like to wait several months after surgery to ensure healing is complete, swelling has subsided, and pain is absent before moving onto prosthetics. In the meantime, he will work on gaining strength and motion … something that was previously hindered by his lower limbs.
Our little Christ is rising strong. He is rising strong indeed.