Friday, December 7, 2012

Navigating the Backroads of Holland

I wanted to take a moment and share a little bit more about our new adventure in Holland with our youngest son, Sammy.  This past week he had his evaluation with the physical therapist and it went extremely well.  She had the eight page report from the occupational therapist so there was a fairly good idea as to what needed to be looked at and evaluated.

Overall Sammy was cooperative which helped the PT learn more about Sammy's physical condition.  It turns out that our littlest man will need to be sporting some AFOs in the near future in order to straighten out his legs.  It will also make walking easier for him.  While Sammy can indeed walk, he is extremely clumsy and has frequent falls.  It is not uncommon to receive a phone call from the school to learn that Sammy has fallen and has ice on his head.  AFOs stand for "Ankle-Foot Orthotics".  They will be custom made and will fit Sammy perfectly.  Here is an example of what a set of AFOs look like:

Obviously Sammy will not have pink anywhere on his AFOs but you get the idea.

At this juncture we do not know how long Sammy will need to sport these lovely accessories but we are grateful that Sammy's walking will soon become easier.  It will also give him more confidence so he can participate more in PE class and recess.

The PT also determined that Sammy is very weak physically, particularly in his legs, and then even more so on the left side of his body.  While she is not the one to make a formal diagnosis of any sort she, too, is suspecting that Sammy could have a mild form of Cerebral Palsy (CP).  It is also being reaffirmed that Sammy needs to be seen by a neurologist to rule some other things out and to make certain that he has never had a stroke or seizure.

In the meantime we will begin PT right away and Sammy's first official session is next week!  He will have PT once a week and OT twice a week.  In time he will become stronger, more proficient in his  fine motor skills, and strengthen those sweet legs of his.  All of this has suddenly become overwhelming for him and while at first he had a great attitude, the past few days he has been kind of worried and wondering how his friends at school will accept him once he has his AFOs.  I have assured that precious boy over and over that no matter what the underlying cause is for his physical weaknesses, he is still the same Sammy Wammy Bo Bammy that he was just a few short months ago.  So please pray for him.  Pray that he would have peace over the next several weeks as his friends learn more about his physical condition.

Life has been so full of twists and turns over the past year but I know that the Lord has been carrying our family through it all.  This situation with Sammy is no different and I have no doubt that the Lord has grand plans for Sammy to shine through despite this bump in the road.  I just have to share a little conversation that Sammy and I had on our way home from the PT evaluation this past week.

Sammy had been quiet for the first 20 minutes of the car ride home (it is over an hour each way to PT!) and out of nowhere he opened up a little about what had just taken place.

"Mommy, you know, Dima has helped you get ready for me.  I mean, having him made you less scared of what is happening to me.  So maybe, maybe I am helping you get prepared for another child.  Like, maybe there is a little girl out there that needs you and daddy and 4 brothers.  But maybe she has special needs, too.  Maybe she has CP but worse than what I maybe have."

I didn't answer my sweet boy but I looked at him through the rearview mirror and smiled.  God does sure have a funny way of using people and circumstances in our lives, but we truly do not know just what God is up to at this time.  Regardless, I love my son's heart and how even though he is trying to understand why he is going through this trial, he is still thinking of others.  And Sammy is so right.  Dima has really helped me get tough on the inside.  Having a child or children with special needs brings things out in a mother you never knew you had in you!  I know that even if Sammy does have a mild form of CP it isn't anything that we cannot handle with God leading the way on the back roads of Holland.

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