Tuesday, November 1, 2005

There has been a wide variety of experiences throughout this last week to share with you. Last Wednesday, after finishing school, Jonathan got in his room and pulled out his cars and his car mat and asked me to play cars with him. Before his illness, Jonathan’s favorite thing in the whole wide world was to play cars. While he was in the hospital, every time the gift cart would come by, we would pick out a new car for him. Since he has been home from the hospital, playing cars is one of the things he has done very little of. I have longed to see him play with his cars again. I’m sure part of the reason he doesn’t play with them much is because it is so hard for him to get up and down on the floor. So it was a welcome surprise for him to want to play cars that day. Later on in the evening, we went to Awana. Each time the kids pass a page in their books, they get Awana shares that they can spend at the Awana store two or three times during the year. Jonathan had 126 shares to spend that night! Jonathan has a wonderful friend name John who comes to say hi each week and usually gives him a stack of his own shares. That’s part of the reason why Jonathan had so many shares to spend. His friend John is one of the most giving boys we have ever met and he encourages Jonathan every time he sees him. He is a true blessing. Jonathan said all the verses he planned to say, and then studied on a couple more and was able to say those to finish his next section. Very cool! He did great again, once I left him. No crying. He and Mr. Terry have become great pals, and Mr. Terry is there for him every week. They practiced some more basketball stuff during game time as well. I thank God for Mr. Terry. I already shared everything that happened at the endocrinologist on Thursday. We are still waiting for the results of the test and should be able to find out on Thursday. On Friday, we went to home school party where the kids made Thanksgiving place mats for a city wide Thanksgiving dinner for the less fortunate. After making the place mats, the kids got to share what they were thankful for. Jonathan was very thankful to be out of the hospital. He said he would forever be thankful for that! After that party, we went to a birthday party for one of our cousins. So we spent the rest of the afternoon in Ft. Worth with our family. On our way home, we were finally able to find a Halloween costume that fit Jonathan. After we got home, he tried it on and loved it. There was a little belt that went with it and Jonathan asked me if he had any pants that had belt loops on them because he wanted to wear a belt. Right now, the best thing for him is elastic waist pants because they fit better around his waist. The more he talked to me about that very simple little wish, the more discouraged he became, until he finally had a complete melt down and cried for an hour. He told me he’s not like everyone else and he’s not like he use to be and he can’t do things like everyone else can, and he cried hard for a long while. I can’t even express to you how severely that broke my heart. We all just loved on him and tried to encourage him and help him to know that God was going to help him get through this difficult part of his healing process and that he can do all things through Christ who gives him strength. He was finally able to stop crying and settle down before going to bed. That night I made a chart to just keep track of how many calories he is eating each day for the next few days. According to my research on the internet, he should have 1800 calories a day. On Saturday, I wrote down everything he ate and how many calories it contained. He ate 1600 calories as far as I can estimate. That is less than he is suppose to have, but according to the information I read, he needs to eat 500 less each day in order to lose weight. That 1600 calories really didn’t amount to a whole lot of food and I realized how very difficult this is going to be for us to accomplish. But we are determined to keep trying. On Saturday, Jonathan told me I didn’t have to come pick him up from Sunday School on Sunday, because he was going to come by himself. That was an exciting new declaration! I checked with him again Sunday morning and asked him if he was really going to do that and he said yes. So I told his teachers what he was going to do and he did exactly what he said he could do. He even stopped by the bathroom before coming to meet his Daddy in the Sanctuary. He also came from choir again on his own. We are making great progress with things at church. Monday was Halloween and we had a great time. We went Trick or Treating for about an hour before going to the Fall Festival at our church. Jonathan was a Ninja Turtle (Raphael to be exact), Sarah was a Candy Corn girl and Elizabeth was a prom queen. Aunt Sherri and Cousin Emily came over and went with us. Jonathan walked to some of the houses and rode in the wheelchair the rest of the way. Most of the time he was up and walking, he was going up and down steps, so it wore him out pretty quickly. But he hung in there and got a pretty good amount of candy – none of which was sugar free. He didn’t seem to mind; he just had a good time trick or treating. We took the wheelchair to the church and he rode around for a little while. Then he got up and walked through the gym playing games and talking to people. He was a pretty tired Turtle by the time we left. Before we went home, we went to Trick or Treat at Grandpa and Grandma Cooper’s house and to wish Uncle Chris a happy birthday. We had some birthday cake and ice cream and Grandma and Grandpa made sure he got some sugar free candy. Overall, it was a great Halloween holiday. Jonathan did such an awesome job at therapy today. He went down to the gym to run on the treadmill right off the bat. Today, he ran for 30 seconds at a time, 3 different times at 4.0 mph. Mrs. Dana stands behind him and holds his gait belt. She said he felt much better today. She said he was doing all the work and she was barely holding him up at all. I think he thought he was going to die on that last try, but he pushed through and ran a whole minute and a half today. It was great and he was very proud. Up in the office, he worked on his balance on the balance board. Then she worked on something new with him. She tied a flexible band around his ankle and had him pull his leg out sideways, backward, and forward while balancing on his other leg. This not only strengthens the leg he is moving, but also strengthens the leg he is balancing on in the hip area. She gave us a piece of this green band to take home and work on. So we have something new to work on in our therapy time each afternoon at home. Jonathan continues to make such wonderful progress each and every day. We are so grateful for the continued healing that the Lord gives us each day and we praise Him for all the wonderful works that He has done. Sometimes it is easy to get overwhelmed when we look at the size of the mountains that we still have left to climb. I have been overcome with emotion as I have prayed for Jonathan each day since he cried about a his weight the other night. Some of these things seem impossible to overcome. I know we can’t do it without God’s help. And I also know that He will do just that. I am reminded of a song that says: “Got any mountains you think are impossible? Got any rivers you can tunnel through? God specializes in things thought impossible and He will do what no other power can do.” So we continue to rest on His promises and feed on His faithfulness to continue to bring healing to every part of Jonathan that needs it. Please continue to pray for his strength, his balance, his weight, his diabetes, his vision, his brain, his emotions, his thyroid, his pituitary gland, his memory, and his schooling. Pray that we will run with patience as we continue to journey down this road that God has taken us on. On Sunday as I stood in the service praying for Jonathan, we were singing: “Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness. Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy hand hath provided. Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.” We praise the Lord for His unfailing love and faithfulness to us. We praise Him for all of you whose faithfulness to lift us up in prayer has brought us through this incredible experience. We love you all.

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