Monday, April 14, 2014

Big Changes

So once again life has gotten the better of me, and I've lapsed in my posts here yet again. At some point I should just put "occasional blogger" in my profile lol!

There have been a lot of changes around here lately, and even more to think about coming up. First off, Graham's recovery is going extremely well!!! He's been progressing each day and each week a little bit more and we're excited to see how far he goes now that he's not battling his hips! He has even been able to go back to Saddle Up and begin horseback riding therapy again!

working super hard with Mrs Ann!

"I missed my pony Mom"
We also had to say goodbye to an old friend. We finally had to let our dear old Molson go. Its been almost two months, and I'm still totally heartbroken about it. Molson really was the best dog ever. He was both my, and Graham's very first doggie and he is greatly missed. 

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Graham has also had a bunch of check ups, with everyone from his pediatrician, and GI doctors, to his  ophthalmologist, and dentist! Graham has been a busy kiddo, in fact the poor kid had a week off for spring break, but we were so busy it hardly felt like a break at all! And if we could figure out a way to just banish all of these germs it would awesome! (This being said as I finish my second round of antibiotics in a month for strep throat )

We have managed to squeeze in some fun in between therapy and doctor appointments. Graham got to hang out with Daddy at "Cars & Coffee" this past weekend
And some with Mom too, as we've been working on sprucing up the outside of our house
and Graham got a dapper new suit!
"Check out my duds; I know I'm cute"



And to add to our crazy busy schedule, we decided to start fostering for the Colorado Coonhound Rescue because Ruby has really needed someone to play with, and has proven she can't be an "only" dog lol! So we met Mick!
Annnddd then we fell in love. So, he's our newest family member!

Now to the changes ahead...
Graham is going to be heading to kindergarten in the fall. Now, who decided he was old enough to go to kindergarten, I don't know, but it sure wasn't me, and I am so not ready for this!!!

To add to this fact is the looming transition meeting I get to have with his new school, teachers, & team, and his current preschool team scheduled for next week.
Right now, it feels like there are two entities. I know where I want Graham to be, I know where I hope he can be, and I'm terrified of the possibility that he won't be able to keep up in a typical type classroom setting. Much less all of the other things that go along with starting elementary school.

For the last two years we've been in this amazing little preschool bubble. The teachers and staff are understanding, accommodating, and they love Graham and love watching him succeed. But, even now, the kids are getting older, they're noticing Graham's differences more, and there are a lot more "why" type questions being asked. That safe and amazing bubble is about to be popped, and I'm not sure what really lies outside of the safety of that bubble. It feels like there's a lot more pressure about to be placed on our shoulders to advocate and push once again for what Graham needs.

 I just hope that I'm up to the task...












Monday, February 24, 2014

Recovering

Graham's recovery is going well! It is definitely a process, but I'm happy to report that each day he is a little more flexible, a little more comfortable, and can do a little bit more than the day before that.

We've also been seeing much more of the sweet, funny, mischievous little boy that we all know and love. Graham has been more like himself than he has in the last month and a half. Unfortunately this also means  he's getting back into his previous pattern of not sleeping, a.k.a. trying to throw a party in his room at 2am. But, even in the not sleeping parts, he's been more vocal, and much much more like himself.

We're working on getting his core strength back up to where it was, and he is finally comfortable back in his regular wheelchair.  Hopefully in no time he will be weight bearing once again.

What I didn't count on was how exhausting this surgery and his recovery was going to be on me. This has been mentally, physically,  and emotionally exhausting.  Add to the fact that we had to put down our beloved dog Molson,  and that our entire family including Graham got strep throat, and the fact that it is (aside from my best efforts) STILL winter, and to say that 2014 has been rough would be an incredible understatement.

I wish there was some sort of quick fix for this all, I wish I could snap my fingers and be on a tropical beach somewhere with a trashy magazine in one hand,  and a margarita in the other. Unfortunately that's not how life works.

We will make it through this, just like every challenge we've faced before.
But I could really use an end to this winter,  and some good news for a change.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Turning 5!

Once again with Graham getting another year older (he turns 5 tomorrow morning February 16th) I find myself writing that sweet, mischievous, strong, adorable munchkin of mine a letter. But before we get to that,

GRAHAM GOT HIS CAST OFF!!!

Yes, that did require capitol letters and a larger font! Friday Graham was able to get his cast off! What I don't think Aaron or I really and totally realized, is that getting the cast off was going to be just as difficult for Graham as it being put on in the first place. 

First off, anyone who has broken a bone or been in a cast may know they use a saw to cut the cast off. While I knew it would happen that way I didn't know that it would be a vibrating saw or that it would be quite so loud. I had brought along Graham's race car headphones, but even those didn't cut it. He screamed the whole time. What they ended up doing was cutting the cast down the sides, and then re-connecting it with velcro to make it like a splint.

Secondly when you have been stuck in one position for an entire month, any kind of movement is painful. We have had to very gingerly adjust, and move Graham for the last day and a half, even with pain medications on board. Either being totally in the cast/splint or positioned in basically the same way on his bean bag chair has been the only way he's been comfortable. 

The best news about getting Graham's cast off is that he got to take his first real bath in a month!!! He loved it and it was so nice to do something normal for him. The next few days if not few weeks will be all about getting him comfortable in more normal positions, and him being comfortable again in his regular wheelchair. He will be doing lots and lot of physical therapy to regain his strength and mobility, and the hope is that he will keep right on going without the hindrance of fighting to keep his hips aligned.


