Make Sure Ryann Is Not Alone This Holiday Season
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Latest Journal Update
It has been almost two months since the last post and I know many of you are wondering how things are going. My goal in this post is to give a good summary update on the girls and a little update on our family.
Rebekah has been mostly stable over the past couple of months. We have had a couple of trips to the ER, but thankfully there were no major issues. She usually has three visits to the doctor each week between therapy and rehab follow-ups. She has had a little trouble with her formula and has had a short lived virus of some sort. Those are small problems in the grand scheme of things and in most situations would not even be noteworthy, but for Rebekah they were pretty big issues. We are still trying to figure out the balance of what is a potential problem and what we don't need to worry about. Ryann and I have gotten pretty comfortable loading her in and out of our van (it took a little trial and error for figuring out what works best.) At home, she is comfortable on the couch or in her bed. She has home-bound school once a week through the local school system, but will start twice a week soon. She may even be cleared for going to school half days starting in November. Sarah is great to read a book to her and Noelle likes to show Rebekah what she is playing on the iPad. Since many people have asked what Rebekah can and cannot do, here is a quick summary. It is hard to write this and not feel a great burden of sadness for her, but I will give a few areas of progress as well. Rebekah is a super active, full of energy, fireball of a girl who happens to be in a state that hides the real Rebekah. Rebekah is able to hold her head up and turn it from side to side, able to control her upper body a little (remain sitting upright for short periods, open and close her left hand, stretch out her left arm about half-way, lift her left arm about half-way up, lift her head and shoulders off the bed when lying down). She has many other movements, but they are less controlled and are usually in response to some stimulation (moving her leg when touched, moving around when startled with a loud noise, etc.) She is able to hear and see and at times seems engaged when watching a movie or listening to someone talking to her. She communicates pain through crying/moaning and has recently started giving a little bit of a smile when she is comfortable and being engaged. The progress we have seen is encouraging, just painfully slow for parents who deeply hurt for her. Rebekah is not yet able to do anything for herself. She is not able to stand, sit up on her own, pick up things, chew or swallow, talk, or respond to commands. We don't know what God has planned for her recovery and we don't understand why things are the way they are. We hope, pray, and long for restoration of Rebekah.
Sarah has continued to heal and is doing incredibly well considering what she has gone through. Today was her first day to attend school for the full day (she has been on half days since school started). She is doing really well in her class and is making new friends. She is a really good big sister and often acts as the peacemaker between the little kids even though they drive her crazy at times. Sarah really misses Micah and Rebekah and has a hard time with that. She used to have them as her play buddies and it is hard for her with no buffer between Sarah and the younger three. We moved Sarah into the room with Rebekah yesterday, so we are hopeful that will give her a little space that she doesn't feel the little girls will intrude on. Physically, Sarah has recovered really well. There are some concerns for her eyesight because of the bone fractures in her eye sockets. She has some additional testing coming up to help identify the root cause of the issues she is having. There are also some concerns for her left ankle that was broken badly. She has another surgery on it next month and will have follow-ups after that to monitor the growth plate. Sarah's memory seems to be doing really well and we don't see many of the little things that concerned us early on after the wreck. Her personality is somewhat different from what it was before the wreck, but all of our personalities have changed. It is hard to say what change in Sarah is from the physical injury and what is from the emotional injury. Lately, Sarah asks a lot of hard questions regarding Rebekah's condition and when she will get better. This has given us a lot of opportunities to pray for Rebekah with Sarah and those are really special times.
Here is a quick update on the rest of the family. Asher is doing well at the Alabama School for the Deaf. He has a really long day each day (up at 5:00am to get ready for school and then back home around 5:15pm). He is picking up signs quickly and even tries to trick Mommy and Daddy with "signs" that he makes up. It is really exciting to see him learning to communicate. Lilah has started her pre-K class to help her be ready for kindergarten next year. She too is getting into a routine with school and we look forward to her increased understanding of the english language. Noelle is enjoying the time that she has with so much attention from Mommy or Daddy during the day. She is the life of the party wherever she is... and if there isn't a party already going on, she is bringing it! Noelle routinely breaks into song during shopping trips, dances around like a ballerina, and introduces herself to anyone and everyone. It is so entertaining to watch her interact and brighten people’s day. She comes up and snuggles, gives hugs and kisses, and is just generally helpful to Ryann and me in our frequent very down times. Ryann and I are working on navigating the intense grief in the loss of Micah, the hard place that Rebekah is in, the physical and emotional pain that Sarah feels, and the heartache that the rest of our kids, family, and friends are dealing with. We are thankful for the many prayers and thoughtful ways that people have continued to reach out to us. We have a long ways to go in the grieving and healing process. Thank you again for continuing to pray for our family’s physical and emotional healing.