Thursday Update at 8:35 pm CT "Heather & Her One Bite at a Time & One Task at a Time Co
Well, it has been another great day! Heather hasn't felt real well today, but she has still given it her all. Last night was the longest she was able to sleep in a month without interruptions. She slept for 6 hours, and this really was a help to her today. She had her first shower, though she was a little nervous, things went well. It is funny watching her interact with everyone. Everyone knows when Heather enters the gym!!! She had some significant movement in her right leg today while sitting on the mat and kicking the ball. She kicked the ball repeatedly with the left leg, and then I said, "Let's try the right leg, Heather". She said, "Ok," and not really expecting to see any movement, the therapist placed the ball by her right foot. It took great concentration and effort, and with every other muscle in her body, she initiated movement from her hip, but her quadricep muscle kicked in as well, and the foot slowly kicked the ball!!!!! Yahoo!!!!! When she saw how excited everyone was, she kept trying to do it over and over, about 5 times total. She knows that her side has been paralyzed, and she has said a few times "I can't" without trying when they have asked her to move her arm, hand or leg, and this is not normal for her not to try. But, now she isn't saying "I can't" anymore. They have told her to think that she can move, and that helps her try to move. One therapist told her that the brain likes for you to tell it that it can. Ever since her first brain surgery in 1996, Heather developed a system of getting her brain ready to perform whatever task you are asking her to do. She often will cue herself by counting 1, 2, 3 before she is mentally able to do a task. If she is standing up, or whatever, she will not move until she has mentally prepared herself to do so, and sometimes you will pull, and she will remain seated. She is very intelligent in how she has compensated through the years with the debilitating disease of Rasmussens and the thousands and thousands of seizures. She can attempt to do anything you ask her to do as long as you give her a way to figure out how to do it. She always wants to know what you want, how long it will take, how long she can rest, etc. If you ask her to go to the gym to exercise, she wants to know how long she will be there, so she can prepare herself. If you want her to do some exercises for 30 minutes, she would have a hard time with that, but if you break it up and say can you do 10 for me and then rest, she can do that because to her, that is a reachable goal. If she doesn't like something she is eating, if you say, can you eat at least 1/2 of it, or can you give me five more bites, she will do it. I believe this is how she has been able to live through all of these seizures for the past 20 years, because she has set reachable goals for herself, and has just taken one more step, or eaten one more bite, or stood for one more minute, etc. She has pushed herself more than the normal person because she has figured out a way to do what needs to be done even when she is feeling her worst. Even if it is something she really doesn't feel like doing, or doesn't really want to do, she will accomplish it once she has prepared in her mind to do so. Wow, what determination and what an attitude and spirit! You have heard the statement, it's all in the way you think, and there is so much truth in this statement. So, what's our problem? Right? We can't do things, or we won't do them because of the way we think. Let's be achievers! Let's set reachable goals and accomplish them. Let's make a way to get the job done instead of living so defeated. It would be amazing if we, as Christians, could develop a mind-set where we would set reachable goals in our lives to accomplish for the Lord. Maybe you should break things down into bite-size tasks or helpings. With the Lord's help you can do what you ought to do, one step at a time or one bite at a time. So, we may not be able to boldly witness to someone, but we could possibly give someone a tract. We may not be able to sing a solo at Church, but maybe we could sing in the choir. We may not feel necessarily like going to Church, but we can remind ourselves that we will be able to take that nap, or be home within 2 hours. Missing a church service for Heather would never even be considered. She knows where her strength comes from, and she is going to be in Church around the people of God, hearing the word of God and singing songs about the Lord! One of her therapist from Vandi came by a few moments ago to see Heather. Heather hasn't felt well today, and she hasn't felt like eating much of anything because her stomach has been queazy. She was waiting to see if the nurse could order her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and the therapist said, "I can go and get her some bread at the store next door," so she left and came back with a full loaf of bread, two containers of peanut butter, a large jar of grape, and a large jar of strawberry jelly. This is the kind of affect a non-quit attitude has on people that you met only a few days ago. I must admit, though our hearts have hurt seeing Heather go through these difficult days, our hearts have been blessed and blessed over and over by the kind things others have gone out of their way to do, or say to encourage Heather and our whole family. Thank you for sharing this experience with us!
"For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
The picture above was taken today at Therapy, leaning & putting pressure on the paralized right side...trying to stimulate the brain to wake up the arm and leg!