Dear Graham,

I cannot believe you are turning 5! This past year and especially the last several weeks, you have shown us what a little fighter you truly are, earning you the new nickname of "Super Graham." First off buddy, I want to say how sorry Daddy and I are that you have to go through everything you've been through. It breaks our hearts to see you in pain and we just pray you understand that it's been to help keep you from worse things down the road. You truly are amazing.

We have some big steps ahead of us this next year little man! Aside from recovering from this latest surgery and getting back to physical therapy and horseback riding therapy, there are going to be lots of exciting things happening! We finally received your communication device that we hope in time will give you the words and communication you don't yet have, we're planning on starting "water safety training" a.k.a. swimming lessons, and biggest of all this fall you will be a kindergartener! These truly are some exciting times and we absolutely cannot wait to see what you accomplish in this next year.

When it comes to sending you to school, or anywhere where you are away from your protective Mommy and Daddy it can be scary. I can see the fear in people's eyes when they hear that yes, we are sending you to a regular school and yes, you are going to go without your Mommy just like every other kindergartener. Know that these people mean well. They know what Mommy and Daddy and pretty much everyone knows; there are some not nice people in this world. Not everyone is going to be kind and helpful to you, and not everyone is going to be a good friend to you. But what I want you to remember is just as Mister Rodgers says (and if you don't know who that is, remind me to show you one day!) “When I was a boy and I would see scary things, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Well, my sweet boy I tell you to look for the helpers. Whenever there is someone who is not as nice as they should be, or even downright mean and awful, there will always be a helper coming along right behind them. You have so many people behind you who love you, support you and cheer on your every little accomplishment! Some have met you only once or twice, some have known you since the day you were born, and some have only heard or read about you. You have the biggest cheering section out there!

My hope for you this year is that you continue to grow and thrive and take these challenges and show them who's boss, because my boy you truly are our superhero. I can't wait to see how you change this year, and I am so proud to be your Mommy.

Love you forever,
Your Mommy






Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Back to school!

Graham was able to go back to school today!
He was SO excited to see all of his friends and teachers, and most of all to have part of his normal routine back versus just sitting around the house watching cartoons and playing with cars.
He was so happy to be back in school,  he even colored!!!!!! Yes, that is a big enough deal to warrant multiple exclamation points. Graham has never been one for coloring,  he usually graces us with a small scribble or two, but today he did this!!!


For Graham's OT who I know is reading this, Graham did 98% of this on his own and willingly held markers without throwing or dropping any of them!
And this mama couldn't be happier than to have some new artwork for my fridge. :-) 






Monday, February 3, 2014

Quick update

Graham has actually been doing much, much better over the last couple of days. So much so, that if we can get everything arranged, he'll be heading back to preschool this week.

Everything has kind of gotten lost in the haze of some pretty sleepless nights, but we are so thankful for the many, many friends who have brought us dinners, toys for Graham, sent cards, sent text messages, and even dropped by just to see how we are doing. It is when we are going through these kinds of surgery struggles that we truly find out who our true, honest to goodness loyal friends are. It is also when I am overwhelmed by the kindness of more distant friends, especially those who I haven't seen in years. One awesome family in particular (you know who you guys are!) happened to be at the hospital at the same time we were for their own family member's scary surgery. They lifted my spirits when I needed it most, sought me out and even brought me the most amazing homemade chile rellenos. There will never be enough thanks in my heart for friends like these.

It also, unfortunately, seems to be the time when people who we thought were true friends have proven otherwise. I won't get into specific details, lest I be called attention or pity seeking again, but I will say that this person's actions have taught me to appreciate even more the kindness, and true genuine actions of those who have supported us and been there for us during this stressful time. 

Yes, holding a car is a prerequisite for a nap!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Updates from Surgery Day

Yesterday was Graham's surgery day. It was g after a pretty sleepless night.

Graham made it through like the champ he is, and now we are working hard to keep him comfortable and his pain well managed.

So far they have been managing his pain with an epidural and iv medications,  but the poor kid has been having muscle spasms and been pretty nauseous. Hopefully his stomach is settled enough that we can get him some liquids and then hopefully food later today.



Tuesday, December 31, 2013

So long 2013!

I was looking through all of my photos from this year, and I have to say 2013 was actually a pretty decent year!
We started the year off with Graham getting the hang of his wheelchair, and finally having a way to be independently mobile! He also figured out how to play ball with Ruby :-)

Graham finished his full first year of preschool (and started his last year of preschool as well) made friends, and has definitely thrived with the attention of his classmates! 

We got to go on our first camping trip, bought our first house, Aaron and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary, and Graham got to start horseback riding therapy! It really has been such a huge year for us, and I can hardly believe all of the things that 2014 will have in store for us. Surgery, turning 5, and Kindergarten are all on the horizon!

As we look ahead, I wish I could say it was getting easier to think about what Graham will be facing with surgery and recovery coming up. I wish I could say that we felt totally at ease with why we're going ahead with this procedure right now. I wish that I could confidently say we're going to handle 6 weeks in a cast no problem. Unfortunately that is not the case.

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So tonight instead I'm going to look through pictures and videos, and be thankful for what a great year we've had and hope that a little bit of 2013 rubs off on 2014.