Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Little to the Left

McKay leans a little to the left. No; I don't mean that he voted for Obama (although I'm sure he would have :)). I mean his little five and a half month old body has a tendency to lean to the left. When sitting in his Bumbo or swing or on a lap, after a while he tends to collapse somewhere in the middle and always to the left. Couple that mysterious hinge with his inability to sit or roll yet and I have become a bit concerned. Not worried; but concerned.

Fortunately, as all things seem to work out this way in our life this year, our dear neighbor just happens to be a physical therapist at Primary Children's. Another astonishing coincidence? I think not. After much discussion she came over last Friday to do an official evaluation of McKay's development.

The session looked more like a vigorous play time routine and the two smiled and talked to each other the entire time. The conclusion? McKay leans a little to the left. Even when she extended his arms over his head he struggled to guard his left shoulder and held it visibly tighter than the right.

"Well the good news is that I don't think he's had a stroke," she said.

"WHAT!!!???," is what my brain wanted to say, but my mouth had the sense to ask, "Why would you say that?"

"Many of these kids have small, mini strokes following surgery that can leave part or all of one side of their body affected, but McKay's limitation does not seem to indicate a stroke," she said.

Okay, good.

She then asked about his incisions and was puzzled to here me say that he has large incision sites under his right arm and down the center of his chest, but no procedures had ever been done on his left side.
Hmmm. She guessed that it may have to do with the way they had to cut through his abdominal wall and its subsequent healing. Nothing that cannot be corrected through some targeted exercises, though.

She asked me to give her a couple of days to get a plan together for McKay and then we'd regroup.

Two days later I had a blue notebook in hand with some of Mac's medical records and a series of exercises we are to consider homework between physical therapy visits. It was fascinating to read the records. With a child like McKay you soon learn that there's what the doctors tell you and then there is what is noted in his records. I much prefer the records and read them every chance I get. As usual there are some new terms that detail what was found and repaired during each of his surgeries. I have yet to finish researching the terms, but am comforted to know that when needed, the dots are easily connected between those angels who provide his care.

So going forward it looks like Mac will get a personal trainer for the next few months through a program called Early Intervention. I have every confidence that he will be crawling circles around his peers very soon. Oy! Is it wise for a mother of three to encourage that? :) After all, whenever McKay is asked to do anything, he always accomplishes the task at hand with exceptional results--we only need to ask and teach.

I am certain this is one of the lessons the Lord is trying to teach me--To do the things I think I cannot do. To find a way. To not just survive, but excel at what seems impossible. On most days, I can feel his confidence in me. It is a new sureness in my life. It makes me strong, but not in the ways you might expect. I no longer go to great lengths to do everything on my own. I am asking for more help than ever before and that simple act of reaching out has blessed our family. Now it's not just me trying and failing so often at the goals the Lord has for us, but instead it is me trying and leaning on others and succeeding more often in what He would have me do. It's also teaching my kids HUGE lessons about service and compassion and the love that the world has for them.

We are truly here to help each other--that simple truth has become crystal clear to me time and again. Today I have so much to pay forward and I will begin with my baby Mac. McKay is a giant. He will move mountains. He will teach many hard and necessary truths. He is my man. My cuddle bug. My giggle gut. My hero. And once his body is straight and strong chances are I will do what I can to sway him to think a little to the left anyway. :)


Lisanne said...

You are so cute! I love to jump on and check out your blog. Aren't we glad for neighbors! Good luck with the Physical Therapy!

Emily said...

Nothing wrong with a lefty - I married one. And I am extremely impressed with your restraint with the stroke comment. I'm pretty sure I would have blurted out an incredibly shocked "WHAT?!?" He is so stinkin' cute! Best of luck with the "therapy." One of the things that I've found with motherhood is that I do things that I never thought I would ever do in defense of my children. But they also take me on the most incredible and unimaginable journeys. I get very excited to see where they'll take me next.

Kind of long, but funny story about the medical records. I think it is funny how some doctors/nurses/receptionists think that they are "secret." When I had to switch doctors to see a specialist a few years ago, they were having difficulty faxing my records. Finally, my doctor told me that it was ridiculous, and that they were my records after all. So, he just made me a copy. Very interesting reading! The funny story: When our first child was born, it took the nurse FOREVER to discharge us. He was born just weeks after that lady in Texas drown all of her children due to Postpartum Depression. So, my nurse was on hyper-alert to make sure that both my husband and I completely understood the signs. She probably reviewed it four or five times. In the process, she had to leave for two deliveries, but was adamant that we not leave until she had gone over EVERYTHING. Anyway...She left my records in the room, so we scrambled through them while she was away. Being our first child, my husband stayed with me the entire time. We quickly learned to order big meals so that it fed me, but he could also eat the "leftovers." I would order pancakes, oatmeal, cold cereal, and fruit for breakfast (you've seen your fair share of medical bills - we were just trying to get our money's worth). Even with the incredibly large meals, the tray was practically licked clean after every meal. When we got to that page, it made the reference that I was a "hearty eater." We just laughed and laughed that my husband has forever tainted my flawless (haha) medical record.

Sabrina said...

hmmm...that's very interesting...and yes, now that you say, he does lean to the left. Is he still crying every hour? trouble sleeping? all I can think of is after I had my c/s with Luna when the drs stitched me back-up my right side absolutley killed-for weeks-it was like they hinged my muscle on much too tightly-and the taut of the muscle made it so I could not lean to my left.
You are a smart women Mindi, and I know you will connect the dots. and if you don't, then you use you're 'new' skill and find someone who can:) (it's funny you mention this in your blog-leaning on people more now-my motto for months now has been 'it takes a village'. Does it ever.)
hugs and kisses-

Sabrina said...

ack, I should never publish comments w/o editing. sorry for typos & spell-os:)