Thursday, August 20, 2009

Again with the Ramp

So we had another little "wheelchair ramp" issue...but this time was much worse. Our van's AC was being repaired, and we were spending the day at my mother's house waiting for it to be fixed. I have been sick for about a week now, so when C flat-out refused to take a nap my mom graciously agreed to watch him so I could lay down for a few minutes.
So here's the really sad part...as I was trying to drift off to sleep, I kept thinking over and over that the wheelchair was in the back of my mom's van and she was going to have to get it out of there before she picked up her carpool. I kept thinking I should get up and do something about it, but in my half asleep state I never quite convinced my body to do it. Just before I fell asleep I remember thinking I'll help her as soon as I wake up...she won't leave for carpool before she wakes me up.
Yup, wrong about that one. When I woke up, I immediately remembered the wheelchair, and went downstairs to get started. I walked toward the kitchen and my mom was standing in the doorway looking at me. She said, "I had a little accident." (And I'm not really convinced this wasn't all my fault for not listening to the little voice prompting me to go downstairs.)
She had tried to get the chair out of the van herself, which she has done before several times, only this time the ramp slipped and the ramp, with the chair on it, landed on her foot. She doesn't remember, nor can any of us figure out, just how that ramp got off her foot. But she was doing it right before she needed to leave for carpool, so instead of waking me up, she just put a towel down on the floor of her van to catch the blood, and took off. She claims she thought it would be too hard to climb the stairs, but I fully blame it on her frequently-seen "I can do anything even though I am injured" attitude.
After convincing my mom she needed to go to the Urgent Care Center and didn't need to drive herself this time, we jumped in the car to head out. Just then C's PT pulled up to the house to do his therapy, so we left him, the PT, and my sister there together, and headed out once more.
Several stitches, a broken toe, and one ugly-looking walking boot later, mom was patched up good as new. Okay, not good as new, not at all. But she did have Vicodin, so that helps.
And would you believe that after all this, the next day she insisted on running around canning tomatoes from her garden? I'm not sure if she's crazy or amazing, but I supposed I really lean toward the latter. What I do know for sure is that a big factor in all this was my mom's unfailing desire to help me and my family in whatever way she can--a blessing that I am grateful for a thousand times over.

Friday, August 14, 2009

An Early Snow

What do you mean it's not a good idea to let your kid control the speed on the mixer while you're adding the flour to the zucchini bread batter?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wheelchair Racing at the Zoo

Last Friday we decided to venture out to the zoo and give C some space to roam with the new chair. We didn't quite get to see as many animals as we wanted because he was too busy driving. He's only driven it four or five times, and he is already twice as good as he was at the beginning. He is really learning fast. On this trip, he figured out the "speed" button, that adjusts the speed up and down at four different levels. On the slowest speed, I have to walk slowly beside him, but at the fastest speed I have to do a super fast walk/very slow jog to keep up with him. He would say, "Now I'm going to go fast", and hit the button and take off. And only once did I get my flip-flop ran over...when he got a little distracted and didn't leave enough space for me to walk beside him.

video

He did stop and take one break...to ride the carousel with his Daddy.

video

I am so excited to have this chair. He LOVES driving it and finally having his independence. We got the EOB from our insurance yesterday...they billed $37,000 for the thing and all its parts. Granted, that is the billed amount and what insurance has actually contracted to pay them will be thousands less, but still it made me very, very grateful for the blessing of having that Medicaid program as his secondary insurance because of his diagnosis. I am also so, so thankful for a pediatrician who pushed us to apply for it when we did even though we really didn't see the need back then. Much of this stuff we have to do is really hard to face, but there are awesome little blessings all along the way.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Faith for No Reason

