Praise be to our wonderful God!!! Fresh again in my mind is just how big a miracle our Heavenly Father performed with Dale. I frequently talk in my class about how Dale drowned, how he was carried lifeless to the shore, how the doctors gave us no hope for his recovery, and how much God has given us back. But I have to admit, in these last few months with Dale's struggles in school and lack of outside therapy and all, my awareness of God's blessings has waned and all I tend to focus on is how hard things are now. I know I should be always thankful for all God has done, but a lot lately I have been wishing Dale would improve more and "get over" the physical handicaps and mental blocks he still struggles with each day. I have even begun thinking, "If we can just get Dale through high school, then we can relax. After all, what else is there for him?" What a waste of God's miracle this foolish thinking is! Why should I give up on Dale's future when God obviously gave him a second life in order to have a future? Forgive me, Lord, for forgetting You are all-powerful; You are able to do anything and everything; You know Dale's past, his present, and his future, and You have great plans for him.
Today we visited the neurologist again. He hasn't seen Dale for six months and was, quite frankly, impressed with Dale's progress. The first time we saw Dr. Al-Mateen was in Good Samaritan Rehab after Dale had a seizure. We had an appointment with him in January of this year and again in May. Each time, the doctor was pleased with how well Dale was doing. Last time we were in his office, Dr. Al-Mateen was surprised that Dale could talk and form regular sentences, could walk all right and follow commands, and pay attention to what was going on around him. Today, God's almighty power showed through Dale again as he amazed and pleased the doctor. The doctor put Dale through a short series of neurological tests like tapping with one hand on the other before flipping his hand over and over, switching hands to do the same activity on the other hand, closing his eyes and then touching his nose with both index hands, balancing on one foot at a time, etc. He had Dale attempt to walk on his tiptoes, but Dale couldn't quite balance well enough to do that! He also had Dale try to walk heel/toe, but this as well caused Dale too much difficulty (he was catching his toe on the heel before bringing it forward). Altogether though, the doctor was quite pleased with Dale's efforts and reiterated the opinion that he just doesn't get many cases like Dale's. I had mentioned that Chad was really asking for some kind of prognosis for Dale; Dr. Al-Mateen kind of grinned and said, "Dale's case is unique. We see a lot of near-drownings, but we"---and he shook his head---"we don't get many cases like Dale's." Dale continued to surprise the doctor with his choice of words, how well he could express himself, and his ability to follow the conversation. The doctor told me that, just sitting there for the allotted appointment time and listening to Dale ask questions and talk back and forth with me, it was obvious to him that Dale's thinking is intact and he is able to speak clearly. He said that he could see Dale's humor (runs in the family!) and could tell that Dale is very intelligent. I think Dr. Al-Mateen enjoyed the banter that our whole family shares.......a kind of sarcastic, funny, teasing give-and-take which is a hallmark of our clan. Anyway, Dale got a good report from the neurologist, has a six-month appointment already booked, and is referred by the doctor for another EEG at the end of December. Praise the Lord!!!
A quick funny from Dale before I sign off: We were in the van on our way to the neurologist's office when we passed a Shari's restaurant. Dale pointed it out and asked, "Can we eat there?" I said, "No, it's a sit-down restaurant and we're busy." Dale gave his "Awwww, man!" groan, to which I responded, "Honestly, Dale, we have neither the time nor the money." Dale looked over at me, grinned impishly, and replied, "Time? What do you mean, we don't have time? You've got about forty years still in you!" I cracked up instantly which had Dale laughing along with me. When I told this story to Dr. Al-Mateen, he began laughing heartily too! Like I've said, Dale's humor is definitely still intact!
Proverbs 17:22 "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."