Monday, April 30, 2012

Ability Camp - Week 2

Oh week 2, you came in like a lion...and you left like one too! We are healthy and working hard...kind of. Jacey is not as impressed with her session as she led us to believe the first 2 days. She is such a sweet natured, mellow, pleasant little girl that when we dropped her off Monday morning, it was a shock that she screamed to not go. I know right?!?! This week has been uber challenging. Jacey has been really clingy which I am sure stems from dropping her off in session with a couple of unknown ladies, other crying kids and hard work to be done. She is definitely exerting her independance. Her independance includes: arching backwards off EVERYTHING!, refusing to do the activities resulting in not one but TWO timeouts, trying to bite the conductor (seriously??) and receiving only half of a sticker for an activity. The butt end of a sticker might I add!! hehe She is such a strong willed kid. I am kind of shocked, I didn't realize she had it in her. Is it wrong of me to be a bit sad for her but kind of proud that she is exhibiting these opinions?!?! The conductor is great, she just tells me that she isn't going to bend to Jacey's wants, she needs to realize that she isn't going to get what she wants. So tough love week began, and I only cried to Jon on the phone once at the very end of it. How strong am I?!? hehe (Although silently I swallowed tears every morning while dropping her off and she screamed for 4 HOURS STRAIGHT!!!) Yeah, you read that right. My mom was here for the last week also and was super great. Every time I walked into the room with swimming eyes she just told me how great this was for Jacey and what a good thing it is teaching her. She rocks! Also helping with the laundry, cooking, dishes, Jacey stuff and remembering to grab the shampoo and conditioner, not once but four times. hehe I love her and was soooo sad that she left on Sunday. I am all by myself now and feel a little bit overwhelmed. However, the other people here have been great and realy helpful. Although Jacey refuses to let any of them touch her. There is one adult brain injury patient here who wants to hold her and play with her so bad, and Jacey holds her hand but if she reaches out to take Jacey, there is a scream a thon! We had a mini breakthrough yesterday when I was cooking dinner, Jacey followed one of the other kids into the session room and played in there while I was in the kitchen. She averted her eyes for like 20 minutes without wigging out. It was the most glorifying 20 minutes of non-clingy time that I had. AWESOME!! Jacey has been doing well though in all seriousness. She is sitting independantly for all of her lunches, up to a table with a handle bar and helping feed herself those meals. Also during dinner time now that Gramma is gone, she is sitting on the table independantly while I feed her. It is also amazing how loose her hands are, opening and closing around things and reaching up high for things. Walking, she has more oomph to her steps and wears these amazing shoes. Pottying is....interesting. She is arching off of it all the time, and her little tush red from rubbing on the potty seat all the time. But we did make one pee on the pot, TMI?!? Nah, it's little kid pee, not that gross. Another awesome thing (well kind of) is that during her scream a thons in class while she is sitting on chairs or stools, she is mastering getting down. The conductor told me that she is a smart girl as she continually is trying to get off the equipment (not while they are supposed to, don't get to proud of her yet). She will reach her hands down to gauge how far up she is and then slide her bum to the edge and reach her arms down to help herself down. She does this over and over again, (resulting in the time outs and half sticker hehe) but that if it is higher, she takes more time to get off. Our conductor told me that it shows her brain is really processing and planning her moves out. YEAH FOR NOT FOLLOWING THE RULES RIGHT!?!?! The conductor also told me that she is probably one of the strongest, most stubborn kids she has worked with. Umm I hear another high five Jacey coming!? In all truthfullness, this is probably one of the hardest things that I have ever done. Relinquishing all Jacey control to someone unknown, and trusting that they are doing the best for your kid. I have learned soooo much from the conductor and the other parents, that it blows my mind. Jacey is such a crazy, gongshow, apparently brilliant kid and I love her spunk. She works hard every day and I see such changes. I can't wait for Mr Bird to get here and spell me off. I miss him! I also really appreciate your emails, comments and love. Thanks guys! Take care and we'll update again probably in a week. Love y'all!! - Alyson and Jacey

