There’s moments when the picture of the new version of our lives takes shape. We have a new job, Heidi, the family and I – in addition to raising our children and putting in the necessary effort at the actual job that pays the bills, we have to help a child learn how to use his legs, and wrists and fingers all over again.
This kid, of course, is not some mopey sloucher; but a 6-year-old so full of vitality and energy and enthusiasm, that a mere hospital bed – nor his 300 square foot room – can contain him. He’s a joker.
He now thinks its amusing to pretend he’s going to plop himself over the guardrail, just to get a rise out of us. Yesterday, rather than not engage his sister in mutual tormenting, he tried to chase her; army belly crawl style – all stomach muscles and elbow, dragging himself across the floor. Laughing the whole time.
I watch that and think about it: Would you be laughing if, after a half-hour of therapy, your muscles were so weak you could only move by slithering yourself across the ground?
Not only that, Beckett has become a ridiculous flirt. Certain nurses are now “hot.” He bats his eyelashes at them. He tells them they’re beautiful. And they eat it up and give it right back. Who is this kid?
He’s pushing boundaries, too. He’s dropped a couple “this sucks” a few “damns” and even a “crap” or two.
There is no pity for him and his condition. Weakened or not; the kid needs his discipline. We’ve had to establish rules. Like: “Everything in the hospital room must be shared with your sister”; “You cannot try to get out of bed by yourself; if you fall you will be in here another five days.” And things like that.
Beckett continues to make progress; although the speed of his progress seems to be leveling off. His trunk is very strong now; he can sit upright under his own power. And in some, bizarre, flopping-by-using-elbows-and-limb-parts-I-didn’t-know-you-could-use, he can get himself into a kneeling-upright position. The kid’s like Gumby. Seriously.
Yesterday, he had therapy and, as you can see here, there’s this one fantastic moments where he walks on his own (Not seen: when he tried to do it 30 seconds later – after the nurse told him not to – and ate S^!t by falling to the floor).
Beckett is now on Day 8 in the hospital. And the hope is that he will transfer to St. Joseph’s Medical Center in central Phoenix on Monday or Tuesday where he will begin an intensive – perhaps 2 week – rehabilitation stint.
Some of these videos are deceiving. He cannot stand on his own … yet … despite flashes of brilliance. And his wrists, fingers, toes and the joints that allow you to flex your feet up and down seem to have suffered the most damage. He grabs things like a lobster, and uses his hand like a crane to move things. But each day we see small signs of progress.
Somebody will have to live with Beckett in the hospital; so Heidi and I and my mother will continue our rotation in shifts. We seem to be getting that down.
As an aside: to those of you who have made us dinner: WOW! The meal tree; the help, it is HUGE. It makes a big difference. And we’re eating so damn gourmet. Thanks everyone.
From here on out, you can keep track of Beckett on this website – where we’ll post his and our journey to recovery. Big steps, little steps and everything in between.
Sending huge love out to all of you. – Ed, Heidi, Beckett and Brody