Wow, have the past few days been stressful! After finally getting our van back (again) on Saturday, we were chagrined to realize on Sunday that Dale seems to have forgotten how to climb in! We have spent the last few days working extra on PT at home, trying to help strengthen his muscles and rebuild his stamina. We are also trying to help him remember the steps necessary to pull himself into the van, while at the same time trying not to make a big deal out of it so he will not overthink it. This is exhausting just writing it out! Suffice it to say: we're tired. Just plain pooped---sorry, old Southern expression! Dale has seemed to be more moody than usual, crying or screaming during even the simplest tasks, and in some ways he seems to have given up. He keeps asking us, "Is this a dream?" I'm sure it feels like one to him, or perhaps he just wishes it is a dream so that he has a hope of "waking up" and having everything be normal again. Today, during his PT, he was unwilling to keep trying, even stating, "I can't." I had him practicing getting up off the floor (sitting up, bending knees to one side, pulling himself up onto his knees, then standing up). He kept saying, "I can't. I can't!" I kept telling him, "Yes, you can. Don't be a quitter. Keep trying." We practiced this technique several times before I would let him stop. (I'm not stubborn---I'm determined!) Dale was crying most of the time, but not, I think, because I was pushing him too hard. I think he was just feeling sorry for himself. I finally told him, "If you would put as much energy into getting up off the floor as you are into crying, you'd be on the ceiling by now!" He didn't appreciate this very much. When we had practiced enough for my satisfaction (and, yes, he got plenty of rest breaks), I let him stay standing after his last successful getting-up. By then, it was lunchtime, so Dale ate a good lunch and then retired to the couch for a much-deserved TV break. Part of me feels like I'm being too hard on him, and part of me wants to keep pushing for more. In his case, it's not as if he's just out of shape and needs me to be tough on him so that he will finish his exercise routine. It's not just his muscles that are weak and unable to perform; it's his brain that is not sending the right messages to make his muscles move properly. However, Dale sees this as "I can't when I should be able to, and I'd rather cry than work hard." This is what we are battling against now---his lack of desire to get better. He's beginning to think that this is his life now, and we are not willing to settle for this. We have been assured by doctors and therapists that he can continue to improve; he just has to work. More than that, we have a big God Who is not through working His miracle in our son. I believe that just as sure as I'm sitting in this computer chair. God has a bigger purpose for Dale than to only be a miraculous rescue story. He has answered the prayers of His people on Dale's behalf, and He will continue to do so---if we continue to pray. PLEASE continue to pray.
Dale saw his new doctor on Tuesday for an "establish care" visit. Everything went well; Dale is in fairly good health other than the obvious. The doctor kindly but firmly made it clear that he thinks Dale needs licensed PT, OT, and SP therapy to regain the ground he's lost and continue to move forward. (Dale has regressed in climbing into the van and climbing up/down stairs easily). Our concern with outpatient therapy is the $30 co-pay each time Dale has an appointment. We have been given several resources to look into that may be able to help offset those costs or pay them entirely. Another item for prayer! We want to be able to take advantage of assistance programs without giving up privacy or rights to the government and without feeling like we are depending on those programs to supply our need and not our Father. There's a fine line between availing ourselves of offered support and failing to trust God for all things. Please pray that only His will may be done and that we will continue to lean on Him fully during this financially, emotionally, and physically draining time.
Dale's balance has been none too steady lately as well. He walks just fine and can climb up one or two steps with ease. It's when he catches his toe on something or gets pushed off-balance a bit that he seems unable to catch himself or right himself and ends up falling to the ground if someone does not catch him. He fell yesterday coming out of SP. Again, his foot caught the door and his hand automatically latched onto the door handle. By not letting go, he lost the ability to right himself and ended up swinging around in a downward spiral until his bottom hit the floor and his head connected with the glass wall. This, of course, really scared him; he sat on the floor, cyring, and would not let me help him get up. Finally, a couple of nice gentlemen came over and asked him if he wanted their help. When he nodded and stretched out his hand, they were able to lift him to his feet. We stood still for a few minutes longer so that I could comfort him (lots of hugs) and he could finish crying. Then, we still had to go out to parking lot and try to get him in the van! We were both glad to get home!
Dale has his first PT appointment with a new therapist on Monday, so we will get a chance to see how well he does then and what he really needs to work on. I am asking each therapist what I can do at home with Dale to continue the therapy they start, kind of like homework. I am not sure how long it will take for Dale to be able to function on his own without me breathing down his neck, but we are in this for the long haul and, by God's grace, we will win!!!
I Corinthians 2:9 "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him."