Here it is the first day of August and one thing is certain: last month was a busy one! Both Faith and I had some important appointments, plus she had her 6-month evaluation for her day program. It's so hard to believe she's been there for half a year already.
|Faith at the Sock Hop at her day program|
The Day Program is one of her favorite things in the world. She loves going and I'm so glad they love having her there. She
is a bright light and full of joy wherever she goes. She is also full of
encouragement, which I believe is one of her God-given gifts! But besides going to her day program and therapy, Faith had some other major events - all of which take place the last week in July!
Big Event #1: Our First Baseball Game
The first was attending our first-ever Bismarck Larks baseball game. We didn't just attend, though. We both got to go on the field where she placed the ball on the mound and then announced into a microphone, "Play Ball!" This opportunity came about through Kids in Motion, where Faith goes to therapy twice a week. They had asked if she wanted to take part and she exclaimed, "Yes!"
My contact person from the Larks told me I would get 4 free tickets in accessible seating. It ended up working out so that my sister, her husband, and one of their sons (who plays baseball) were going to be coming up from Nebraska so they were able go to the game with us!
At the ballpark, while making our way to the entrance, I was totally surprised when a Larks fan saw Faith and took off his jersey and gave it to her! I couldn't believe his kindness and generosity! We then found our contact guy, found my sister and her family, and then went onto the field near third base by the team's dugout to get our directions on what to do.
Faith had to go to the pitcher's mound, deliver the baseball, and then go back to our spot by the dugout while they sang the National Anthem and made team introductions. After that, I had to wheel her back to field. The guy with the microphone explained to her that he was going to count down from 3 and then she was could yell, "Play Ball." She was so excited though, that she didn't wait until the countdown was done!
|Hanging out with the Graffs on the field before the game. |
|Faith got to put the ball on the mound!|
Afterwards, we made our way to our seats. We had never gone to a
baseball game together and I honestly didn't think she'd make it through
all 9 innings. She totally surprised me by maintaining her enthusiasm
until the very end! It helped that the Larks were winning and there
was a lot of music, dancing, and cheering. Plus, the Larks mascots came by quite often, giving her a high-five every time.
I have to say I was totally impressed with every aspect of the Larks organization. Not only was the accessible seating in a good spot, but everything was completely accessible. Even the little gift shop had a temporary ramp placed over the door's threshold so I could roll Faith in there. Besides Faith, there was another little girl with special needs who, with the help of her sister, got to make her way around the entire baseball diamond in between innings. I really liked their show of support for the special needs community.
|Having a ball! |
|Faith loved Merrifeather Lewis!|
|Faith and Preston in their "22" Larks Jerseys.|
|Preston getting an autograph. |
After the game the entire team stuck around to give autographs. Faith got one autograph while her cousin went all out and had every player autograph the jersey he had tried so hard to win! It was a really fun evening and the weather was perfect at just 78 degrees. Right after the game, we headed home and got ready for the next day.
Big Event #2: Botox Injections at the Hospital
Despite needing to be at the hospital at 8:30 a.m., Faith wasn't actually in the operating room until 10:30. One part of the delay was getting the right size sling for the lift to transfer her from her chair to the hospital bed. As they were getting her into the sling and then getting her hospital gown on, it was all I could do to jump in and do it for them. I had to remind myself that this was their job!
Faith has had Botox in the past but it didn't seem to last very long for her. Also, at that time, she wasn't put under for it, so it ended up being a very traumatic experience every time she did it. I just wasn't sure it was worth putting her through all that trauma and then not gaining very much from it.
Her physical therapist, however, strongly recommended that we try it
again to see how she responded. It was her hope that she would be able
to tolerate her foot orthotics for longer periods of time. Plus, it
would allow them to work more with her legs in order to increase
strength and range of motion. I was hoping it would also help her be
more comfortable in general.
|Faith at Kids In Motion with some of her OT/PT team|
|Faith with her favorite nurses for her History and Physical the week before her procedure|
The procedure itself took just over an hour. When I went to the recovery I could tell she didn't feel well and asked the nurse if she had thrown up. She said she did a little bit but they were able to suction it out of her mouth. I was a little surprised she got sick, especially considering how well she had done last summer when she went under for her dental work. But I also knew that considering where she was in her monthly cycle, it was normal for her to experience some nausea around this time of the month.
It took her a while to fully wake up. They kept her there a little longer just because of her nausea plus her blood pressure was a little low. Finally, though she was able to go back to her room. Things looked promising when she ate some graham crackers and drank some juice. After checking her vitals three more times, they said she could get discharged. This time there was just one nurse and she was pretty busy so I said I could get her dressed.
We got home around 2 in the afternoon. I tried to do a very watered down feeding at a slow rate to see how she did. She immediately became nauseous again. She told me she wanted to get out of her chair and sit with me on her bed.
I think part of the issue was that she was feeling sore where they had done the four injections. I tried to talk her into laying down with me, but she refused, most likely because her tummy was upset. So we sat on the bed together for over an hour. I just sat in the most comfortable position I could and rocked her in my arms. She even fell asleep for about 10 minutes.
She eventually seemed better and wanted to sit back in her chair. I gave her water through her tube and had her drink some juice from a straw. Later that evening, she asked for a feeding and I knew she was past the worst of it. Before going to bed, she asked if she was going to her day program tomorrow, and I told her she could. The doctor had told her she could back into her normal routine the next day.
After sleeping for 10 hours, I was surprised when she woke up and didn't want to go to her day program. She said, "I just don't want to chance it." I knew she was afraid she was going to throw up again so I told her if she's not up to it then she could stay home. We just laid low all day and didn't do too much because the next day we had a very special dinner to attend.
Big Event #3: Grandpa and Grandma's Belated Anniversary Dinner
My parent's 50th Wedding Anniversary was actually on June 3rd, which was just 2 days after my dad had partial knee replacement surgery. Thankfully, he did very well with the surgery but it meant he would need to spend a majority of the summer doing physical therapy and recovering.
My sisters and I thought maybe we could do something at the end of summer or in the fall. But it turned out that most of the family would be here the last weekend in July so we figured we should try to do something then. We kept it a secret until just a few days prior. They were both very surprised and appreciated the effort we had put forth.
|Grandma and Grandpa celebrating 50 years of marriage! |
|Many family members were able to celebrate with them. |
|Faith with Grandma, Grandpa, and some of her cousins.|
|Both of us had such a nice time!|
|Some of Faith's favorite girls in the world! |
|And her uncle, too, of course!|
|Faith and Grace (our amazing waitress who is also Grandma's favorite barista!|
Faith's goals for the evening were to deliver Grandma and Grandpa's gift and get as many hugs from her cousins, aunts, and uncles as possible (see video below). As an added bonus, her Auntie Dawn gave her some monster cookies she had made just for her.
After all of that activity, she was still ready for church the next day. Shortly after getting home from her church, her aunt and cousins stopped over to say goodbye on their way back to South Dakota. And finally, our busy week had come to a close. I think we're both ready to get back to our regular routine and not have anymore major events for a while!
We hope everyone has a great rest of the summer!