Well, I have found myself with Caleb at the bottom of that same mountain. Again. It has been 12 weeks since Caleb's tethered cord surgery and he still can't stand up. He is a miles away from being able to walk. He can't climb up on the couch by himself because his legs just can't hold him. I don't say all of that to sound negative. I'm just stating the facts. I will admit to feeling very down in recent weeks. I never dreamed that we would be 3 months out from surgery and Caleb would still have so much ground to cover. So, here we are, at the bottom of this mountain that we have already climbed. I'm looking up at this giant mountain and I'm thinking: "Um, we've already been here. We've climbed this one before. It took us years to make it to the top of this stupid mountain and we don't want to climb it again. We have already passed by all the scenery this mountain has to offer, we don't want to see it again."
And yet, here we are.
It appears we have 2 choices: One, we could just refuse to climb this mountain. We could wave the white flag in surrender. Two, we could strap on our mountain-climbing gear and tackle this mountain all over again. I admit to embracing choice number one for a couple of weeks. We had a lull in physical therapy while Ms. Vicki changed companies and I was struggling during that time. I just wasn't seeing any progress and I was beat down. Caleb seemed frustrated as well and I was at a loss of how to motivate him. I just kept thinking that I was pushing him to do things that he will never be able to do again. I had convinced myself that he will never walk again. Then it occurred to me that there was a time when I never thought Caleb would walk in the first place. I never dreamed that he would walk with just AFO's and a walker. I never expected to see him make that kind of progress. But he did it. It took years. It took a lot of work and a lot of therapy, but he did it. So, I've decided that if he did it once then, just maybe, he can do it again.
So, we work on getting those legs strong again. We give him as much support as he needs until those legs can hold him up.
We work on getting those hips strong by doing tall kneeling.
We work out the core muscles to get his trunk stable again.
We make it fun (or try to).
We do bridges. And sit-ups.
We work the inner thigh muscles.
We get those legs used to standing again. We make those legs remember what it feels like to stand up.
We work hard.
I should say HE works hard, I'm just his cheerleader.
And the boy does work hard. He is getting therapy 3 times a week and Ms. Vicki doesn't mess around. She makes him work. And she encourages me. She is so optimistic about his recovery. She fully believes that he will gain back the function he had. She sees him getting stronger, even when I don't. I don't know how long it will take him to gain back all that was lost. It took him years to get to where he was. I'm hoping we are dealing with months and not years but regardless, we will press on.
People like to say that everything happens for a reason. Now, I'm not sure if every single trial we face in life is for some specific purpose but I do believe that God can work out every situation for good. And we can use our trials to encourage others.
So, I read my own words from "Taking the Scenic Route":
I don't necessarily want to hike up this mountain again but because I have accompanied Caleb on this journey before, I know the joy that awaits us. I know what it is like to rejoice in the progress made. I know what it is like to watch my son push himself and work harder than anyone I have ever seen in my life. I know the pride he feels when he reaches a goal. I know the look on his face. I know he wants to stand up again. I know he wants to walk again. So, we climb. I'll join him on this journey, offering all the support and love I can. And I will praise God that I have the privilege of being Caleb's mom.