Monday, November 11, 2013

Paint the Pony

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Noah has been doing so well at hippotherapy and continues to make huge strides with his head, neck and trunk control.  He can now look both directions that he's traveling in, and hold his head up for long periods of time.  It is truly amazing how far he has come.  One of the best and likely most expensive therapies that he does.   We were so excited to see pictures of Noah for Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center's Paint the Pony Brochure!  He looks truly sweet on his horse in his pictures.  We are so proud of our little cowboy.  His hippotherapy therapist also made these great shoes for Noah.  They have wooden platforms glued on the bottom of the soles of his shoes.  Noah walks with assistance after he gets off his horse and this helps him firmly plant his feet one foot after another.  The are very effective and what a great fix to help him walk better. 

Noah's shoes with platform wood bottoms for walking

Samson, Noah's service dog left to Utah several weeks ago to finish basic obedience and skilled training.  We received some rather sad news last week that Samson, has failed the program.  Our family grew very attached to Samson through the last year of his life, and as a result Noah's grandmother has decided to adopt Samson into her home so that we'll still be able to visit and see him periodically.  We hope to hear soon about the next plans to replace a service dog for Noah. 

The change of seasons, or maybe even the time change itself continues to present night time challenges for us.  We are always up in the night to assist Noah, but it never fails that either the change of seasons or time changes seems to spark even more late night trips to Noah's room to help him.   It's always a trick to guess what he needs - hungry, too cold, too hot, too restless, getting sick... doesn't like the sheets we put on, the room isn't dark enough... trouble shooting at 1am isn't really a bowl of cherries but we continue to try each and every night.  I really wish that Noah could safely sleep with blankets like other children, but he has so much movement that he wraps himself up in them and they pose the risk of suffocation, he won't sleep in a toddler sleeping bag because it's too bulky and prevents him from flipping over.  They make an anti-suffocation pillow (of course that is also made and shipped from the UK) but as far as I know I haven't been able hunt a anti-suffocation  safe blanket.  Noah's has also experienced difficulties recently his fleece PJ's with footed feet seem to be driving him crazy.  I can't tell if it's the closed in feet, the zipper all the way up, the feel of the fabric, or that they aren't form fitting that is sending him to the moon.  So he's sleeping in day clothes with socks and that seems to be working better.  

Chris and I are also struggling with our aches and pains.  One might think - really how hard can it be to carry an almost five year old child around? - He's still fairly little - but you have to consider we have to carry him everywhere.   Transferring in and out of a bath, to bed, on the floor, to his feeder chair, in and out of car seats, and wheelchairs and strollers, we also run him around because we are his legs and his arms...  Chris has severe back issues, and I seem to be feeling it like a bunch of pinched nerves in my legs, feet, arms and lower back - and of course we're again parents, in our late 30's - things aren't going to get any easier for us as we get older.  We joke that we'll have to hire some young strong person to help us lift Noah place to place someday.  It's the things that most people don't even think much about when they see a family like ours. The physical strain is as real as the emotional and financial strain.  Collectively it all wears you down, little by little.  And we just continue to pray for God to give us lots of strength and good health so we can keep being Noah's ability to be mobile in all ways that he can be.

“You never know how strong you are... until being strong is the only choice you have." Cayla Mills


Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.