Saturday, July 01, 2006

It's the Small Things...

Our son, Sam has just graduated to shoe-insert orthotics. This wouldn't be a big deal, except in comparison to what he's graduated from: stiff, over-the-ankle, tough-to-slip-on, fastened-with-two-velcro-straps, next-to-impossible-to-find-shoes-that-fit-over type orthotics, which made putting on shoes into a 5-minute ordeal, and pretty much prevented him from learning to put his shoes on himself. He'll be 9 in August.

A little background: he's mentally retarded, has mild hypotonic CP, seizure disorder, moderate hearing loss, and profound speech, cognitive and fine motor delays as a result of lack of oxygen in utero the last few days (or maybe weeks...nobody knows) of my pregnancy. He was born by crash C-section three days after my due date, after we'd gone to the hospital because I hadn't felt any movement from him in several hours. By the time they got him out his heart had stopped, and they performed CPR for nineteen minutes before they got it started again. His Apgar at nineteen minutes was 0-0-1. At first they told us he probably wouldn't survive, then after we took him off the ventilator at 11 days, that he probably wouldn't have a suck reflex, then that he'd probably never sit up or walk or talk (they didn't use the word "vegetable", but that was pretty much the picture being painted) and then at some point after he'd defied each one of those predictions, they stopped predicting and just said "we don't know." Today he functions at anywhere from a 2-4 year old level, depending on the particular function and how motivated he is. He's a wonderful, sweet, loving, handsome, flirtatious kid with a joie de vivre that puts most of us to shame, and a deep and abiding love of roller coasters (which he refers to as "the fast train"), Thomas The Tank Engine, and "his"dogs, Byron and Coco.

So today we went and got new shoes. The first pair we tried--magic. The orthotic slipped right into place in the shoe, and the shoes slipped effortlessly onto his feet. Little by little, it gets easier. Slowly, but it does. Days like today remind me of that.


Blogger Maya's Granny said...

I thought this was you! I'm so glad for Sam. These things are one step at a time, but they are so worthwhile.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Deja Pseu said...

Yep, it's me. I haven't kept up with this in a while as you can see, but your comment on my coffee post inspired me to write something.

6:39 AM  
Blogger Deja Pseu said...

Oh, and as soon as I figure out how to set up a blogroll, you'll be the first one I add!

6:45 AM  

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