Well, once again, it looks like we might move. About this time last year we put our house on the market, and it has been up and down ever since. For the first month or two, no one looked. I mean no one. We even had an open house and no one came. Little did we know we were moving into a recession and a horrible slump in the housing market.
Then things randomly started to pick up. We had people looking almost every week until the holidays. They all said our house was "in really good condition" or "cute," but no one wanted to buy. Then there was a slump for the holidays, and then things picked up again. We had about three almost offers, but something happened every time.
And then finally--it happened. We had a genuine negotiated and signed offer with a woman who also had a signed contract on her house. We started packing boxes, changing addresses, and saying goodbye...and then the sale on her house fell through. (big sigh)
And now, we just got the news that after relisting her house, she once again has a negotiated and signed offer on her house. Now we just have to wait for the inspection and appraisal on her house to find out if it's a go. (The appraisal and home inspection she did on our house is still valid.)
So, when I first got the news, I was thrilled!! We never thought she'd get another offer so soon, though our real estate agent seemed to have so much hope. But then things slowly went downhill (emotion-wise) as I remembered all we'd been through and how we 'd had failure after failure for a year. Every keeps telling us, "It just takes one!" but after a year of "ones" you start to wonder just how many there are yet to come.
And now, though I am not as ecstatic as I first was upon hearing the news, I can honestly say I am still hopeful. At least in my heart. My head, on the other hand, I think wants to smack my heart in the face and tell it to wake up, but my heart still has this overwhelming faith that it might just workout this time. So hopefully in about two weeks we'll have a good idea what the truth of it is, and if it doesn't work out...well I guess we won't be any worse off than we are now!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Wheelchair Accident

In reading this title, I'm sure your first thoughts are that my almost three year-old (who just got a new power wheelchair) had a crash...that is really not all too unexpected as he learns to drive. Nope, not the three year-old...it was me who had the crash.
Yesterday my mom and I took the chair to Sams Club with the realization that a ridiculously large warehouse with wide aisles was pretty much the perfect training ground. He did an amazing job. I walked along next to him, ready to grab his hand off the joystick at any time, and I think I really only had to do it once when he overshot a stopping point. I've gotten to a point where I really don't care if people stare at him in his chair...but really I'm not sure why. Maybe because I'm just so dang excited for him to finally have a way to independently move around wherever he wants to go. Or maybe because in my head I assume they are thinking how awesome it is that a two year-old can drive that thing so well...cause it is. Either way, I loved it and I'm very tempted to take him back there every day.
The accident actually occurred when we arrived back at my mother's house. I put the ridiculously heavy metal ramp on the lip at the edge of the back van door, and started to back the wheelchair down it. Well, apparently the ramp wasn't in quite as stable as a position as I thought because the thing slid backwards, fell to the ground, and our $24000, 250 lb wheelchair flipped itself backward and went down right along with it. I will admit that at this point a word escaped my lips that I never say...mostly because I thought Jenna, who was standing on the other side of the ramp, was caught underneath. But she was fine. The ramp, however, was not. These two loops on the back of the chair were apparently made of stronger metal than the ramp, and they each punched a hole in it. This also made it almost impossible to tip the chair back over--because it was now lodged in the ramp.
But, after a lot of wiggling and pushing, and after the zipper on the chair's headrest punch a small hole in my forehead (still not sure how I did that) we got the thing upright and it was working just fine. My mom took a sledgehammer to the holes in the ramp and all in all, we escaped with just a few scars to remember the incident by.
What I dreaded was telling Adam on the way home. How are you supposed to react to, "Hey remember that super expensive chair we have? Yeah, I dumped it on the ground and punched some holes in the ramp, too." After hearing about it, he was quiet for a minute (as my heart pounded) and then said, "Well really I'm just scared." So I started to ramble something about how I knew how important the stuff was and promise to be so much more careful with it all in the future, and he said, "No, for you guys. I don't want you to get hurt." And while my reaction should have been to say, "Well anyone who thinks I can handle all this equipment on my own is absolutely crazy"...instead I was just thinking how much I love my husband and how grateful I am to be married to a man who fully understands that people are more important than things.
We'll hope for a better experience at the zoo on Friday...and maybe I'll just let Adam use the ramp this time.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August is SMA Awareness Month

This month is national SMA Awareness Month. This is a little video about the search for a cure.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DncMkpqn_xo