Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What a mess...

Sorry to leave everyone hanging these last few weeks.  I had all intentions of updating my blog a few weeks ago..but life got in the way...somehow ;) 

James had to take a business trip to New Orleans, so we thought we'd take an opportunity to go a long with him for a few days prior to his business obligations to explore the city and visit with some old family friends of James'. (James was born in New Orleans and lived there till he was7.)  A week before we left, Jack had received his new leg and we were making great strides with him - he was walking short distances and able to stand on his own.  I was encouraged by this, since I was not looking forward to carrying him all over New Orleans. Our adventure with Jack and his new leg started right from the start at the airport.  I knew it was going to be a little chaotic with all the "stuff" we brought along with us and going through security - but I didn't realize how inept and un-organized the staff get when they are thrown off by a little prosthetic.  We get in line and start the process of undressing - putting all our stuff in bins, folding up Jack's giant jogging stroller (which barley fit through the scanner).  James walks through. Fine.  I walk through holding Jack.  BEEP.  The security guard them proceeds to ask me to go back through the scanner again with Jack.  BEEP (again). Ok - I tell the security officer that my son is wearing a prosthetic leg and that is probably what set it off.  In the mean time 3 different security officers are over with us.   Another security guard tells us that James needs to then carry Jack through the scanner and then I would need to walk through the scanner by myself.  We do this dance of going back and forth for a few minutes...then another security officer decides that we would need to get Jack to walk through the scanner by himself.  OK - first of all, he's only been walking a few days in his new leg.  Second of all, there are now 5 people surrounding us - intimidating Jack  - and of course Jack will not walk through the scanner by himself - he stands there - on the other side screaming.  This is getting ridiculous and I finally stay to the officer "Look - he's not going to let any of you touch him...can i just take off his leg and you can put it through the scanner?"  He replies,  "Well...uh...mam you don't have to do that...."  before he could say any more, the leg was off,  going through the x-ray scanner by itself (along with everyone elses' stuff who in the mean time were going around us).  James walks through, I walk through with Jack and we are fine.  We get the leg - put it back on and go on to catch our flight. What a MESS!!!   Luckly, coming back to Charleston from New Orleans, I decided to just take it off to prevent any additional hassle.  I am hoping in the future it will get better or there will not be such craziness ...I KNOW people fly with all kinds of metal implanted in them.  Amazingly, I found myself not caring what anyone else thought about Jack - taking his leg off,  leaving his covered stump in the open for all to see...15 months ago, that would have been a different story.  I was not in the place that I am now.  Time, persistence, experience, perseverance, and simply rising to the challenge has brought me to a different place....No doubt, I still have days where I feel discouraged or frustrated in the midst of his frustration.    Anyway...    In the mean time We finally settled in the swanky downtown hotel (not very suitable for children might I add..)  We stayed Wed and Thursday - went to the zoo and aquarium (although it rained most of the time...boo!), ate beignets (yum!) and enjoyed time together!

 Jack and I flew home on Friday to meet my parents here in Charleston.  They came (graciously and thankfully!) to help me with Jack for the rest of the weekend and following week while I worked and James was out of town.  It was so wonderful to have them here!  It was a little crazy - but they survived.  Jack's foot broke off while we walked around downtown.  Lucky, the prosthetist we see was a few miles from where we were and I was able to take him right over to get it fixed.  I am sure that it is not the first time this is going to happen - but part of me was frustrated and though - when Jack is older and his prosthetic brakes or something happens, how will he get around?  I suppose we will cross that bridge later...

Then, Jack got sick with feaver and horrible cold just as my parents were leaving - then I got it.    I developed a double ear infection (that was HOrriBle!) and James came home from New Orleans with bronchitis and sinus infection.  To say the least - we were all a mess! 

Jack's been walking better each day, although we are working on tweaking his gait with adjustments in the prosthetic.  He also continues physical therapy once/week.  We are working on weight bearing into his right leg a little more each visit as well as building up his trunk strength.  It seems draining some days, when Jack tells me "shoe off" or "shoe too tight", whines and whimpers and I am not sure what to do to fix it.  Taking breaks often and doing things gradually have been the key.   Jack wears 2 socks, a cushioned-type liner then his prosthetic shell.  His leg  gets hot and sweaty, so I find myself changing his socks throughout the day...I can't wait to see how he does in the 95 degree / 100% humidity Charleston summer...  This is his temporary prosthetic he is wearing now, and after we get everything 'tweaked' and he has adjusted to it - we will make him a permanent one....

Needless to say, I didn't take very many pictures of the last few weeks...but I will try to post a few soon!

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