Saturday, January 24, 2009

Every step you take


For a few months now, it started in early October, Reuben has been taking little independent, furtive steps between Jason and his physical therapist (PT) Carrie. And so it can be said that Reuben started to walk at 17 months. During pregnancy I could not sit comfortably on the floor due to sciatica and pelvic pain, so the activity became part of the 3 nights a week ritual between them both as that area of therapy which I enjoyed with Carrie for so many months, gradually landed into Jason's lap.
The best moments within PT are when Reuben masters the skill of standing independently, then lets go and walks without lunging. Only when you understand the complexities involved in such a transition for any child, and then multiply this by the challenges associated with CHARGE, namely, a lack of balance associated with a vestibular dysfunction caused by malformation of the ear canals, coupled with low muscle tone and a missing communication link between the muscles and the brain, that you realise the little miracle that has been unfolding throughout these ferocious months of development.

I'm thinking back to a bleak night when we first arrived at Children's and how I asked one Dr "Will he ever walk?",
expecting a reply of
"Of course!",
in the vein that I had been fishing for a sure positive in the sea of uncertainty as each day brought with it a new diagnosis which gnawed away at what one might perceive as normal, but instead hearing,
"I just don't know".

And I guess he just didn't know.
And nor did we.
Nor could anyone.

When you list all the factors against him, only a sweet little miracle could truly lift those chunky little legs, straighten them into a stand and oh so steadily advance them into such a little march across the alphabet mat of the playroom as to raise the cheers of an army. And that, dear friends, is the miracle that is my sweet little boy Reuben Jack.


Sara, Julianne & Rachel said...

Well done Reu! I'm sooo proud of you. Keep up all the good work - that little boy continues to astound me with his progress. His signing vocab is far better than either of the girls' talking - there is such a good little brain in there. I expect great things from Reuben.
Much love as always

hannah m said...

Reuben, we are so, so proud of you, Sweet Miracle Boy!

Catherine, you wrote about the emotions and the work and the challenges of Reu's achieving this milestone so beautifully. I love that as I see this stunning achievement, my heart swells with pride for your little boy - like it does when I see my own Vivian working so hard. Though we haven't met in person yet, it reminds me that we truly are sisters on this journey, and this journey wouldn't be the same without being able to celebrate (and commiserate)within this extended CHARGE family of ours.

And funny re: the link to Reu's beginning crawling blog entry- I actually revisited that post and the one with him crawling through the cardboard tunnel last week - as we've got crawling on the mind in this house. And I celebrated the magic all over again :-).

amy and mighty max said...