Happy Fourth of July

I’m trying not to get my hopes up about coming home next week, but I admit that they are pretty high up there.  I’m already thinking about the onslaught of friends and family that I’m anxious to visit.  A close friend of mine had a baby a few weeks ago, Drew’s grandmother and uncle haven’t seen him since we left in April, other close family members who have been awaiting our return…I imagine our lives are going to be pretty hectic upon our return home for a while!

So much has changed since we left in April.  Drew’s leg is straight.

He has this bizarre device on his leg.  Drew is more grown up now.  I’m anxious to see people’s reactions to the new Drew.  I’m used to Drew’s fixator now and it doesn’t impress me much.  But I imagine that people’s reactions to it will be much similar to our first reaction to it.  Sure, I’ve been posting pictures but I don’t think you can really appreciate the fixator until you’ve seen it up close.  The sheer number of pins and the sizes of the holes present in his skin is something not well translated in pictures.

Plus, Drew’s leg has become very hairy!  He says, “I have hair on my leg like Daddy!”  He has one bare leg and one hair leg and he’s four years old.  Growing hair on the leg is normal I’ve been told as the body’s reaction to foreign devices being drilled into it can make strange things happen.  I sure hope that it falls out after everything is over and done with!  I’m losing my “baby” fast enough with normal aging processes.  I don’t appreciate the above and beyond!

Just the fact that we are this close to being done with the process is encouraging.  We’ve been through so much the last nine weeks and at times, I wasn’t sure this day would ever come.  But it did.  Should he be done with adjustments on Monday, then he’ll have to keep the fixator on his leg for about two months while he bones heal and then we’ll get to have it removed so that will be about mid to end September.  Currently, the second surgery is scheduled at the end of September so that may change depending on whether or not Dr. Paley thinks more time is needed between fixator placement.  I can’t help be picture a scene from one of my favorite movies when thinking about Drew’s reaction to having the fixator on a different leg.  To see my vision of this realization, view this video on Youtube, paying special attention to the 0:42 – 0:50 mark.

Last night, we got to see the largest fireworks show in South Florida on the shore of the Palm Beaches in downtown.  I was very anxious about it all day seeing as it would be doing this all by myself.  It was in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach and was touted to be the largest show in South Florida so I knew it was going to be packed crowds and a parking nightmare.  The website boasted games and activities starting at 5:00 and a firework show at 9:00.  I was afraid of going too early because an hour in four-year-old time is five hours in adult time.  But, I didn’t want to go too late because my parking needs are pretty unique and non-negotiable.  Then there were the crowds to tend with and ensuring no crushed toes, no damaged property and no court room dramas ensued from Drew going rogue on his wheelchair.  Drew is very good on his wheelchair 99% of the time (see my wild ride on Drew’s chair here) but if you parents who worry about your “normal” kid disasters, just think about what’s it like tending to a four-year old driving around a 311-pound $38,000 machine.  It requires nerves of steel.  Top that with the potential of a four-year old meltdown and a public nervous breakdown (my own) and its enough to make you want to spike your drink before noon.

However, despite my anxieties, Drew did awesome.  We both even wore patriotic colors, me in a red shirt, blue jeans and white strappy sandals and Drew in a blue shirt, white shorts and of course, his red wheelchair.  Drew, of course, was the center of attention everywhere we went.  People don’t look at him like he’s strange, though.  They are actually fascinated with his chair which can look like something NASA lands on Mars.  And, then they are enamoured with how cute Drew is and the sheer fact that he is driving this chair all by himself.  Drew, of course, doesn’t react well to this attention.  I kind of understand now why Drew always seems to reject talking or interacting with people outside of those closest to him.  He does get a lot of attention, albeit positive, but it’s probably overwhelming for a four-year old to be constantly stared at and being so young he probably misinterprets the messages.  Most of us want to just blend in with the crowd and it would be hard to stand out.  Even if people thought were great and loved you, unwanted attention is unwanted attention.

Another level of embarrassment is walking around with some crazy loon.  At least, that’s what I imagine I look like after the laborious process of unloading his wheelchair from the bed of the truck in hot Florida weather.  Sure, it’s not 111 like it is back at home, but after unstrapping, and unrolling, and pulling, and lifting, and re-rolling, and re-strapping, it sure feels like it’s 111 degrees outside and I have the frizzy hair, soaking forehead and sweat soaked shirt to prove it.  American school culture shows that moms must look presentable and pajama free when being seen in public with their children.  I’m pretty sure that’s why Drew always stays a few paces ahead of me whenever we are out and about.

The firework show was great though.  We sat along the boardwalk overlooking the Atlantic directly in front of the barge shooting the fireworks.  Being the only parent there it was difficult to get as many pictures that I would have wanted to get had Nathan been with me, but I captured a few (two).  It was a good night and I was glad that we went.  I’m glad I didn’t talk myself out of this adventure. I’d hate to deny Drew anything because of my own fears.

Drew has continued to improve and dealing with the fixator is as easy as it has ever been.  Drew has found that he can touch his forehead to his toes which he proudly demonstrated to me upon doing it the first time.  Drew has started scootching across the floor independently.  And, if you haven’t seen the video of Drew trying to stand up, check it out on my Drew Walking Tall Facebook page.  And, I’ve taken Drew swimming in the community pool here and he loves it.  In fact, I’ve decided to ditch the home physical therapy drama in favor of this “accidental” therapy that Drew does without even realizing it!  He only requires pain medicine once a day before bed and it’s enough to carry him through all day, even through physical therapy and adjustments. Drew even likes it when I tickle his foot on the side of his heel on a pin site.  Perhaps it itches or maybe he’s happy that the large scab that was previously there finally came off revealing a nice clear skin beneath!  I know I’m happy it’s not there anymore.  It’s peeling edges were driving me crazy!  But I dared not touch it without permission.  It finally came off in a recent shower and he is finally free of scabs.  Though he still has one more stitch from his incision to shed.

So, I anxiously await Monday and will be sure to let y’all know what our plans will be.  Between me and Drew, I’m  not sure who is more excited.  Drew has requested multiple times to go to school and even drew one of his girlfriends (one of his girlfriends…ha!) a picture.  He’s specifically asked for a few of his school friends and all of his cousins.  He says, “Mama…I miss ‘tucky.  I wanna go ‘tucky.  I miss Sarge {our dog}.  I wanna go to school and see my friends.”  *tear* We could be home the end of the next week!

Speaking of which, The Eagles Club in Morganfield is hosting a golf scramble for Drew on Saturday, July 14th at the Camp Breckinridge Golf Course.  Registration begins at 9:00 am and tee off at 10:00 am. $60/person gets you lunch and two complimentary golf clubs from Warrior. There will be a “longest putt” contest, “Chipping in a toilet bowel” game, and a half pot. Please join to raise money for Drew Walking Tall. For more information, you may contact Steve Utley, The Eagles Club, or the Breckinridge Country Club. Thanks for your support!

In addition, please look for upcoming details about the Drew Walking Tall 5K run coming soon.  I know it will be a heck of lot easier to plan while at home!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Ann says:

    Hopes are up u get to come home, good job on your writing by the way. See ya!

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