Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Graduation and Wedding

Once again, it's been a while since I've updated David's blog. Since the last post, we've had several major events happen.


After nearly 18 years in school, David graduated at the ripe old age of 21! He started  in Special Education Pre-School in the Public School system when he was only 3 years old. That was quite a heart-wrenching decision for us since, at the time, we were staunch home schoolers. In fact, when it was first recommended to us we put it on the backburner because we thought, "There's no way we are sending this child to the public school when his older siblings are home schooled." But shortly after the recommendation, a young missionary from our tiny home church  brought his fiance to Memphis who "happened" to be a sp. ed. pre-school teacher in the public school in California! She came to our home and spent a little time with David. Then in her sweet and diplomatic way she asked us why we wouldn't let David go to school. She reminded us that God could use those teachers to help him since they were trained to help children like David. That's all we needed to hear. Shortly after that visit I went and observed the classroom. The next week we enrolled him and never looked back. Being the social butterfly that he is, I think for the most part, he enjoyed his years in school and has become quite the scholar.

Here are a few more pictures for your viewing pleasure. David is in line to get his diploma, wearing the biggest grin ever!

David and Mr. Braslow.

David posing with his good friend Margaret who graduated last year.

Hannah's Wedding!

This summer also brought another exciting event! Hannah's wedding! On May 17th Hannah married a wonderful young man, Caleb Beasley. Here are a few pictures from the wedding.

That's all for now. I'll write another update soon! Thank you for following!

Friday, April 8, 2011

David's 21st Birthday!

Today is a big day! David turns 21 years old today! It's hard to believe! I don't think he has stopped grinning since he got up this morning. This week he did the finger count-down with the bus drivers every day. I think they all got a kick out of how excited he was.

        The festivities started yesterday when the bus driver gave him an early present - a T-shirt (she knew how much he LOVES new T-shirts) and a Happy Birthday pin. He is wearing both in the picture. Then this morning I put him on the bus wearing a huge cloth birthday hat with candles on top. He was decked out! From what I can tell, school was all about David today. I sent him with a ton of cupcakes. He came home with a huge balloon tied to his wheelchair that one of his classmates had given him and the hat still on his head.

When he got home, I showed him a fun e-card his Granddad and Aunt Wanda sent him. He really got a kick out of that!

       He doesn't ask for much for his birthday. Usually his list includes the latest Pokemon or Mario game for his DS hand held game system. As you can see, he was pretty thrilled. Next week we will have a  party with a few of his friends.

I know it's been a while since I updated David's blog. There really hasn't been much to report since there hasn't really been any positive changes from the DBS surgery. Today's post is all about David's birthday. Soon I'll write and give an update about the most recent happenings concerning David.
Thank you to all who sent David birthday messages on my Facebook page. He loved it!

 I created a photo album of the last 8 - 10 years of David on my Facebook page. Feel free to go over there and see them if you want. Just click on Facebook to get there.

Thanks again for following David's journey!
The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

David the Trickster!

Always the Joker, David thought he was so clever taking his feet out of his shoes while they were strapped down in his new wheelchair! Speaking of his new wheelchair, I don't think I've told you about getting his new power chair. After waiting several months, the chair as well as the stander was completely approved by insurance!! A big blessing!
More Tricks

Because of David's propensity for being tricky, we had to have the controls to his new power chair moved to the back of the chair so he couldn't be "in control".  Even at that, he can reach behind his head and press the buttons and move the joy stick. The other day he ran into the china cabinet! Hopefully the novelty will wear off soon!

There is quite a learning curve with the power chair! We've put  plenty of dents and gashes into door frames, walls and doors! We are very slowly getting the hang of using it. He loves using it on the school bus and at school. Although they were a little leery at first, the staff at school is getting used to maneuvering it too. One of the great things about this chair is the ability to tilt it so that he can reposition himself which will help his posture and make sitting in a chair all day more comfortable. The real trick is figuring out how we are going to transport it in our van. Many people with a power chair get a conversion van. At this point we haven't decided what to do. We don't really want to have our van converted since it is quite old. Portable metal ramps are pretty heavy and bulky. If that's the only choice, I won't be taking David many places. At this point, we are still using his old chair when we take him anywhere in the van.
I plan to make a few appointments with friends who have power chairs so we can see how they transport their chairs.

The stander is a whole new ball game!  We've never used one before. It helps him stand in place fully supported to strengthen and stretch his muscles. I'll try to take a picture of him soon and put it up on the blog. He seems to enjoy standing in it and playing his game boy with the support of a big tray. Although cumbersome, I'm sure we will get it down to a system like everything else.

Now we need to really get working on getting David a new speech devise!
Thanks for following!
Until next time!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Video Last Winter

Hi Friends!

