Back in December, SnarkGirl's best friend Elsie had surgery for scoliosis and Arnold-Chiari Malformation (Type II). It was a rough time for all involved; Elsie spent several weeks in CHoP, her family was a wreck, and SnarkGirl shuttled back and forth for several distressing visits.
(There's nothing like a walk through the ICU of a children's hospital to make you appreciate your own children's good health.)
When Elsie was discharged, she was in a back brace, with orders to only remove it to bathe. This was rough on her, as she could not run, jump or play as she was accustomed to, and she looked a bit awkward. While her classmates were generally good about it (with a few notable exceptions), it made an already bad situation that much harder.
The phone rang at 8 this morning -- it was Elsie, calling from CHoP on her mom's cellphone. I could hear the shriek from the living room, and I was at the breakfast table:
"The doctor said I can take my brace off for up to 18 whole hours a day!"
Needless to say, the atmosphere is celebratory.