Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Future.

Tonight I had a wonderful dinner with a bunch of my friends from high school. It was great to catch up and talk about our lives now!

There were about 13 of us and just about every one of them I was very close to in high school. There was one person, who wasn't part of our "group" but part of another "group" that often mixed with ours. I always saw him and we've talked a million times, but we don't really know each other. We never got close, but we're always friendly. I remember in high school was when I noticed that he held his arm differently he held it curled, behind him, and he never used it; he also walked with a bit of a limp. In high school, I never cared or paid much attention to it...I noticed and moved on. I never, ever thought to ask him about it, or to even question what had happened to him.

I saw him again last year, at a friends wedding, for the first time since high school and when I saw him, it hit me...he for sure has hemiplegia. The rest of the wedding, I couldn't help but watch him. I, of course, never want anyone to ever stare at Leah, but I couldn't stop watching every move he made. I wanted SO badly that night to ask him, and I even asked one of my friends (who is a special ed teacher, that knows about Leah's hemi), she said he had CP but that she didn't know much more about it. I didn't know how to approach him, although my friend said he's very open about it, so that night I went home wishing I had talked to him.

The year passed and there he was tonight at dinner. I again found myself watching him, and then watching Leah. Things were so similar. After dinner, we went to get coffee and there, I was talking to my friend about Leah and he over heard and asked about her! I told him that she has left hemiparesis and he said he has right!

I knew it!

Here I am sitting across from someone that I've known for probably 8 years who has the same diagnosis as my daughter! We talked about how far therapies have come, he told me that he wasn't even able to get botox until he was 16 years old. He also told me that it hurts like hell and that he would NEVER recommend doing it on a 2 year old! He is much more involved then Leah and has no use of his arm from his shoulders to his fingers, nothing and you know what he told me!? He said it's ok. He said that sometimes people stare and sometimes people ask about it, but he said that after 25 years of it, he's used to it and ok answering questions. He said he can do just about anything, because he is so well adjusted with his non-effected hand. He was always mainstreamed and in school, he obviously always had friends. He is just a typical man, and he definitely does not let his hemi stop him!

So as I sat there talking to him, with tears running down my face, I just realized that no matter what, even if Leah never gets that perfect grasp (or even no grasp at all), she's going to be ok. I've met (or "met" virtually) a lot of wonderful hemi-mommies and I really feel like I have a wonderful support group...but everyone that I've met has young children. We don't get to hear how they will do in elementary school, or junior high, or high school etc. We talk about the different treatments our little ones are getting now, but we have no way of knowing how our kids will look in the future. I know for me, it's one of the scariest things to know that Leah may be looked at as different. But, sitting there talking to this guy knowing that he's been ok, was almost as if I got a small glimpse into the future. I know that God put this guy in my life as if to say, see this is not the end of the world, Leah is going to be JUST FINE!


Popcorn House said...

What a great opportunity that was for you to sit and talk to him. I agree Leah is going to be fine whether she gets that grasp or not (but I do think she will!). Our kiddos are amazing, and never cease to amaze me on a daily basis.

Most of the summer Sam has done so well. Just nice and loose using two hands. But this past week he has been TIGHT again, I was getting sort of frustrated because this happens every few months and makes me feel like we are taking a huge step back. In my head I know it is a growth spurt and his muscles need time to adjust. Anyways, thank you for this post.....I needed to remind myself of all of this too!!!

Erica said...

awesome post!!

Kara said...

What an amazing opportunity, I would have so many questions too. It is so true we can all support each other now but who knows what the future holds. This really gives a person piece of mind!

Erin said...

Wow how amazing to know him for so long and to see how far he has come, how far therapy has come. What a great post!

Barbara said...

Great post! I often see someone with what I assume is CP and I always want to stop and talk to them but of course I would never approach a stranger. What a wonderful opportunity and how reassuring.

Thank you for sharing!