Monday, April 16, 2012

Update Monday afternoon 4/16

Tax time is upon us!  I hope you all are law-abiding, tax-paying citizens who have not waited until today to try to get your taxes done.  Did anyone else see that disturbing report on tax day and drivers' moods?  They said that there are significantly more auto accidents on tax day than other days surrounding it.  I guess we should rank April 15th as scary a day to be on the roads as New Year's Day.  Less alcohol involved, maybe, but definitely more tempers.

We in the Ostrander household have had a fairly good weekend.  Dale had SP on Friday; he also was invited to a birthday party after school.  Both events were affected by Dale's inability to walk very well that day.  I've probably stated this, but I will again anyway:  Usually when Dale gets up in the morning, his legs are shaky and his balance unsteady.  Sometimes his limbs will even jerk a good bit before settling down.  Once he has had the chance to sit for a bit (at school), his steadiness improves and he is able to walk all right.  Not Friday!  From the moment he got up to the time he went to bed, Dale had difficulty walking, doing stairs, and even staying on his feet.  He must have fallen (with me holding onto his hand to ease him down, of course) at least seven times during the day, possibly more.  We took this in stride, slowing down and giving ourselves more time to get around.  As the day wore on, Dale himself admitted, "Mom, I don't think the scavenger hunt (first part of the birthday party) is a good idea."  I had to agree with him; there was no way he was going to be able to search through the woods for the scavenger hunt items, so we just went home after school and waited for the phone call letting us know that the party was headed to the boy's house for cake and ice cream and such.  Dale still got to enjoy some of the party with "the guys" and didn't look like he felt he had missed out.  He didn't seem to mind; he knows his limitations and is accepting them with a good attitude.

I wonder sometimes if Dale accepts those limitations a bit too easily.  This morning I scolded him on the stairs because he kept sitting down on the step behind.......but only when he was stepping down with his right leg and bringing the left one after.  It seemed like Dale was allowing his right leg to buckle and then himself to fall to the step when it was possible for him to stiffen (strenghten) his right leg and stay upright.  Usually, it's the left leg that causes the problems, but lately it's been his right one.  I told him, "Don't just accept that this is the way things are, or this is the way they will always be."  I want him to keep trying every day---every step---to make his brain control his movements, not just give in to the weakness.  I want his brain to keep making those neural connections, not just give up trying.  I know God has more for Dale in his life than falling and only taking two steps at a time.  Dale simply needs to be encouraged---and scolded---to see that for himself.  He needs to not give up and just take what comes; he needs to keep trying.

On Saturday, our area held the annual Daffodil Parade and Festival.  I've never gone before (and still haven't, for that matter) and was excited when Chad told me to look into it, find out start times, and see about going.  By Friday, we were unsure of Dale's ability to walk the distance from wherever we had to park to the parade route itself; by Saturday, we were certain of it.  Saturday didn't seem to be much better than Friday had been as far as steadiness was concerned.  So Chad took the girls to see the Daffodil Parade, and Dale and I stayed home.  Again, Dale didn't seem to mind; as he had never been before, he really didn't know what he was missing and wasn't too keen on seeing a bunch of flowers.  His only regret was that Mom made him take a bath as soon as the girls were gone!  Bath times are getting easier for Dale, though.  He washes himself now completely, hair and all.  He has lost his fear of having his ears in the water when he needs to rinse his hair, so that is no longer a concern.  He even demonstrated good thinking during a mini-crisis when he got water (and maybe shampoo) in his eyes; instead of flailing wildly (yes, that used to happen!) and getting upset, Dale groped blindly in the water until he found the washcloth and wiped his eyes.  His only real problems now are setting the shampoo and soap bottles back on the shelf (his shakes and jerks sometimes knock the bottles right back off) and getting out of the tub once he's done.  Saturday's bath was perhaps the easiest time yet getting him out of the bathtub!  Praise the Lord!!!  Yet more progress!

Today, we had PT in the morning and then school the rest of the day.  This week will probably be hard on Dale's concentration skills.  We've got our annual school auction on Friday, and my classroom is being used as a convenient storage facility for auction items until then.  The ladies in charge of getting all these things ready (stored, tagged, wrapped for presentation) have been so apologetic each time they have to disturb us.......but, obviously, they have needed and will need to continue coming in frequently to store things and check their stock.  I warned Dale when we walked in this morning to expect this week to be a bit crazy because of this.  What I didn't realize was that the roofing crew would be working on our building this week as well.  We have been treated to an assortment of sounds including scraping, shifting, dragging, creaking, thumping, and, of course, hammering.  Dale tends to groan whenever we hear something new while I try to settle him down and remind him to keep working.  So far he's not doing too bad a job of it; he studied for and is now taking a science test.  We'll see how he does!

I have to sign off for now.  Dale is about done with his science test and that means I must get back to tutoring him.  God bless you all!

Matthew 17: 27  "Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money:  that take, and give unto them for Me and thee."  (Who said fishing was a waste of time?)  ;-D


  1. Ifeel as if I really know the Ostranders! I consider them my friends even though I have never met you! But I hope someday to have that privilege. I continue to pray for God's continued presence and help in Dale's life...a big hug to Dale!

  2. I agree with Mike, your family ceased long ago to be just someone to read about on the net. Getting your blog updates is as much as joy as getting my family updates from around the country, and we all are family under God's eyes. I too would be honored to meet all of you someday; but until then, I can rejoice with this blog. I continue to hold all of you in my prayers, and wish all my best to you all. Hugs for all, Eric

  3. Dale has his intellect, his wit and his personality. The fact that he has all of the above, is indeed a miracle. Back in early August you might well have been pleased to have only the above even if Dale ended up as a quadriplegic. However, we all want the best for Dale, and over time, none of us would have been satisfied with paralysis. As I'm sure it pains you to see Dale struggle with day to day basics, it pains me to read about those same struggles. I know he's improving, I see it every time I read your blog. But, like you, I want more. I want a completely healed Dale and will continue my prayers and petitions to that end.
    Here is a joke for Dale:
    A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin, 5,
    Ryan 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the
    first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral
    lesson. "If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, 'Let my
    brother have the first pancake, I can wait.'"
    Kevin thought over his mother's words for a few seconds and then turned to his younger brother and said,
    "Ryan, you be Jesus!"

  4. You are becoming more and more of a (for want of a better term) philosopher. I loved this observation. "Don't just accept that this is the way things are, or this is the way they will always be."

    You are also becoming more and more of an eyebrow popper. I mean that in a good sense. I don't know if you intended it or not, but there was something wonderfully ironic when, in the midst of the detailed description of Dale's difficulty in handling the stairs, you wrote: "We took this in stride." I nearly laughed out loud (which would not have been good since Judy was still sleeping). Did you smile to yourself and wonder if anyone would catch that? Or is irony one of those gifts you don't know you have? :-)