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Ability Camp- First Week

Wow! Alot has happened since we have started/finished fundraising and set our plan in motion for camp. WE ARE HERE!!!! My mom, Jacey and I arrived in Ontario on Sunday April 15th in the early afternoon. It was an early flight, and Jacey rocked it as per usual. She is such a great traveler...if I ever win the lottery, I am heading to Australia because the flight is a gongshow and my kid would rock it! Anyways we got here around 1ish and found our luggage and rental car. We were loading our things into the car when we realized that the stroller would not fit...awesome, felt like an idiot after the guy had said a few times that we should upgrade. I was like "no,no,no there is only 3 of us and it will be fine" did eventually work out, my mom and I just got creative. We drove the 3 hours or so to camp in the rain, smog and blech and only almost got lost was a real victory. Everyone was already there and so we did the tour and introductions to each other and then we unpacked the car and tried to get Jacey organized for bed. She was sleeping in a big girl bed with a bar along the side and I was nervous that she would try to stand up and fall on her melon but she did good with it. Throughout the night I had started to feel blech, coughing, running nose and fever. I ended up taking blankets, pillows and tissues and slept on the leather couch in the tv room in hopes that none of the husbands would come in and see this sick, hot mess on the couch! The next morning I had a fever and was sweaty and all gross. Terrible way to start off the first day. The camp director had told us that we (parents) would go into session on the first day and the last day and here and there during the program but that the first day was the busiest and longest....hurray for sick me! I ended up making it through the first hour and then I had to go lie down, the shivering, teeth chattering and disgusuting cough were making all the other families huddle in a corner. I am soooo glad that my mom was there. She stayed in with Jacey, who seemed to do well. She followed what the instructor was having her do, although she is soooo nosy that often she just stares at everyone else and forgets what is going on. My mom said that she learned so many tips and things from the other moms and also from the instructor who moved Jacey around and helped correct things. They do a cool that I'm sure I will learn once I see it all hehe. All the other 3 kids have been here at least once or twice before and remembered the soon as she spoke with her Hungarian accent, two started crying right away hehe. She is tough and expects greatness but is really kind and helps when needed. It is hard work. The first day after class, Jacey was dozing in the room before Hyperbarics. We held her off and she slept through the hour dive. That later afternoon, I slept and didn't get out of bed at all. I ended up being sick a few times also...lovely. That night Jacey was bagged and she hit the sack, while I trudged to the tv room with my gear for another night of sleep. (At this point I barely spoke 2 words to any other parents, the instructor or even my mom) Did I mention that she rocks?!?!? The next morning I felt yucky again and stayed in bed. My mom took Jacey and fed her, dressed her and got her ready for session. I slept and she got to enjoy about an hour to herself before having to wash laundry, tidy the room, make a snack and lunch for my kid. Jacey did pretty good in session this morning I heard. There were only a few tears as she did a few stretches that she did not like. (Reasonable I think, glad I wasn't there, cause I am a major wuss when it comes to her being uncomfortable)By lunch time, Jacey was sitting (independantly up to the table holding her handle) and falling asleep during her meal. She kept dropping her head down and Christina (the instructor) had to keep reminding her to hold onto the handle or she would fall. hehe My mom took Jacey into Hyperbarics again today. This is how much my mom rocks, all the families are husbands and wives right now. 2 of the husbands are leaving after the first week and returning for the last week. So while they are here, the mommies have said "you are doing everything for this week and the last because I am doing everything for 3 weeks in the middle", so the dads are in the hyperbarics and my mom. She rocks! Although I hear the guys really help her by plugging in the tubes and things for her so that she doesn't have to get up and down alot with Jacey. After Hyperbarics, we headed into town (Picton) because I went to Emergency and ended up getting a perscription for cough syrup and infection. That night Jacey was coughing and within a couple hours had a fever. We were up most of the night with Jacey and her fever, cough, runny nose and barfing. My poor mom has done so many loads of laundry due to Bird Girl ralphing all over things. As soon as she catches up with the last yucky load, another one pops up (literally) and she has more to do. I helped as much as possible but was still sick and weak and clammy. My mom and I took turns sleeping in the tv room with her while the other one slept in the room. The next morning Jacey couldn't go to session and her temp was spiking at 103. She did alright through the day, still fairly pleasant but very lethargic and smoking hot. That night was the same, off and on sleep and super hot temp. She was drinking her bottles though and sipping thickened water laced with gingerale. The next morning she still missed session due to fever and we decided to take her into the hospital (Belleville, an hour away) to be checked out as she was pulling her legs up and her stomach was making sounds and she seemed in pain. Belleville had a pediatrician on site and so that was nice to chat with her. Jacey had some fuzzy sounds in her one lung and she was worried about a Urinary Tract Infection. She got a perscription for both and told to take it easy for a few days and no hanging out with others as we were contagious. (My poor mom had been popping Cold FX and things this whole time and was beginning to have a bit of a cough. NOOOOOO, she can't get sick, she is the only one holding this mess together) Jacey was pumped full of meds and her fever broke in the night and she slept fairly well with me in bed with her. My mom passed out in the other bed and is feeling better. (Still has a bit of a cough but not sick...wheph!) We decided that since Jacey couldn't participate in sessions or hyperbarics that we would head into Belleville, get a nice hotel and hunker down in in for the weekend. No sharing of bathrooms, or tv room, or kitchen. No confinement to the teeny tiny room that we have masterfully unpacked and been living in sickly for the last few days and no cooking. So here we are....and this is why there is a post. I can sit upright without losing my lunch, there is internet connection here and also more than 5 feet between us. The tiny lady and my mom are passed out in a big bed in another area of our hotel room while I am plugging this out on the couch. Thus ends the first week. What a way to start!! I am hoping that from here on out we are healthy and raring to go. I know there will still be a few tears cause I am wimpy like that lately but that this is great for Jacey. The other families seem great and I have learned alot from them. (Although I am sure they still think of us as the lepers!) I am super sad that my mom leaves in a week...oh what will I do?? But also excited because that means only 2 weeks until Jon is here. Oh how I miss that guy! Also my sisters, who I have bawled to on the phone already more than once...I miss them so much and their sweet kids. Amelia said to Jenny that she "wants to get Jacey from camp please", hehe so cute. Anyways even writing these last few lines are making me tear up. We love you all, thanks for the support. Posts will not be as often as the internet connection at camp is not good, soooo hopefully some. Also probably not alot of pics until were home as we can't take any of the session but they take like 10 days to load. Sheesh!! Take care. - Alyson