Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Note from the Crazy Optimist

Great news!
Elijah does not have Celiac Disease. We’re excited about that, but still uncertain as to why he isn’t gaining more weight. Our pediatrician doesn’t seem too concerned, (perhaps a little) but we believe Elijah’s head size has a lot to do with his weight. It’s frustrating to say the least. We can fill him up with lots of milk and food, but we can’t make his head grow.

We keep getting conflicting information about how much impact the head size has on weight. To me, it only makes sense that his head would make a difference in how much he weighs. I keep looking at him and I see his little chubby belly and think to myself that he’s healthy and happy, so who cares if he doesn’t keep up with the percentages? It’s hard to think that way, though, and very easy to worry about our baby. What if we’re not giving him enough? What if he isn’t getting the amount of calories that he needs to make his head grow? I try not to worry, but we do worry. I suppose that’s just a part of the job description for being a parent. For now, we’ll keep feeding him a lot and hope that he continues to gain weight.

Moving Along
We got Elijah a new toy yesterday with his birthday gift certificate. It’s a shopping cart push walker. If we hold his hands on the bar and push it, Elijah will take steps! We were very excited to see that. He falls over easily, but it once again tells us that he’s getting there. I truly believe that our little guy will walk one day; it’s just a matter of time.

In the crawling department, Elijah can maintain a crawling position for probably about five minutes. He likes to bounce in that position and he even rocks back and forth at times (which I know is what kids do before they take off crawling!). His hands are still fisted in that position, but I’m hopeful that his arms will continue to get stronger and he’ll start using them more.

Time is Flying
We’re starting HBOT on Tuesday. Isn’t that crazy? I’m kind of nervous, overwhelmed, and definitely excited. We’re trying not to get our hopes up, but we are expecting that he’ll experience some sort of change. At least I hope so. Yep, my hopes are definitely up...I can’t help it! We’ve read so many wonderful stories about what HBOT can do for kids like Elijah. How can we not get excited about it? With that said, it doesn’t work for everyone and it may not do anything for our little guy, but it’s definitely worth a shot. It’s one of those things that we don’t want to be wondering in ten years...“what if we would have tried that?” Now we’ll know, either way. Please keep those prayers coming. Keep asking for a complete recovery.

I’m a crazy optimist. I know that. At a year old, Elijah is quite behind developmentally. He doesn’t put things into his mouth, he rarely reaches for things, and he’s not mobile. No, he’s not doing those things...yet. I can’t give up that hope for a complete recovery. I just can’t. I think there are three main reasons for my crazy optimism... One: I know that nothing is too big for God. He created the universe and can fix one baby’s little brain. Two: Elijah doesn’t have a disease or a genetic disorder. He has an injury. Yes, it’s the worst kind of injury, but people can recover from injuries. Three: Elijah is doing so well. He has never given up and he has a stubbornness that I love and hate all at the same time.

I’m very well aware that Elijah’s cards don’t look so great. But, I’m not so keen on odds or percentiles. What do they really mean anyway? And, so I hope. I hope for a wonderful future and keep my feet grounded in reality. I know that either way I have my son with me, who is an absolute and complete blessing. Life is really, really good.

Now I also know that part of the grief process is denial. I think that I’ve been through all the stages over and over again....denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The thing with grief, though, is that it doesn’t just leave. I’ve gone through the stages more than once. I accept what happened to Elijah. I accept that others may never see him as “normal.” I accept that I may never see his complete recovery in my lifetime. But...I refuse to give up hope and I expect to always feel that way. Call it denial if you want, but my boy will tell me he loves me, he will walk and he will exceed any expectations set on him. He is amazing and with God, anything is possible.


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