Sunday, May 22, 2016

Bridger Killin' It in OT!

OT is mixed with play.  But then--- sometimes it can be a real PAR-T!  I cannot even believe how far this little guy has come...  To some outsiders, you may not even notice any progress, but to us, the progress is HUGE for the little guy.

Brian is Bridger's Occupational Therapist and has been for nearly two years now.  He has shown us ways to keep Bridger challenged, which, in turn has allowed him to learn and grow.  Doctors always told us we'd see regression with Bridger - based on his MRI results which reveal he has a leukodystrophy. (which remains undiagnosed still...)  

At this point- we are celebrating this boy!  He has come so far!  The sky is the limit Bridger-boy!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How Much Can You Handle?!?

"Heavenly Father only gives you what you can handle."

As a mom of a complex child this phrase has been uttered to me many times with a gentle smile. At first you want to believe that Heavenly Father hand-picked you for a rewarding task.

This life of inescapable worry, beeping machines, and constant therapy.

Tears in the car after an appointment, sobbing in the shower after a bad day, and grief over the child you dreamed of.  In the beginning when it seemed that we were drowning in appointments and uncovering new “gifts” that our son’s 'undiagnosed' diagnosis handed us each day, I kept thinking just exactly who does Heavenly Father think I am??
 I’m not standing here indestructible wearing a cape; I am standing here with shaking knees swimming in uncertainty.  As if Bridger doesn't have enough 'medically' to deal with, we continue to have more unfold.  A recent sleep study unveiled he has central sleep apnea.  On top of that, he had some new x-rays completed on his hips and spinal cord.  The results? He has neuromuscular hip displasia and will most likely need hip surgery in the near future.  The base of his spinal cord is starting to curve, showing signs he will most likely need back surgery as well. Despite all this.....

Something happens:

You can handle it.
You DO handle it.
You wake up.
You show up.
You go to appointment after appointment and run in the longest marathon of your life.
You incorporate therapy into everyday play.
You decide to sell your house and and make plans to build a home where your child has an environment where they will thrive.
You find JOY.

Expectations are thrown out the window and celebrations happen daily.

Now don’t get me wrong, we aren’t all smiles at our house, there are still plenty of tears and occasional urges to kick the door.
But more than anything, we are thankful.
We are the lucky ones.
Today we are handling it, whether God gave it to us on purpose or not.
We will wake up and show up.
We will do what we have to do, shaking knees and all.
Our grief may be greater but so are our joys.
The other day I almost couldn’t contain my tears when his physical therapist said he purposefully put a toy back into a jar!

I simply can’t explain the feeling of pride and joy.

Imagine crying simply because your child has the ability to put an object inside a jar.
Sounds so simple but for him it’s not.
Our son has altered our perspective.
He is making us into a better family.
I don’t know if Heavenly Father really only gives you things He knows you can handle.
I don’t know if He has a measuring tape and hands out challenge after challenge based on your measurement of strength?
I don’t know if He saw something in us.
I don’t know if that phrase is true, but I do know that when we look at our son we see his strength and he sees ours
He sees that we will never give up.
He sees the love in our eyes.
He knows.


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Angels On Earth

We've witnessed so many amazing angels on earth working on Bridger's behalf.  Our most recent experience started when I heard about the Great Bike Giveaway.   I immediately set to work to enter Bridger into this contest.  The Great Bike Giveaway raises funds to award adaptive bikes to kids with special needs so they can experience the joy of bike riding.  

There were 600 kids in this nationwide contest.  The goal was to get the MOST votes in your bike category by the end of March.  If you succeed, you win a bike.  In conjunction with the voting, they also asked for donations. With the donations they were able to give away 162 other bikes through a raffle.  

I set right to work contacting news stations, writing articles, meeting with those in the medical field, and even had a whole posse of "ambassadors" who willingly helped spread the word.  

We even had this clip created by the talented Michael Parsons to help spread the word:
We used social media and shared pictures like this:

And the local paper shocked the socks off of me with this article:

In the end, after all the promoting and voting was complete, we didnt' end up victorious.  There were 188 of the 600 kids that did receive a bike and each was very deserving.  We still felt it was an honor and so grateful we gave it our best shot. 

Well--- little did we know, Kincade and Cara Utley took it upon themselves to start a fundraiser to get Bridger an adaptive bike with a goal of $2000--- and you exceeded that:
Within about a 24 hour period, the funds had been raised thanks to many generous angels on earth.   We were literally left speechless and in tears at the generous hearts of so many friends, family, and complete strangers.

This week we will be heading north to meet with a physical therapist who will measure and recommend the best set up on a bike for Bridger.   This would not be happening if it weren't for everyone's generosity.  We pray continually for you all to be blessed for your goodness.  Your kindness does not go unnoticed.  To you, we will forever be grateful!

The Richfield Reaper was gracious enough to publish our letter to the editor.  We truly want you to all know how you've made a difference in our little Bridger's life!


Images by Freepik