Thursday, March 23, 2006

God has faithfully brought us through another week. Since last week was spring break, we only did a couple of days of school work and we had the week off of Awana as well. On Friday, we spent most of the day at the Ft. Worth Zoo with some of our new homeschool friends. Although I had not planned to take this day off from school, it was a much needed outing and we all enjoyed it very much. I contemplated taking the wheelchair, which we usually do when we are going to be doing a lot of walking, but I decided against it. So Jonathan walked all around the zoo for about 5 hours. He and I did sit down about three different times to rest while the others went looking at some other stuff. It was a pleasant day and we enjoyed the chance to get to know our new friends better. On Saturday, we spent part of the day again with our family in Ft. Worth celebrating Grandpa Smith’s birthday. Last year, we celebrated both Aunt Susan and Grandpa Smith’s birthdays at the OCH. We are so grateful to be celebrating with them this year at home. On Tuesday, we had our appointment with the new therapy group in Corinth. We talked with the therapist that I originally spoke with on the phone. When she first began talking to Jonathan, she commented on his Casting Crowns T-shirt and said she knew that group. He told her that KLTY plays them on the radio and she said she also listens to KLTY. After talking a few minutes, she said, “Wow, isn’t that neat; you’re a Christian and I’m a Christian!” What a neat, unexpected way to start out the conversation! She asked Jonathan what he wanted to work on. He told her his sleeping, his balance and losing some weight. We talked about his previous therapy and she explained what they do. Everyone is NDT trained, which is Neurological Development Technique (I think). She said that the hospitals work to get you functioning again, walking, talking, using your hands/arms, etc. They come in and “nit-pick” what you have learned and help you function more accurately. It is all done from a neurological perspective. For instance, by watching Jonathan walk, she said his feet are outside the hip range, which causes him to waddle. They will train him to bring his feet back in line with the hips and take more accurate, forward steps. She watched him get up from the chair when we were about to leave and said they would teach him how to get up from the chair without pushing himself up. She also asked about his vision, noticing his glasses. After explaining his vision issues to her, she recommended and gave me information about a neurological optometrist in the area that she said would be great to see. I had not expected to receive any direction on his vision, so that was an unexpected blessing. Because of a breakdown in communication in their office, we were not on the “big” schedule, so we didn’t get as much time with them as we were hoping. They are suppose to be calling and setting up a time for us to come back and have an evaluation done and then get their recommendations for treatment. I was a little disappointed that I did not really get what I was hoping to get from this visit, however, we were blessed to get some things that we were not expecting. Before we left, I did ask her if she could give me any suggestions about his sleeping, which is what I was really hoping for. She suggested that Jonathan take a hot, relaxing bath, then to rub him down with lotion and a soft brush. Apparently, someone has come up with this kind of sensory therapy to help with sleeping. We did exactly all of that, hoping it would help him sleep better. Actually, he woke up within 30 minutes of going to bed and was up every few minutes until 3 am. I spent most of that time searching the internet again for some information as to what might be causing this. The only thing I found that closely mirrors his symptoms is some kind of nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy – seizures that happen mostly at night and sometimes during daytime naps. This, of course, was not what I was hoping to find. I’m not saying that this is what Jonathan has. To be honest, I have no idea what is causing these sleep issues. It could be these seizures, it could be some type of disfunction or damage to the part of the brain that controls this, or it could just be the process of healing. I guess what I realized that night is that we need to see a neurologist and have some test done in order to find out what the problem is. You know what that does to my level of discouragement. I just sat at my computer, in between Jonathan’s cries, and cried as I talked to the Lord about this. He’s gone through so much already, Lord, could you just heal this and spare us any more test or doctors? So as much as I hoped to get an answer for this today, I guess it was just a stepping stone to the next path we take, which is finding a neurologist. W e have not seen a neurologist since we left the hospital, so I am in the process of gathering recommendations. As far as Jonathan’s sleeping goes, there is still no improvement. We are desperately trying to continue to walk by faith, not by sight, and to trust in the Lord with all our heart, and not lean on our own understanding. Some days that is easier to do than others. That is not all of Tuesday’s news. Jonathan had his second therapeutic riding lesson that afternoon. It was much colder this week than last week, but Jonathan had another great lesson. He did all of the same things this week as he did last week, but this week Ms. Tammy taught him how to turn the horse while he was riding the trail. It’s called “neck and pocket.” Whichever way he wants to turn Skip, that hand goes back to his pocket, while the other hand goes to Skip’s neck. He turned three or four times while he was riding Skip and did a pretty good job of it on his own. We also remembered to bring carrots for Skip this week. Jonathan loves Skip and hugs and kisses him many times during the hour that he is there. I think Skip and Jonathan are going to be great friends.
Thank you so much for continuing to check on us and pray for us. We are still in need of your prayers. Please continue to pray for Jonathan’s sleeping most of all. I know that many of you are specifically praying for this issue, and I can’t tell you what a comfort that is to me. Because of the lack of sleep that I get from dealing with this each night, it is easy for me to get discouraged and I find myself fighting depression from time to time. Please pray that God will continue to sustain me with His grace and that I will continue to trust in Him for this healing, even when there is no change. Pray that we will know God’s will and direction regarding this new therapy option. Pray that we will have wisdom as we seek to find a neurologist and consider this optometrist for Jonathan. Claim this verse for us as we consider all the decision we must make for Jonathan’s continuing progress: Isaiah 30:21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Pray for the complete healing of Jonathan’s brain. Pray for complete healing of Jonathan’s vision. Pray for complete healing of Jonathan’s diabetes. Pray that we will let God heal Jonathan in His time, according to His perfect will. Continue to pray for the results of the Cushings test; we have not heard from the doctor regarding this yet. God has given us many promises along our journey. God’s word says: 2 Corinthians 1:20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God. When we feel like life is at a standstill, as it seems to be for us right now, we look back at God’s faithful, loving, miraculous work that we have witnessed and recorded on this website, and we stand firm, claiming His promises even today. We say “Amen” to this precious promise of God. The Lord bless you and keep you.

"These things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day," says the Lord. ~ Habakkuk 2:3

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