Jake’s Fingers: “One Smart Bear”

After our physical therapy assessment in the morning, Jake and I arrived a little bedraggled to his feeding therapy appointment.  Jake was exhausted after a rough morning and passed straight out and didn’t wake up until a few minutes before we had to leave again.  It also started to rain as we pulled up to the hospital and  jogging with a toddler on one hip and a purse and diaper bag on the other, Benik vest flapping in the wind,  is highly entertaining to Jake and everyone else in the vicinity.  Needless to say, we arrived breathless and a little damp. 

However, Jake’s appointment went so well that I’m seriously considering running five minutes behind and hiring someone to run along beside us splashing us with water as we make a dash for the building every week.

Becky and I let Jake do his ten minutes of play before the feeding therapy and talked through the physical therapy assessment that morning.  She helped me understand a little better what we are up against, how long we’ll need to wait before beginning therapy, and gave me a few shortcuts for getting bumped up the list a little, since the kids are scheduled first-come, first-served rather than larger needs before smaller needs.  I continue to be thankful for Becky and want to take her home with me and bake her cookies. 

One of the first things we always talk about is how the last week has gone for Jake.  It was a fun week since Greg’s mom was in town and we got to do a lot of good stuff with Jake.  Every time we go anywhere new, I’m amazed at how far Jake has come.

We went to an old arcade and Jake rode on a few of the motorized car type things (what DO you them?) and did pretty well, although the merry-go-round didn’t go over very well.

He taught himself a new way to eat Cheerios while we were out to eat.  He’s eating them with a straw, in case you can’t tell.

He did great on the swings at the park, which can be hit and miss.

 He played in the sand again!

He went down a slide, with a little help from Aunt Kathy.

And, he looooooves his new little red wagon.  Thanks, Grammie!

So, a very good week! 

After we talked over all of Jake’s progress, we headed down the hall to our feeding therapy room.  This week was Orange Week, so we had all orange food-oranges, carrot sticks, chicken sticks, orange bell peppers, and cheetos to work with.  Most of those foods Jake has come into contact with before, but would not want to interact with them at all.  Becky went to hand Jake a bell pepper and asked me if he had ever had one.  I said, “No, so this may not go over well”.  We turned to back to Jake and he had already taken it out of Becky’s hand and was happily putting it in his hair.  A little later, we were talking about the chicken sticks and I told her that even though I had been working with him at home on them as well, he flat refused to eat them.  Not two minutes later, he looked me in the eye and chowed down on the entire stick!  Becky laughed and said, “I think he did that on purpose.  He is one smart bear!” 

We also talked about the necessity of speech therapy beginning soon.  Jake may work out of his vowel-only and “no” language, but based on the rest of his developement, it isn’t likely.  Instead of doing three different kinds of therapies every week, which would get very taxing on the homework side of things, we may back off feeding therapy and do speech for a while instead.  I really don’t want Becky to go away, but we may be taking a break from her soon.  😦 

And now, a more personal bit from me. 

The physical therapist who worked with us yesterday asked me if I had a good support system here in Colorado Springs.  I got a little choked up when I told her that it’s been very hard to find people to be with at all, much less those with children with similar issues.  (I’m making progress on that, though!)  I sat and thought about my support system for a few minutes and I said, “You know, even though I don’t have a lot of people here, I write this blog about Jake’s progress every week.  Almost every day, I get an encouraging note from someone, and that has been the best thing I could ask for.”  She seemed impressed by you all and your love and care for our journey. 

So, pat yourself on the back, give yourself a hug, or a piece of chocolate, or whatever you like.  You’re amazing and you make a difference in my life!

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3 Responses to Jake’s Fingers: “One Smart Bear”

  1. cheekypinky says:

    WOOO!!!!

    You don’t know how often I wish I were next door or just down the street so we could have Girl Day and Movie Nights and Let’s Just Hang Out and Bitch Time.

    I pray for you constantly–
    you are a true friend,
    and I am so grateful to watch you handle this adventure with Jake in such a positive way.

    You kick ass, friend.

  2. Mom says:

    wishing I was closer too! You are doing so well and I am so proud of you.

  3. Janet Wagner says:

    Mary, you are a marvel! Not only do you do all these therapies and appointments with Jake, but then you post them (with pictures) and keep up up to date! Jake will be that healthy 80 year old that carries on intelligent conversations and dazzles people with his wonderful stories about his mother!
    Love, Janet

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