To all of those brave servicemen and women out there,
both past and present,
Thank you for allowing me to have the freedom that I have today!
God Bless America!
Good, bad, and ugly.
The Good: both the Pediatrician and the Cardiologist are not worried.
The Bad: Andrew has a 3mm PFO.
The Ugly: my eyes from all the crying I have done today.
So that is the word: Patent Foramen Ovale.
He was born with it, a flap in the septum between the atria, yet it never really closed on its own.
In fact, we are all born with it. And it typically closes on its own within the first year of life.
Except in about 25% of the population, and Andrew just happens to be in that 25%.
And the "swishing sound" that they are hearing is the force of blood being rapidly squeezed through that flap (PFO).
So instead of Andrew having a "lub-dub" sound when they listen to his heart, he has this periodic "lub-swish-dub" sound.
And that "swishing sound" is the left-to-right shunting of blood through the atria of the heart. I was told that this is the shunting we would want, as the right-to-left version is a bit more tricky.
So I was assured, reassured, and reassured again by so many professionals that this is nothing to worry about.
That so many people have this.
There is nothing different that we need to do.
He has no restrictions, and we can go about our lives as normal.
No medications, no surgery, no interventions.
We actually don't even need to see a Pediatric Cardiologist.
Ahem! Guess who is seeing a Peds Cards anyway because I said so!
I am not sure how I am feeling about this right now.
I think I am still in shock about the whole situation.
Goodnight kisses take on a whole new meaning when you hear your child has an "issue".
I have watched and listened to the progress.
I have seen the baby sign language fade away as the word was mastered.
I have seen the sadness in her eyes when someone just couldn't understand what she was saying.
I have noted with amazement the creative ways she has learned to converse with someone.
For the last forty-nine months, she has worked harder and with more determination than anyone I have ever known.
Yes, you read that correctly: 49 months.
She started speech therapy at the ripe ole age of 18 months.
This Mama just knew in her heart that something wasn't right.
And I was right.
At that time, I didn't know what apraxia was.
I seemed to have to be the one to educate some of the professionals on it.
But she has really come so far and has made amazing progress.
Just this weekend, we were visiting my family.
Kate just goes on and on, talking with my Mom and sister.
They can follow her pretty well, occasionally looking to me for clarification.
My Dad, however, is a bit slower to learn her language.
He is always looking at me to translate.
But lately, he is improving.
I don't need to repeat what she said as often.
And now I realize why: Kaitlyn speaks differently to him.
As I sat there watching her and listening to her, I saw it first hand.
This little girl knows.
This little girl knows that her Grandfather tries so hard to hear her words and figure them out.
She sees him struggle.
So she is going to make it easier for him.
You aren't going to believe this, but please do!
She actually shortens her sentences and uses simple, easy words for him.
Long gone are those long "and then...and then...and then..." sentences that she uses with me and my Mom and my sister.
She talks basic to my Dad.
She really knows.
How amazing is that?
9. Wondering to myself "Hmmm? My foot looks funny. I think I might have broken something in there."
8. Those three xrays on Thursday which confirmed that I have, indeed, a stress fracture of the 4th tarsal bone. Yep.
7. Hearing the doc say "You will have to be immobilized in a boot for the next 5 weeks. Wha?????
6. Talking the doc down to three weeks.
5. Being off work for 3 weeks! Although it will be confined to a CAM walking boot, its 3 weeks at home with my kiddos!
4. Kaitlyn assuming the role of nurse in the house for "your broke foot".
3. Prepping for one final field trip for Kaitlyn this school year.
2. Kaitlyn receiving a birthday party invite...to be held the last day of school...at one of those bounce-and-jump places!
1. I love my kids!
As in " La-La-La-La!"
Yea, that sound.
Except we want the /L/ sound at the end of the word.
But for Kaitlyn, it is coming out as an /o/ sound.
Towel is "tow-wo"
Camel is "cam-mo"
Owl is "ow-wo"
Oooh, that pesky final /L/ sound.
Apparently, both her private and school SLPs have noticed this as well, and both are addressing the issue.
I received a new Bingo game of those final /L/ sounds in her backpack on Thursday with a note that instructed us to somewhat exaggerate the visual prompt of raising the tongue during demo of this sound.
And with the reminder or prompt, she does it just fine.
In fact, I think she is taunting me with her exaggerated final /L/ sound.
Who do you trust to translate this unique language?
Are they patient?
Are they kind?
Are they willing to learn and listen?
One soon finds out that the length of the "Trust List" becomes smaller and smaller.
Of course I trust my husband, as he is my husband and their Father.
He knows them as well as I do and has so graciously arranged his work schedule with mine so that one of us are always with the kids and we do not have to use childcare or daycare.
I trust my parents, especially my Mom who has been an emergency babysitter in a pinch.
My Dad has a special relationship with both of my kids and has stepped in on many occasions.
I trust my brother and sister.
I'll just forget the time that my brother left Andrew in a poopy diaper because he was "afraid to change it" and we will also forget that my sister is afraid of my house and the dark so she leaves every light on in the house...not a good sleeping arrangement.
I trust my next-door neighbor with my kids. Kaitlyn loves her, and Andrew is coy with her, but appears to size up her husband every time they are within a 20 foot radius of each other.
Yeah right, Andrew!
What are you going to do to him?
You really aren't much of a threat.
C"mon, guy. He's OK!!!
I totally trust our group of pediatricians as well as that office staff.
Hmmm? I wonder if they are available to babysit next weekend?
I trust the myriad of physicians that we have kept on board.
I phrase it that way since I have been known to terminate relationships with certain doctors based on many reasons, but usually for their lack of professionalism, tact, and empathy for special-needs kids.
Oh, and I trust the group of educators and therapists at her school this year (as opposed to previous years!)
I trust......hmmmm......I think that's it!
Pretty small list, isn't it?
That's what happens when you are a protective parent with a special needs child.
You just can't hand them off to just about anyone.
There are too many variables that come into play.
Can't just call someone to watch the kids for a night out with the girls or the husband, can I?
Not with my trust issues!
Who do you trust with your special needs children?
Lightening strikes twice.