Simply Surviving

Every once in a while you hit a season in life when you are merely just surviving.  

There is no ability to achieve more than just the very basics of survival.  Anything above that seems completely impossible.

During those times of illness, or a brand new baby, or post adoption adjustment phase, or in my case an injury, priorities get stripped down, standards plummet to frightening new depths and we make it through one day at a time.

Some days better than others.
Some days I'm not so sure we'll make it.

Children remain in pajamas during the day, or wear clothes to bed.  
We've been eating either Kraft dinner (or some other kid made delicacy), or casseroles kindly made by friends.  The house looks like it was either ransacked by hungry criminals or hit by a natural disaster (Hurricane Cece).  The big kids are getting some school work done but my junior Kindergarten class consists of reading books, and counting fingers while they sit on my lap.  Tempers flare, sympathy runs out, and Frustration seems to have become the eighth member of the family.  

This past week I've been getting around more, and figuring out how to attempt to do more of my usual duties.  That has both some pros and cons. The pro is my kids hate me less, and the con is my body hates me more. 

We had a sick boy this past week too.  Thankfully my mom has been my hero, coming to pick up which ever child is the highest maintenance (Cece has spent a lot of time with Grandma and Grandpa lately).  She took Silas in to see the Doc. last week, and then he spent a few days being nursed at her house....like I said, anything extra is completely overwhelming.  Wheezer is back home again, and back to school today.  Allergy/ Asthma boy gets hit hard with chest colds sometimes.   

It makes me glad we've been as healthy as we have this year. 

We got a new snazzy piece of equipment last week.  It's been in the works and on order for a while so we were glad it was ready for pick up, especially since Mom can no longer carry, or lift. 

This chair is made by Rifton, the same company that built his bike.  These products are unbelievably well made.  You know how so many things (esp. kid equipment) in life are frustrating, difficult to adjust, and don't do what you think they are supposed to do, well these are surprisingly unusual.  Every piece is engineered by someone who actually understands special needs and cares about quality, it's all ridiculously easy to adjust (and EVERYTHING adjusts), and it's as smooth as can be.  
This is the chair that his OT and PT that us he needed. 
They managed to hook us up with one.  We love those ladies.
So thankful. 

I wasn't convinced we would need, or use it.   I was wrong. 
The motive for a decent seat for him to use in the house is mainly his support, independence, and posture. 
He is capable of sitting, but it takes more effort to stay that way for him than a typical child.  He slouches over, slumps to one side and sitting on a couch or something results in him being very uncomfortable.  He starts having muscle spasms in his back.

Anyway,  we've been able to use this seat for eating at the table, for sitting at the computer, for doing book work/ games/ puzzles/ ipad on his tray, sitting and watching cartoons.

The cool part about this chair (and the reason we have this specific one) is that it's height adjusts down to the floor and then with a pump of the foot can be quite high.  It's high enough for him to be up at my kitchen counter helping me bake and be able to see everything.

*I noticed after I took these pictures that someone had been doing some adjusting...the head rest was on backwards and the seat back was leaning forward a bit making him slouch more.  I adjusted it and his posture was much better.*

When he's comfortable, and not wasting a ton of effort just to sit properly, he's more likely to focus, learn, and stick with an activity. 

Our goal is, especially with the anticipation that he will continue to grow, is that he become more and more independently mobile (which requires some adaptive equipment).  I could physically (before I broke my ankle) lift him up and down off his booster chair at the table, but we want him to have something that he can safely get in and out of himself. 

Next month he has leg surgery scheduled and will be in casts for a couple months.  I know for a fact that during that time this chair will be a life saver. I can't imagine him being in leg casts for that long without a chair like this.  

Oh, another cool feature is the small wheels.  It's not a wheelchair or really meant for transportation, but it easily swivels and moves from one location to another.  I can move him from the computer to the kitchen table with ease.  

One silver lining of the last couple weeks has been this guy has had to do a lot more on his own.  There was a couple of rough transition days before he figured out that he was going to have to figure things out...mom wasn't swooping in to the rescue.  Mom needed to be incapable of helping him in order for him to learn to do some more things himself...because not helping is super hard.
I'm so proud of the progress he's made in just the last couple weeks.  Now I just need to remember not to undo it once I'm capable of "helping".  

So, that's what we're up to.
Not much.
Maintaining damage control, keeping kids alive, and trying to remember that this really is only a minor struggle and will end soon enough. 
In the grande scheme of things, Mommy being broken is really just a minor little bump in the road, or  maybe more like a curb at the edge of a parking spot. 
It has not been at all fun, but it could be worse.

Soli Deo Gloria, 


Clayton Robshaw Builders said...

Hang in there. 6 weeks of bed rest not to long ago, I can relate. God certainly used it as an opportunity for me to see where I had been getting my peace from. :( Hard, but in the kind of way that makes you grow. So thankful for my health now.! Just glad to be able to take care of my house and family myself!

Lynette said...

Just wanted to say I'm thinking of you and praying for a swift recovery. I come here often to read about you and your beautiful family. You say it how it is and your words have helped me on some really hard days - knowing I'm not alone in the messy and the mayhem of motherhood! Hang in there and know that you're held in prayer from over here in this little corner of the world. X

Carla said...

It's true that it reminds me how much I have taken for granted. I shall very much be thrilled to have the use of two feet again, and arms free from crutches. Thankyou for your sweet words, and your prayers Lynette.