Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Update Wednesday morning 10/26

Praise the Lord for good days and bad days!  Dale had a very good day Monday.  PT was great!  The therapist has quickly become dear to my heart because she did not even in the slightest way treat Dale like a small child.  She treated him as a twelve-year-old boy who is trying to grow into adulthood and struggling with typical body changes as well as non-typical problems.  She was soooo good with Dale, even though he cried nearly the whole time we were there!  (I believe his crying was simply his way of expressing how frustrated he was at his body, his situation, and his lack of control over his surroundings.)  She just ignored the tears and kept trying one activity after another until she found one that took Dale's mind off his problems.  She had him getting down on the floor and crawling on his knees a bit, putting magnets in various metal places.  (Those magnets were super strong; she said she got them at the NASA store.)  I was the one flinching and trying to keep my hands off Dale, wanting to "help" him down and up.  She was great; she told Dale to do something, then waited to see if he could do it before offering help.  Even then, she asked Dale, "Do you want some help?" and explained to him that she believed he could do it on his own, but if he needed help, she would only give just a tiny bit "until you re-learn how to do this."  She was so matter-of-fact about Dale's ability to move and think (at one point when he was interacting with her, she turned to me and said, "Oh, his brain works just fine, doesn't it?") that it was obvious he was gaining confidence in himself just by being around her.  Everyone else---including me---tends to treat Dale with kid gloves, always acting like there is something wrong with him; in essence, we constantly remind him that things are different now and expect him to fail.  This therapist told Dale, "If you show me you can do something once, I'll never ask you to do it again"---and then proved she would keep her word.  She had Dale tapping on each leg with his hands, then added tapping the same foot as the hand.  He cried, but he did it!  He had never been asked to do that before, and I was pleasantly surprised to see he could do it.  We walked out to the gym area where she introduced Dale to the treadmill.  He took to that just great, pressing the button to start/stop and staying on it for four minutes.  Then she had him try a cardio bike.  In rehab, he would work on the NuStep (a "bike" with handles to pull and flat pedals to push).  He always did this half-heartedly, needing constant reminders to keep going.  We tried once to get him up on an adult tricyle in rehab---he screamed bloody murder.  We didn't repeat the effort!  But now, Dale swung one leg over the bike, settled onto the seat, and allowed her to help him with the pedal straps.  Then, he began pumping his legs as if he'd been riding a bike every day for years!!!  I was so happy to see this that I couldn't help crying.  You know what they say:  you never forget how to ride a bike!  Dale proved this wonderfully well.  Thank You, Lord!

We now have PT appointments tentatively scheduled for once a week through the end of the year.  Twice a week would be even better, but we have to wrestle with our bank account for that.  Plus, we hope to schedule SP appointments once a week as well.  No OT appointments right now as Dale does not seem to need them quite as desperately as SP and PT.  He does alot of OT at home just through everyday life---practicing tying his shoes, getting dressed, brushing his teeth, etc.  Please pray that one of three things will happen:  1) God will lay it upon the heart of a wealthy benefactor to pay all our medical bills, 2) a financial aid program will come through to pay our co-pays (or more), or 3) we will discover a rich uncle who just died!  I'm just kidding; we don't have any rich uncles!  We are trusting God to supply this very great need, just as we trust Him to supply our everyday needs.  And, frankly, with as staggeringly high as our medical bills have become and continue to grow, our everyday needs have become increasingly hard to meet.  My husband is working steadily (thank You, Lord, for his job), and we have cashed out every possible retirement/savings account we could think of.  The Bible tells us, "The just shall live by faith," and we intend to do just that.  It isn't always easy, but we truly thank God for this opportunity to show Him how much we trust Him.  Not many people get the chance to ever do that; we are blessed indeed.

Yesterday (Tuesday) was just a day.  Not good, but not bad, either.  Except for bedtime when I leaned over to give Dale a kiss, and he told me, "I hate you."  THAT was bad moment for me.  I tend to take things very personally, and that hurt.  Thank God, my husband was there to hear this.  He maintained his calm and explained to Dale that words can hurt.  He further said that the word "hate" means more than just a feeling; it implies a desire to be rid of the person toward whom the hate is directed.  Chad firmly but lovingly explained to Dale that he should never use that word in relation to a person, just sin and Satan.  Dale understood and closed his eyes to sleep.  I left the room and cried a bit---my son has always been very loving toward me, and it really hurt to have him express such a feeling about me.  I know he didn't mean it quite the way it sounded (he was probably just expressing his feelings about the situation, his helplessness, and the fact that I am the one who makes him do things he doesn't want to like exercise, think, brush his teeth, work hard), but it still hurt.  Yet one more thing I will be happy to look back on, once these ultra tough days are behind us.