 I had forgotten about this video of David we took last winter. It was about 4 months after surgery and the settings to his stimulator had been changed maybe 2 times. No matter how much strain is involved, he always somehow manages to play his DS Gameboy!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer Recap and DBS Adjustments

I can't believe summer is about to wind up and school will start back in 2 weeks! David has had a great summer with staying up late, sleeping in very late, watching his shows, playing his games, playing on the computer, a few fun times with friends, Special VBS, and a little bit of swimming.


Getting David in the pool isn't the hard part. I just wheel him up to the edge of the pool, unbuckle his seat belt, help him stand, count to 3 and give him a little shove.  He goes in with a great big belly flop and loves it! He comes up grinning but has to be constantly reminded  to close his mouth so he won't gulp the water or choke.
It's getting him out of the pool that is the real trick! It usually takes 2 people. So that's why he hasn't been in the pool quite as much as I had hoped since we have to carefully schedule it around a time when Marshall is home so he can help me get him out.

Family Time

Probably the highlight of the summer was having Rachel, Michael, Caleb, and baby Abby come for a visit. It was so good to see them! David had fun holding Caleb's hand when he would squeeze by him. He also really enjoyed the chance to hold Abby in his lap for a few seconds.

DBS Update

Since the scare of possible seizures in May, Dr. Ledoux hadn't increased the stimulator all summer. But last Wed. we took David for a regular appointment and he increased the voltage to 2.5 and increased the width of the stimulators. I don't really understand what the second part means. Maybe I can get Marshall to go into a better explanation later. Since David has done well with the adjustments and since we really haven't seen any real noticeable changes yet, Dr. Ledoux decided to start taking a more aggressive approach. After he turned up the stimulator he had us wait in his office for about 45 min. just to be sure David didn't have any adverse reactions.  He seems to be doing fine although it may take several weeks to see any real positive changes.

Wheelchair, Speech Devices, and Such

With the possibility that David's insurance could change when he turns 21 (next April!) we are trying to get  David set up with several pieces of equipment he has been needing.  We are in the process of the insurance waiting game and red tape again with another wheelchair. Hopefully this go round will go more smoothly than the first time. At this point it looks like we will be putting in for a power chair. That's a scary thought considering David's sense of humor! I also hesitate about this move because it seems so final. I believe that David will get better but if he gets comfortable with a power chair, will he be motivated to get better or will he become lazy and complacent about it? Regardless of what kind of chair we get, one thing we know, it will be a chair that gives him a lot more support for his trunk and the ability to change positions.  We are also waiting to get the ok from insurance about a stander.  A stander will help David to be in a standing position safely for short periods of time, which will help strengthen his muscles and bones. The last piece of equipment we are looking into is another speech device. His AlphaSmart has worked wonderfully. But as his ability to speak has gotten progressively worse we are seeing the need for a device that can do more and will meet his needs a little better. In our research we have found a few apps with the ipad that have been created especially for people like David. So, therefore, we are looking into getting him an ipad by the time school starts.

This has been a rather long-winded post!  Hopefully I won't wait as long for the next update!

Thank you so much for keeping up with us. We appreciate all the questions of concern and especially your prayers. Our God can do great things!

God bless!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer's Here!

So sorry it's been a while since the last update on ole Dave.  There really isn't much to report.  The last time I took him to his Dr. here in Memphis, Dr. Ledoux decided not to make a change to the settings.   He wants us to do an experiment.  Since David's speech has gotten worse since DBS he wants us to turn it off for a little while and see how his speech is.  Apparently, turning it off for about 5 or 10 minutes is long enough to possibly see any difference. At the next appointment, which is in July, we will report back if we saw any difference at all.  That will give him ideas of how to change the settings.  But otherwise, his Dystonia doesn't seem any worse.  We just need to get him standing up more so his bone mass doesn't shrink. Soon, we hope to get some Physical Therapy going.

We have so much to be thankful for.  David has a great disposition and seems perfectly content to be home and play his computer games and watch his silly shows.  With his easy going way, it's easy to let him and not make him do something active.

Sister Hannah's College Graduation

It's hard to believe that Hannah's college years are over!  Seems like we just took her to Bryan just last year!  We had a great time going to Dayton, TN for Hannah's graduation.  We met my sister and my Dad there too.  Here is proof that Hannah graduated!

Please Pray For Michael

I would like to ask you to pray for a new friend.  Michael is 14 and has severe Dystonia.  He and his parents live in St. Louis.  When I went to see our new grandbaby in March I got to meet Michael and his parents.  He had DBS surgery a few months before David.  His doctors decided to take a more aggressive approach to the setting changes.  Michael has not done well with the changes.  He has been in and out of ICU for aspiration pneumonia, swallowing issues and breathing problems.  He is now on a feeding tube.  His mom is desperate for answers. Please remember Michael. I don't think he has the development delays that David has but he can't talk at all.  He loves to get mail so if you want to send him a card let me know and I'll send you his address.

Thanks again for following our journey!