Friday, May 25, 2012

Update Friday afternoon 5/25

I post this update through tears and sniffles........tears because of young Denny's condition, so like Dale's last year, knowing God weeps along with this family and longs to comfort them and hold them through these long days and even longer nights.  I have been praying for Denny and his family and would like to hear updates on his and his family's conditions.

The sniffles, I'm afraid, are due entirely to the fact that I have most definitely caught the girls' colds!  Pleeeeeease feel sorry for me.......that way I won't be the only one!!!  I started feeling ill Tuesday, if you remember, and that feeling only worsened as the day wore on.  By Tuesday night my chest hurt each time I coughed, and I spent the night on the couch in order to spare my husband my germs.  'Twas only by the grace of God that I made it in to school Wednesday morning, and that only because Dale had therapy that morning that I felt he really should get to.  (Since I don't teach a full class this year, I was not infecting the entire school---just my classroom!)  I was so miserable that, when we left around 9:50 to go to PT, I took everything with me and told Dale we would just go straight home afterwards.  I was fighting sleep all the way there and most of the way back.  (I know, I know---dangerous.)  The only thing that kept my focus on my driving on the way home was the fact that Dale had a dizzy spell towards the end of PT that grabbed my attention.  He had completed all the hard work---walking, stairs, balance---and was standing at a counter doing OT (playing with play-dough) when he mentioned feeling sick.  All at once, his hands dropped down and he began swaying.  Alison and I both caught him and held him up.  It looked like the beginning of a seizure because his gaze was unfocused and his fingers curling just a bit.  But, within ten seconds or so, Dale began softly crying---which actually was a good sign because usually crying indicates the end of a seizure.  She got a chair and we eased him down into it where he remained upright but slumped, still crying.  He talked to us, answering our questions and telling us the room was spinning and that he felt queasy.  (Who wouldn't?)  By Dale's answers to our questions, we were able to tell that he had not fully lost consciousness, just felt dizzy and ill.  If we had not been close, he probably would have fallen, but he was not dangerously ill---just feeling faint.  After sitting for a few minutes and drinking water and wiping his face with a cool cloth, Dale felt better.  He still got a wheelchair ride to the van (for safety's sake).  We had barely exited the parking garage when he asked for a snack, so obviously he was feeling better!  He hasn't exhibited any other symptoms of illness other than a slight sniffle (wonder where he got that?), so I'm thinking he's just fine.

Because I was so sick, though, we missed church Wednesday night.  (I really hate missing church at all and especially two services in a row; I feel backslidden even though I had a good excuse!)  I didn't feel much better Thursday morning and decided to take a day off.  I drove the girls to school, leaving Dale in bed until I got home.  Upon arriving home, I discovered Dale almost fully dressed (love that independence!) and simply stood by while he brushed his teeth and walked down the stairs.  I got him breakfast, assisted him to the couch in the living room, handed him the remote, and went off duty!  I am so thankful that Dale is at the point now where I can "check out" for a while and know he is safe and able to handle himself.  I spent the day dozing on the couch downstairs while he watched TV and played video games.  Yeah, that's not very good parenting, is it?  I'll make up for it some other time!!!

All that rest Thursday really helped me.  We were able to get to school today as well as SP this morning.  My nose is so stuffed up and running at the same time.  I feel like I'm taking in half the normal necessary amount of oxygen and talking underwater!  My ears are plugged, too, making it difficult to understand people.  My brain feels like mush which makes teaching fraction-decimal equivalents rather challenging!  I have an inkling now of what Dale faces when he tries to focus when his brain is tired.  Speaking of........he did so well at SP today!  He pushed hard and kept thinking even though it was long past his usual 10 minutes' strong thinking time.  He used the trick of repeating the key words or question over again to refocus his brain and keep himself on track, and, in so doing, impressed both me and Lisa!  I can honestly say I've not seen him focus so well and continue to give correct answers for such an extended period of time before.  It helps him if he has some visual aid to help him concentrate on the question, but he does fairly well with the auditory learning as well.

At PT on Wednesday, I stayed put in the waiting room area since I was feeling so yucky, and Alison and Dale went to practice the stairs and such.  (I joined them for the latter part of PT.)  There was a nice older couple sitting nearby, watching Dale and Alison as they made their way to the stairs.  The wife kindly asked me what caused Dale's condition, and I replied that he drowned last August.  She immediately said, "Oh, was he one of the boys......?"  I replied, "Yes" with a smile.  She said, "It's good to see him doing so well."  And, yes, it is!  She then confirmed, "He was the one down in Oregon with his church group?"  I again replied, "Yes."  She said, "What a miracle!"  She and her husband and I began chatting a bit; they were so nice and friendly, mentioning that they had seen Dale on the news and were glad to see how much he has improved.  She asked how his walking is each day, and I told her that he has good days and bad days but shows steady progress.  I said something about Dale's being able to run again some day, and she immediately said, "Oh, I'd bet on that, seeing how well he's doing now!"  That was very encouraging to hear, from a complete stranger who was just stating her observations.  Sometimes I think I'm too optomistic, reading more into Dale's progress than is really there simply because I want to see it.  But to have someone unbiased say so too, well, that just made my day!

In SP today, as well, Lisa was pleased to note that Dale was using his working memory and not just his hearing to give correct answers.  She had a recording playing which instructed Dale to click the button when he heard numbers given in ascending order.  Sometimes he would miss a couple of numbers but would click the button a few seconds later, showing that he was listening to the new numbers given while, at the same time, replaying the old numbers in his mind and checking for any ascending numbers he may have missed.  (Did you get all that?!)  Today's score:  25/30 total!  This is much better than he has ever done before!!!  So, you see, I'm not making this up!  :-D

And, last but not least, we have only one more week of school left with a day off on Monday!!!  (And there were great cheers heard throughout the land.......)  I probably should make my kids work hard all Monday, scrub the house from top to bottom, and study for at least eight hours.........but this is me we're talking about.  We'll likely sleep in till ____:00 a.m. (I'm not about to divulge that weakness!) and just enjoy the break from school with (hopefully) no one sick.  I think Chad has the day off too, so that will be a big bonus.  If the weather's nice, we may even use our grill.  (I have begun to think it's just a lawn ornament!)  So, enjoy your Memorial Day weekend and remember to take some time to thank our veterans who have helped shape this great country of ours.  Freedom isn't free; it's actually quite costly.

Galatians 5: 22  "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."


  1. I love hearing the improvements Dale is making. I so want to meet this special boy some day! May God bless you all, may your cold get better, and enjoy the day off Monday! May God's blessing flow down abundantly on you all.

  2. Thank you for the update. I' m sorry about your cold. But Dale seems to be doing great. I would like to send over a joke, but it does not seem appropriate a this time. I too am concerned about Denny and am praying for him and his family. Blessings to you all.

  3. Thank you for your concern. I can't remember how much I updated you last. Denny's brain swelling was too severe. The doctors pronounced him yesterday, and his parents consented to organ donation. The surgery was this evening. She had one final goodbye, and now is at home, trying to get some sleep. I'm on the other side of the country, trying to get there as soon as I can. There is some family there, but not enough. She has felt scared and betrayed by those who should have been there, and didn't come. It's a lot to go into, but there was a serious lack of support this week for Denny's mother. There haven't been funeral arrangements yet. I will post them as soon as I know anything. They are in Michigan.

    If anyone feels compelled to donate towards the medical and funeral costs, another cousin has set up a donation site:

    Otherwise, please pray for peace for Dawn and Dennis, and their surviving children. Thank you so much. Thank you for telling us Dale's story and giving me a place to share the story of Denny.