It’s Time To Fuse Some Spine!

Welcome to my first blog entry post Seven Quick Takes. I’ll be honest; it was nice to not arrive at Thursday evening wondering what I was going to write about, wracking my brain for ideas and becoming frustrated that I was losing precious sleep in the process. While I was not shocked that many readers were surprised and disappointed by the retirement of Seven Quick Takes, I was taken off guard and humbled by many of the kind comments, messages and emails I got from y’all. Thank you for being such great readers. I’m glad so many of you enjoyed the link up for so long, even as it dwindled and blogging fell out of favor.

The big news this week is that tomorrow is Teddy’s spinal fusion surgery. MAJOR PRAYER REQUEST ALERT!!!! The good news is we’ve been through this before and we know what to expect. We’ve been able to answer Teddy’s questions based on our experience and I personally am having less anxiety. The bad news is we’ve been through this before and we know it’s going to be a long, painful recovery and there’s only so much we can do to make Teddy comfortable. (Read about Fulton’s experience here.)

Our parish friends have set up a meal train, grandparents will be helping out, and I’ve tried to clear our calendar for the rest of the year. I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to just focus on Teddy getting better. I will update here, and maybe Instagram, through the week. We expect him to be in-patient for about a week. If you could pray for the following:

  • That the surgery is successful and there are no complications.
  • For Teddy’s comfort during the recovery process.
  • That Teddy tolerates his pain medication.
  • That Teddy eats and drinks enough post-op.
  • Related to the previous two requests; for no GI problems.
  • That Teddy, Tony, and I can get sleep.

Teddy doesn’t need balloons, flowers, or stuffed animals but he would enjoy getting cards or pictures. If you’d like to send him some get well mail (it’s a great way to get rid of some of your child’s old artwork or earn homeschool art class credit) you can send it to:

Patient Theodore Mantoan 
Shriner's Hospital
3551 N Broad St. 
Philadelphia PA 19140

If you live far away, email me and I will give you our home address as otherwise the mail may not make it to us before we’re discharged. Teddy loves football (especially the Kansas City Chiefs), Marvel movies, Harry Potter, and history (specifically anything related to wars). He’s a big reader so book recommendations are also welcome. His patron saints are St. Anthony of Padua and St. Theodore.

I know Teddy won’t have much of an appetite post-op so I figured I’d let him indulge in all his favorites over the last week. He helped me with meal planing last Monday and picked out all his favorite foods, plus one meal of fast food. We also made sure to get him the sacraments of reconciliation and anointing of the sick. So his stomach and soul are ready to go.

The only meal he didn’t get to pick was for Martinmas. We had our usual duck, and then broke in our new fire pit and roasted up some s’mores. I texted Addie pictures to let her know she was missed and that we were eating lots of delicious food without her.

Hi Addie! How’s that cafeteria food??? We miss you, but now there’s more duck for the rest of us.
Fire pit selfie! Now it’s fall.

Last weekend we also made the decision to start a mid-season fantasy football league. I hadn’t thought of it at the beginning of the season, but when I explained how it worked to Fulton and Teddy, they didn’t want to wait until next year to try it out. Thankfully, the ESPN fantasy site and app let you start a league at any point in the regular season. There’s six of us in the Mantoan family league: me, Tony, Byron, Fulton, Teddy, and my mother-in-law who know more about football than any of us. Fulton’s team is the Roasted Turkeys (“Let’s get roasted!) and Teddy’s team is the Fat Moose (“F-A-T-M-O-O-S-E; FAT MOOOOOOOOOSE!”). It doesn’t really matter what the rest of us named out teams (or chose as our team cheers) after that does it?

I knew Fulton and Teddy would enjoy fantasy football, I just failed to realized how much more annoying watching football would be with numerous family members screaming out random stats and family team scores every 38 seconds. And smack talk. So. much. more. smack. talk. I have not been successful in turning any of this experience into a teachable moment on good sportsmanship. At least we can all agree to dislike the Cowboys.

That’s a wrap for this week. Once again, please remember Teddy in your prayers tomorrow. It’s a long surgery so pretty much any time you think of him, there’s a good time he’ll still be in surgery. I’ll be back with an update soon!


  1. Kelly,
    Teddy is in my daily prayer list.
    One of my hobbies is historical miniatures. French & Indian War period. If you go to my website there are photos and articles of what I do. Teddy may enjoy these.

    1. Thank you Paul. I will share these with him. He loves making elaborate army men scenes; historical miniatures is the next logical step!

  2. I am a teacher in NJ. We made cards which will be sent soon. The students are wondering how Teddy made out and is doing?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.