Thursday, November 24, 2016

It's Thanksgiving Day...

...and I should have a Thanksgiving story to tell; and I do. It's about our granddaughter that was struck by Acute Flaccid Myelitis and is now paralyzed from the umbilicus down. Or more easily, from the 'belly button' down. A lot has happened since she made that long ambulance ride from a small mountain town in a remote part of the north state. She was in UC Davis Medical Center (Sacramento) for a long time; long enough to stabilize her and to begin her recovery. Not a recovery to normal life, but a recovery that allows her some mobility; a wheelchair to be exact. There is no cure for AFM at this time so the wheelchair will be her legs for a long time.

UCD Med Center was a fantastic place. They cared for her and she responded magnificently. She was always smiling and trying her very best for the trials of physical therapy and all of the painful lab testing; spinal taps and more. In some cases her paralysis was a blessing as she couldn't feel the pain. She had to have 18 days of injections of an anticoagulant that would be painful. I knew this because I had to have 4 days of them when I broke my pelvis recently. They are given to you by pinching a fold of your skin over your stomach and injecting it right there. Lucky girl, she got to smile for those. But of course there were lots of painful things for her to endure. Still, she smiled and persevered. Her goal was always to come home.

About a week ago, UCD Med Center transferred her to Shriner's Hospital for Children. A fantastic hospital that has special programs just for children with spinal cord injuries. It was also 200 feet away from her bed at UCD. Once there, the physical therapy increased dramatically. Luckily, she is very strong from her years of soccer, volleyball and gymnastics. The PT didn't phase her. If you want to know about Shriner's in Sacramento, follow this link.

Yesterday she had an appointment with the wheelchair specialists to fit her with the best chair for her and her needs. It seems that her insurance only covers the most basic of chairs. The insurance company feels that going outside in a chair is a luxury for children. Well, Shriner's doesn't feel that way at all and will cover the cost of the best chair for her; one that goes outside! This was the main reason that UCD transferred her. Another is the care they give before she is allowed home. They will drive all of the way up to her home and do all the measuring of the house so that Dad knows what it will take to remodel for her. He had already started on a portion of it. I should say that their friends have begun the work; he has never left her side since the first day. Shriner's is also going to go to her school and with the help of the staff, they will talk to all of the students and staff about her condition. All of it. They said that there was no reason for her to endure the constant questioning that she would face when she arrived at school once more. If Abby wants to join the team  while they do this, that's fine too. It's all up to her. They are there to be her caretakers and protectors. And they are always available, even after she is home. I know where our year end charitable giving will go.        

I received a text from my son this morning and I want to share it...

Happy Thanksgiving. 🦃 we are taking a break for this Holiday. No PT, no OT, just time with family to reflect on all of our blessings. Thank you all for your support, and prayer. Abby is looking at getting home very soon. Still lots of work ahead, but because of her hard work and strength she has fast tracked her stay at Shriner's. 😊

Abby is enjoying her Thanksgiving with Dad, his fiance ((her most caring 'mom') and her twin brother who has missed her terribly.

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