If you have been following my Facebook posts this week, you know that the title of this week’s edition of Jake’s Fingers is not to be taken figuratively. Unfortunately, for my sense of smell, it is quite literal. The lab work sheet that Jake’s doctor gave me last week included a blood test (which involved three sticks, much screaming and me crying in the car afterwards), a urine test, and a stool sample. I naively thought that we would just wait around the doctors office and wait until Jake pooped and give it to the lab and we’d be cheerily off on our way. Nope. The lab tech, the same one that kept telling Jake to “calm down” while jamming a needle up his arm, informed me that his labs needed three samples, to be taken on different days and delivered to the lab within an hour.
So, yeah, this week has been all about me hovering over Jake until he poops, then scooping it all into various containers, marking what consistency each sample feels like, and then running it over to the lab. And, if you think this is way too much information, good! I thought it was, too. I’m really glad we’re done with it and have decided that, among other things, I won’t be eating a chocolate bar for a while and lab techs don’t get paid near enough money. I’m supposed to give it a few days and then start the fun series of phone calls to see if we have lab results in yet.
The test results we are waiting for are of the non-life-threatening, but hugely life-changing kind. I’m hoping for lots of negative test results and that we will all finally decide that Jake is just a skinny kid.
Thank you to those of you who offered to help us with the Benik vest! I was overwhelmed by links, ideas, helpful suggestions and offers of cold, hard cash to help us get the vest. It turns out that the vest was only $77, so it was within the realm of the possible for us. So, hopefully, a tiny little compression suit is trundling it’s way across the country to be Jake’s new best friend by this time next week.
Also, a huge thank you to everyone who sent an encouraging note as a result of my Mama’s Heart post. I’m doing a little better this week and have made a few forays into finding a support group. Most the ones I’ve found so far have either been disbanded or meet during the day, but ask for adults only. Right, I’ll ask Lucy to watch Jake, shall I? But, I’ll keep working ’til I find one. In the meantime, I’ve joined a women’s bible study, for which childcare is provided (woohoo!) and they seem to be a group of no-nonsense, amazing women of God.
We’ve had some really good and really cute moments with Jake this week. His sign langauge has gotten more consistent and I’m starting to look up signs for things like water and cereal. He’s starting to apply the sign language to other parts of life, too. I was reading a book to him yesterday and when I finished it, he looked up at me and signed, “More, please”. I melted, hugged him, and read him another book. I also saw him get mad at Lucy for laying on his blanket. He tried to pull it out from underneath her to no avail. He got so upset that she wouldn’t move, but calmed himself down, squatted down in front of her face and signed, “please” rather emphatically. I kicked her off and he grabbed his blanket, hugged it and signed, “thank you” to Lucy. Sometimes, he is so stinkin’ cute! 🙂
This week’s therapy session went well, as usual. Jake is making some good progress still. I also learned that when Jake doesn’t seem interested or like he’s not paying attention during a therapy session, that is really his way of saying, “It’s too much, can we wait a minute?” He got intensely interested in his sleeve or the zipper on his sweatshirt, but after a minute was happily engaging in whatever activity Becky was desiring. It was helpful to know not to get frustrated when he stares at the ceiling for a minute or two.
I think Becky could sense me being tired today and so every time Jake did something well, she said, “Good job, Mama!” She said, in all seriousness, at the end of the appointment that she can tell that I am working hard with him at home every week. Her encouragement was better than a cup of coffee!
This week, we’re going to continue working on getting him to bite and chew with his back teeth, lick things off of his lips, as well as introducing chicken nuggets and cheese sticks. We also talked about the philosophy of not calling food by it’s name, but rather by it’s shape and color. Not only does it promote shape and color recognition, it prevents Jake from getting attached to a certain kind of food. So, Cheerios will now be “yellow circles”, Chex will be “white squares”, pretzels will be “brown sticks”, etc. The not-tired part of my brain is always fascinated by the way that the professionals have puzzled out the brain of a toddler and how to introduce and phrase things just the right way to promote the right kind of behavior.
A few days ago, I watched from around the corner while Jake crawled up into a chair and did this…
If YOU were having a poopy day, hopefully not a literal one, I hope that brought a smile to your face.