Dale got to attend home room at school today.  I didn't even go in the room with him (aren't you proud of me?), just informed the teacher he was there and walked away.  I had a few questions for the school office, so I was able to distract myself while he was in class.  Home room only lasted for about 10 minutes, and then I went back and got him.  I picked up a copy of his class schedule; maybe tomorrow Dale can attend one or two of his classes and get used to being back at school.  I think at this point that it is I who is hesitant to send him to class, just because I'm worried about his inability to sit still for long periods and his tendency to scream at the top of his lungs whenever he doesn't like something.  We have been working with him to stop the screaming, but so far he seems to think this is his only recourse.  Usually his screaming is directed at a specific action like someone else crying or everyone talking too much.  In a family with five children, there is alot of talking!  Still, we are reminding Dale that they have as much right to talk as anyone else, and he needs to control himself.  In regards to school or church, his peers and teachers need to know what Dale is struggling with (standing up/sitting down repeatedly, screaming, etc.) so that they can better help him fit back into his life.  He may get some looks from some people, but I think everyone is willing to help him and willing to overlook some behavioral quirks, too.

By the way, Dale is doing much better again climbing the stairs and getting in/out of the van.  We have been doing extra leg exercises and practicing stepping, so that his muscle strength as well as his confidence has been improving.  He now drinks from a cup without the use of a straw; he is getting up off the floor much more easily than before; and he is following the lists posted in the bathroom more readily.  Yea!!!

Romans 15:5-6  "Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:  That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."


  1. God is amazing! I have followed Dale's story since the accident occured. Your family is amazing. I read your blog all of the time, just thought it was time to comment :)

    Love from Tolleson, AZ

  2. Praise The Lord!!! It sounds like Dale is really progressing and getting to interact with other children as well.

  3. Since Dale seems to be mentally capable, but physically struggling, will he be attending his normal classes, a younger grade, or a school for children who have some form of disability? Sorry, that sounds so horrible! I know Dale will heal and be whole again, plus some as this is an experience he will be carrying with him and using as a testimony for the rest of his life. I was just interested because you said he had went to school, but then you posted earlier that he was being stubborn and you were doing counting and stuff so i am slightly confused. The screaming sounds almost like a two year old who doesnt know how to use its words yet and needs that reminder. I pray he starts to use his words again instead of screaming for attention. I know you have said he is having trouble putting things into words but maybe you could somehow make up cards with emotions either written or drawn on them so that instead of screaming about something he could look for and show you a card that explains his emotion at the time and maybe even a physical need that he cant get into words. Like a picture of the toilet to indicate he needs to go, a sad face, a happy face, a goofy case, a picture for a drink or food. I guess i am kinda going on with the way you teach a young child to stop screaming here, and i realize dale is a young man, but similar things may work for him to communicate better with less screaming. Thank you so much for the updates. Also, do you know that there is a prayers for dale facebook page? Many of us are unable to post on this blog for some blogger reason and talk about Dale on the facebook group often. I hope to see you there! Thank ou once again for allowing us to bare witness to the miracle your family is experiencing! Praise The Lord!

  4. It is great to see that you are able to maintain a light heart. When your heart is heavy it is truly called being human. When you are full of hope and faith, that is beyond normal human understanding. While we strive to be Christ like and "trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding," Prov 3:5, that is a complete shift from the human thought process. You are doing an amazing job as a mother, Christian and example of the genuine desire to serve Christ and bear the cross you and your family have been given. The same goes for your husband and children - you all are an amazingly blessed and annointed family. Don't be to hard on yourselves, every day brings an new opportunity to try all over again to conquer the lessons God is teaching you that may be so hard. But remember that God rewards every effort we make to be obedient and to grow in Him so that we may serve Him. As for the yelling, I can relate to that with my 12 year old son that does not even deal with a neurological condition. It is truly the frustration of not having words to explain the feelings in his heart & soul. This summer I fasted for the first time for healing for my younger son but I also fasted & prayed for freedom from random yelling in frustration for my older son. The morning I fasted was the last time he randomly expressed aggression. He has been freed of so much of the frustration and gradually he is learning the words to express his feelings that are able to minimize his frustration. I continue to pray for God to give him the words to express his feelings & my son accepts that prayer. This is the best school year for him ever, he is balancing football, band & maintainting his GPA for National Junior Honor Society with God's grace. He has his moments of frustration, but they are nothing compared to what they used to be. God has freed him from the extreme frustration. May God continue to bless you all.

  5. Hey Kirsten,
    It's Saralee from Baltimore again. I saw in Wednesdays blog how financially strapped you guys are, yet, asking and knowing the Lord will provide. I have been posting some of the Blogs on my Facebook page (especially the one from the other night that made me cry).Tonight, I posted your blog and challenged all of my Facebook friends to go to the site and donate anything $1, $5, whatever. Imagine if ALL of them id just a little..

    Other readers of Kirsten's Blogs, I challenge YOU to post this in whatever Social Media you use, to aks for just a little financial help for these guys. God WILL provide..and He may use US as part of His plan.

    I'll check in later tomorrow Kirsten. Hope today was OK. He (Dale) DOES love you..even though he said those things, he is on;y able to articulate in certain ways about certain, put it in the Lord's hands to comfort your heart...

    Good night sweet sister,
    Saralee <3

  6. How wonderful to hear how far Dale has come! Focus on what a great job you are doing and how you are helping him - the money will come if you believe!
    I think of you often and love to read about the daily progress. Keep your spirits up and keep looking toward a bright future. What an inspriational family you are.

  7. I've been praying for Dale since his accident. Thank you for the continued updates. I will join you in praying that the Lord raises up a wealthy benefecator to pay all your bills, in Jesus' name.