January 24, 2012

Good Life  |   A Biomedical Update

As I walked toward my car after Caroline's
school team meeting, it was obvious to all
passersby that I was a proud mom.  

They may have thought my child made the honor
roll or perhaps learned to tie her shoe.  To me,
it didn't matter that neither of those were true.

What did matter was that during the meeting, her
case manager was so excited retelling us of a
recent accomplishment, she thrust clenched fists
into the air and said "Yessss Caroline!"  

Still smiling as I turned the ignition, word must
have already travelled to 101.9 FM, because
I was greeted with One Republic's "Good Life."

This has gotta be the good life.
This could really be a good, good life...

Just how good is it?

Very, very good.  Caroline is undeniably in the best place she's ever been.  Her
engagement, awareness, desire to communicate, ability to follow directions and
calmness are enough to make every painstaking moment we've spent on her
recovery worthwhile.  

The changes are not subtle.  They are obvious.  And to us, they are miracles.

Four feet of possibilities

This past week we had an appointment with her biomedical doctor.  To the
doctor's amazement, for the majority of the hour long appointment, Caroline sat
and listened.  No iPad, no iphone, no video games.  She in her chair calmly and
looked at the doctor and at Jay and I and smiled -- almost as if to say, "Yep.  I'm
doing pretty incredible, aren't I?!"

She even stood against the wall to be measured and afterward pointed to her
height and then looked to us and said, "4 feet!"  The significance?  Until
recently, she wouldn't stand still to get measured or weighed even if Mickey
Mouse himself asked her to.  She would only scream and wrestle away.

But now, she understood she was supposed to stand next to the wall and was
even proud of how tall she is!

This has gotta be the good life...

Instead of shutting out the world around her, she's learned to appropriately
respond when asked to do something.

She's also started using language spontaneously to talk about more than just
her basic needs.  

She runs up to people who enter our house and excitedly says "Hi!"  
When asked "How are you?" she not only answers, she asks it back!  
"How are YOU?!"  And, get this... she waits for the answer and then says,
"Come on" (to play)!

This could really be a good, good life...

A snowman built on dreams

Caroline had been waiting months to have enough snow to
make a snowman.  

Every night, we read "Snowmen at Night."  A magical story
about the what snow-people do at night.  

Finally, the day came!  The weather was warm and the snow
piled high.  After she carefully crafted him, she spent another
hour in our front yard staring at and talking to him!   At one
point, she leaned in and said "Snowman, I LOVE YOU!"

Excited doesn't begin to describe the joy that filled her eyes.
When we returned inside, she insisted on eating her dinner
near a window where she could watch him.  And before bed,
we ventured out again to say one last, "Goodnight!"

Unfortunately, rain came that night and the snowman had
left by morning.

The "former" Caroline probably wouldn't have noticed,
but concerned that the "new" one would, Daddy hid the traces
of his existence.  

When we drove home after school, she said, "Play baseball!"

It took me a moment to figure it out... but then,
of course...
BASEBALL!  In the book, the snowmen leave their homes
to play a game of baseball.   Yes, "Play baseball, indeed!"

This could really be a good, good life...
Where we're at...

          (Please click links for explanations)
For an optimized reading experience, consider listening to "Good Life!"
Where we're at...      (in case you missed it above)
         (Please click links for explanations)