Jake’s Fingers: So Long, Farewell

There are a handful of people in this world who I believed have changed my life.  My high school literature teachers, my first piano teacher, my third flute teacher, my ninjutsu instructor from L.A., and of course, a few friends, and family are on the list of people who I know have shaped my life to be what it is today.  My most recent addition to that list is Becky, the occupational therapist who has been working with Jake and I over the last six months.

If you follow my blog, especially the Jake’s Fingers series, you will know exactly how highly I esteem Becky.  She has been a wonderful source of knowledge, instruction, and has helped me understand how to help Jake through the maze of Sensory Processing Disorder.  She was the one who first introduced us to the Benik Vest, which helped Jake learn to walk correctly and calmed him so that he could learn how to eat.  She has been patient, kind, funny, firm, and insistent that Jake and I both grow and work together. 

On Wednesday, we had to say goodbye to Becky.  Our insurance will no longer cover Jake’s therapy, since the hospital inflates the price of a single session to over $400  so that the insurance company, who only pays a percentage, will be forced to pay the actual cost of the therapy.  And sadly, the group of philanthropists who were willing to pay for our therapy will not cover occupational therapy, only speech therapy.  So, it was time for us to go.

I hardly ever know why Jake does better on some days than others with his therapy, since there are too many factors to count that could contribute to his performance.  Maybe he could sense that this was the last time to make Becky happy and he hit the feeding version of a home run.  Becky presented over a dozen different types of food and helped Jake through the usual routine of putting the food on his hand, his arm, his head, his lips, his teeth, and finally, into his mouth.  Usually, only four or five foods actually are tasted.  This time, every single thing got at least a taste, if not tasted, chewed, and swallowed.  He obeyed every request, and gave Becky his brilliant little smile several times and even tried to speak “more, please”.  Even though I’m supposed to stay in the background, after he ate a piece of dried zucchini, I had to get up and give him a squeeze. 

After our session was over, Becky got down and told Jake how proud she was of him, how far he has come, and how much she would miss him.  Since the therapists are asked to maintain emotional detachment, I was very surprised when she stood up and hugged me tight.  We both teared up and had trouble saying our own goodbyes.  I think I managed to convey how thankful I am for her and how she has changed the life of our little boy.  I really do not know where we would be without her!  We owe Jake’s good health and increasing weight and my sanity all to her. 

After a few deep breaths, blown kisses, and smiles, Jake and I left the hospital for the last time.  True to form, Jake tried to hop down the sidewalk, high-fived a plant, and grinned at every passerby who would make eye contact.   It reminded me that life will continue to go on, that he will continue to grow, and that we’ll continue on our journey, even if we are sad that Becky has left our side for the time being.

I’m not giving up hope that in January, we’ll be able to return for more therapy.  So many factors have to be just right for that to happen and when I can take a deep breath, I’ll start the journey towards getting us back to see Becky soon.

I’m sad to say that this is also the last in the series of Jake’s Fingers.  When I started writing about Jake’s problems, I had no idea how many of you would follow our fumbles, stumbles, and steps through the maze.  You have lifted me up and encouraged me, often at just the right time.  You all have made the ride a little less bumpy and made it a little easier for me to smile and laugh.

With tears in my eyes, I lovingly close this particular chapter and eagerly look towards the next chapter yet to be written.  We can’t wait to see what happens next!

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15 Responses to Jake’s Fingers: So Long, Farewell

  1. cheekypinky says:

    So, so grateful for Becky.

    Hope you get to be with her again soon, friend.

  2. So thankful God put Becky in your lives. I pray that Jake will be able to return to her, but that in the mean time he will continue to improve. Hugs.

  3. Lisa Brown says:

    A mother’s heart is such a precious thing. You are doing a good job . And it sounds as if Jake is as well. Praise the Lord!!

  4. Shannon Wilson says:

    I got goosebumps and a heart hug as I read this post. May He guide your path to Becky soon, but even if that’s not in His plan, may He always be with you and Jake on all of your adventures. You’re doing so awesome. Becky gave you the tools, but you’re picking them up with Jake and learning how to use them. Big hugs to you all!

  5. Catherine says:

    never quit writing!

  6. So then what next? Still blogging though right? I find my heart exulting in your triumphs, anguished at your set backs, hungry to know more. Your son is a beauty to me, and I am excited about how he will grow into run-of-the-mill issues that everyone else has… 😀

    Continued blessings on you and your family!

    • Thank you, as always, Joe. I’ll probably be writing about the speech therapy next, but am going to try to focus more on a series about living with chronic pain. That is something I’ve been living with for a really ong time and it seems like that is what God wants me to be talking about right now. It’s a long and good story, which I’ll figure out a way to write down coherently.

  7. Paula Wenell says:

    Thank you for your excellent writing, I’ve enjoyed reading very much!! Remember, God has packaged Jake up in a very special package, and he is a blessing!! You delight and inspire us with your skilled writing, and it has opened up the world of Jake and the family to me, thanks for taking time to share!! Paula Wenell

  8. Paula Wenell says:

    Thank you Mary for your wonderful, and skilled writing! Your story of Jake and the family adventures have been so interesting and informative. You have presented the senario in a real sence of time, and I feel like I’ve met Jake, and those who have taken care of his therapy! You have sought out and looked for ways to be the best parent you could be, and I expect the success will continue.through the years ahead. Please continue to write, “I will definitely continue to read!”
    Paula Wenell

    • Thank you, Paula! I so appreciate the encouragement and kind words. Like I’ve always said, those words are held close to my heart and God brings them back to me when thing are tough. I promise that I’ll keep writing. I’m already working on defining the next series on chronic pain, which is something I’ve been dealing with for a long time. The topic is too big right now and I’m waiting for some direction before I start publishing stuff. Thanks again!

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