It is day 23 here and if the doctor’s prediction is accurate we are over halfway through this hospital journey! That makes me smile, but to be honest, it also carries with it anxieties and challenges.
Matthew’s seizures are gone and everyday I am so amazed. I only realize now how many Matthew was having night and day prior to surgery. Yes, that is why the doctors wanted us to consider this major surgery – they knew how many seizures he was having and they also knew it would only grow worse as he aged.
But now I am in the daily grind of helping him overcome what the surgery has taken away. Yes it is a temporary right-sided weakness, and I hang onto that. But in the meantime it is drill after drill forcing those muscles and brain to remember how to engage. I have bruises all over my shins from crashes of his wheelchair and my pour toes have been crushed multiple times as he walks with his clunky brace. But walking he is doing. Upgraded from the strawman in Wizard of Oz to a penguin on a beach – those are Matthew’s terms. And improvement keeps happening, I have been down this road before with Matthew – the kid about whom we were told over and over that he would never walk or talk.
So why the anxieties you ask? Because I know how he could dance, swing on a swing, ride his scooter, run in the rain! And I want it all now and so does he. Today he kept wanting to jump, when I was supposed to be learning how to do gait-belt walking with him. He is not satisfied waddling like a penguin – he wants to fly. So begins the next few weeks of pushing proper training (so he doesn’t injure himself), and enduring watching him also overcome his sadness that his leg and arm don’t quite do what they use to do.
By faith, we push and pray that brain and muscles will all reengage. Trying to lay aside my crying out: “God, it just doesn’t seem fair that we are having to do this all over again!”
My theme verse going into this, “Be strong and resolute, do not fear for the Lord himself marches with you – He will not fail or forsake you” (Deut 31:6). And for all you Bible scholars out there, I know this message was originally meant for Israelites in battle, but I am adopting it right now in my own battle for faith and courage. A few times in the gym and our balcony singing times, I have felt the Spirit’s presence very near me. And an immediate comfort comes over me. I know that is all the prayers hounding heaven on our behalf. Thank you – and Matthew and I will endure!