Matthew Lipp's Journal
Written Mar 8, 2014 2:22pmYesterday was exciting. Matthew's school, I still love that place, had their Renaissance Rally. This is a big deal celebration for the students, nearly all of them had on shirts they earned for their good grades. At the rally they selected about 5 categories for students and selected the "TopTen" in each. Matthew was nominated for one of the "Most Inspirational." We were invited to attend, what a great event. The student selected as "The Most Inspirational" was a young lady who battled cancer and beat it. Among the others included was a beautiful young woman who said she's followed Matthew's story, she has Cerebal Palsey and walks with the aid of canes.
This young woman and Matthew have become fast friends, they have experiences and beliefs that brought them together. Matthew met her on Thursday and we've been praying for her ever since. We've been very focused on "our" world for the past 14 months, its good that God reminds us that we are not the only people who face painful challenges. Once again, Matt has humbled me as he's shared with his new friend. He has his privacy but he shares much more with me now than he used to, I've been privileged to talk with him and have him share with me the words he's used to try and uplift his new friend. His heart has always been tender but he has empathy now for others who suffer that blows me away. On the other hand, he has little patience for those he sees as just "mean."
Last weekend brought several "episodes." There were three nearly back to back and we were disheartened. We can't understand God's timing, but we are called to trust it. We are all looking forward to spring break, one more week and we get a change of pace that is much needed. In the meantime, please pray that Matt releases his fears and gets on his feet. That's all that's keeping him in that chair right now.
Small Steps, well, not steps
Written Feb 24, 2014 9:27pmMonday and we are finishing up chemistry homework. I never took chemistry in school, it scared me. Now I try to help Matthew and thank God that he has such an amazing and kind teacher. Joe can help but it takes about an hour to figure out a problem when there's an equation involved. All that to say, Matthew's exhausted but he's doing the work. He's putting effort in and when I nudge his memory he spouts off the answer more often than not. YAY!
We had such a good weekend and nearly every day last week some small and subtle change in Matthew's abilities became apparent. He had friends over Saturday, one in the afternoon and then the Longe boys Saturday night. Helping him transfer to bed he had me in tears, he was telling me how blessed he is. He went on to tell me how very much he loved his friends and how God blessed him with such wonderful ones. Once again he said that if this is what God wants for him then its okay, he'll take it. I have to say, I love his friends too.
Finally, last night, while we were falling asleep in separate rooms 15 feet apart he text me. The message was, "There isn't enough room in your mind for both worry and faith. You must decide which one will live there." He added the caption, "I choose Faith" Yep, I love my boy. He inspires me to be a better person, I am blessed!
It's been awhile
Written Feb 17, 2014 8:35pmMatthew's party was a huge success! There were many guests, we estimated 80 or more, who dropped by and we were thrilled to see each one. Before Christmas a crowd like that would have made him very uncomfortable, panicky even, but that Saturday he completely enjoyed himself. Our friends and family pitched in with a borrowed back yard, food and decorations that put all of us in a festive mood and even the weather cooperated. It was one of the best days any of us has enjoyed in a very long time. We can't thank everyone who contributed enough.
The next day we had a check up appointment with Dr. Zupanc from C.H.O.C. She was tough on me when Matthew had been admitted there but this time she was really tough on him. Dr. Zupanc wanted to know why he was still in that wheelchair and she was angry about it. She said there was no reason, physically, for him not to walk and told him to get up right then. He tried but, obviously, wasn't able. She and Dr. Shrey, I thank God for that good, good man, spent three hours evaluating and talking with Matthew and us. Matthew felt beat up when we left and couldn't understand what he'd done wrong. It broke my heart but it did give him a push. He's since started trying to be more independent. She set her sights on Joe too, he's not supposed to be around so much and was directed to back off.
As a result of that appointment Matthew had an appointment with a psychiatrist today. She works for Kaiser now but came from Children's Hospital L.A. where she had some experience working with a few kids with Conversion Disorder, CD. Its rare, so rare that many mental health professionals have never encountered it and know little or nothing about it; much less how to treat it. For now there won't be many changes, this doctor says Matthew is doing well. She wants to see him in a month to re-evaluate and if significant progress hasn't been made we'll look at other options.
In the meantime, as Matthew takes less and less phenobarbital he's more and more aware of his reality. He's grieving the loss of the past year and so afraid of being left behind as his friends all move forward in life and he's stuck in this place. He continues to believe God has a plan. Matthew also understands that trusting in God means something very different now than it did before all of this happened. Trusting in Him when the road is so unclear and unkind is so much harder than anything he's ever done.
Finally, the psychiatrist said today that she's never seen anyone "stuck" in Conversion Disorder, sometimes it resolves itself spontaneously. The pain he feels is very real but he could wake up one morning and walk out of his room on his own. That's what I want all of us still praying to pray for, please, please, keep praying.