Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Update Tuesday morning 12/6

Dale is getting a little extra time off from his busy schedule, though not by his choice.  Yesterday, he had another seizure episode just after getting up in the morning.  I could sense he was shaky getting out of bed, but he walked into the bathroom just fine and closed the door.  It has been a few weeks since I have needed to be present in the bathroom with him to help cue him what steps to take.  I walked down the hall to the girls' room to get my littlest one clothes for the day.  There was a loud thump (which we think was the toilet lid), then Dale cried out, "MOM!", and I raced back down the hall.  By the time I got the door open, he was already on the floor in a seizure.  By all appearances, Dale lost his balance while bending down to lift the toilet lid and fell; in trying to catch himself, his brain went into seizure mode.  This one was different, though.  First, he called out to me; he's not done that before.  Second, the spell didn't last as long as the others, shaving off ten to fifteen seconds from the duration.  Third, Dale "woke up" from this one sooner than usual.  This could be because we put a pillow under his head to make him more comfortable on the bathroom floor while he rested and recuperated.  Unfortunately, the pillow was directly over the vent while the heater was on.  Within ten minutes of the spell ending, Dale pushed himself upright with his arms and began retching.  He never actually threw anything up (he hadn't eaten breakfast yet), but he acted like he needed to.  I think the heat made him feel sick to his stomach, and his body reacted like it would under normal circumstances, seizure notwithstanding.  The poor guy was still half in/half out of it; he couldn't keep himself sitting upright---his body looked as boneless as a cat's!  When I asked him to look at me, he could do it; it just looked like he was drugged.  Finally, Amanda and I got him standing; Dale moved his legs properly to walk into his bedroom; and I put him in bed.  At last he could rest comfortably.  A friend of mine came to take the girls to school since I could not leave Dale---and there was no way we were going to carry him to the car!  Fourth, Dale recovered more quickly from this episode than any other.  He slept just a short time afterward, waking up easily and getting ready for the day as if nothing had happened.  I asked him if he remembered even getting up the first time, and his answer was "No."  Amazingly, he seemed even better after the seizure than before.  I can't wait to ask the neurologist about this because Dale was not shaky at all getting ready.  Usually he has a hard time keeping his leg from jumping around while trying to put his foot into his shoe.  After the seizure, his legs were steady and he moved with ease.  Could it be that the seizure actually helps his brain reset?  It's kind of like when we feel sick to our stomachs---we generally feel better after we go ahead and throw up.  It seemed like Dale was able to get dressed, move his limbs, and even walk down the stairs more readily after the spell than before.  This may be a case of "the cure seems worse than the illness."

Sooooo....today Dale gets even more time off.  We got a call this morning canceling his PT appointment because his therapist called in sick.  It is cold and flu season after all!  So Dale is at present in history class, after which we will head home for some extra relaxation.  I tried to interest Dale in doing a thousand push-ups, but he wouldn't take the offer!  :-)

Dale's speech is improving with incredible speed.  At SP last week, the therapist had him look at a picture and describe it in a sentence using a specific word.  (For instance:  there might be a picture of kids playing on the playground and the specific word might be "slide.")  The picture was of a man and woman gardening with a cat and dog racing around in the background, and Dale needed to use the word "and."  He stated his sentence, "The woman is not working as hard as the man," and sat back, finished.  The therapist looked at him and said, "I don't think you used the word 'and'."  Dale replied, "Yes, I did."  She had him repeat the sentence.  Dale said, "The woman is not working as hard as the---oh, I guess I didn't!"  You see how he caught himself just as we would?  He has begun speaking more and more, and, personally, I think he is both thrilled and relieved to be able to express how he feels and what he wants.  This morning, in the chaos of trying to get out the door, several of us were talking at once, including Dale.  I stopped and asked him, "What did you say?"  He said (with short seconds-long pauses in between sentences), "Nothing.  I'm not talking to you.  I'm talking to the dog."  These are just a couple of examples of how well he is speaking now.  Oh, thank You, Lord, for Your wonderful blessings and for implementing Your perfect plan in Dale, both in the past and in these last few months!

Our school secretary just came in and asked if we wanted Dale to take the Stanford Achievement Test in February.  She has to order them in the next week or so.  PRAISE GOD!!!  My first thought was, "February is still two months away.  We have no idea how progressed Dale will be by then."  And, to think that four months ago, we were standing by Dale's bedside in the hospital, weeping and asking God to spare Dale's life if it be His perfect will.  Just three months ago, the SP therapist in the hospital was telling me that, once Dale began speaking and pulling words out his mind, his world would change.  Just two months ago, Chad and I were concerned that Dale was regressing because of the lack of therapy.  Just one month ago, I had to stand in the bathroom with Dale to ensure proper steps were taken, including cleaning him up afterward.  And, today, I'm watching my son work a computer, speak naturally, attend classes, play video games.  The English language does not contain words descriptive enough to express my feelings, my joy, my thankfulness to our God, my contenment.  Not that I don't want more, but I'm so very thankful for my son and God's goodness.

Isaiah 43:10 - 11  "Ye are My witnesses, saith the LORD, and My servant whom I have chosen:  that ye may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He:  before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me.  I, even I, am the LORD; and beside Me there is no Saviour."


  1. This was a story that started out sad, but ended happy! Why do I always get tearing eyed when I read about Dale's experience, whether they are bad, I get teary as I feel so for the boy, and when things are good, teary, for his advancement and how wonderful and majestic God is and how important He is to me. I am so happy for Dale's day today!

  2. I'm so glad to read of Dales progress. Weeks ago I wrote about Dale arriving in his personal "Land of Milk and Honey." He seems to be getting there sooner than I had hoped. Perhaps my small, feeble prayers have helped. Feel free to humor me in that regard. :)
    I don't have a joke for Dale this time, but I have an English puzzle, or riddle if you will. You can use it on the girls too. Recite a grammatically correct sentence where seven of the ten words are the word "had." To put it in context: "Susie and I wrote a paper on a similar subject and even used the same sentence, except for one difference. (This is the sentence) Where I had had 'had,' she had had 'had had.'"

  3. Hearing about Dale's progress never fails to lift my spirits, thank you Kirsten for your continued posts.

  4. Praise God! God is so good and faithful!

  5. Kirsten,

    What an amazing God we have..in good times and in bad..yet, He chooses to show us His Grace, and Dale is just that..a "showpiece" of God's grace. What a great job YOU are doing, balancing all of this!! I know, cuz I have 4 kids and just trying to balance THEIR schedules is overwhelming, where you have to fit in all these extra things for Dale for his recovery. God is and will bless you for this..I know he's your son, but it DOES take emotional and physical energy to keep up with all of this.

    Dale, you are doing an INCREDIBLE job, working SO hard, even after a seizure...and working SO hard in school, PT SP , going to church...you are God's masterpiece, aren't you? He will continue to walk beside you.

    Girls..you are doing an incredible job as well. I know you have had to sacrifice time and energy, and you have, selflessly, for the good of Dale's recovery.

    What an incredible Christmas you all will have. Is there anything specific that you all want, need for Christmas?? Even something little or big..I want to help in some way to Bless you. Answer back in this blog and give me your address. if you want to separately Facebook me. you can, under Saralee Mather Czajkowski.

    Still praying in Baltimore. <3
    Saralee, Paul and Family

  6. By the way...Does Dale know why elephants are gray?