Monday, June 9, 2014

Proud Mama Moment (not that I'm never not proud)

Remembering back almost 5 years ago sitting in the hospital watching my baby go through everything I remember telling Rick my cute little tough boy is never going to play sports. He had an athletic build and I could picture him playing football...Years later I had realized regardless maybe sports weren't his thing anyway. He loves to dance, he's way smart and wants to get into piano, music and science.
Basketball season came around and Jaxon was ready to play...Karsen says ok fine I'll play. So we sign him up. Every time we would try to play with him he'd cry and wouldn't...WHY? Cause he couldn't dribble. He was intimidated by his brother who Loved to play. But he went anyway. By the end of the season he understood the game and now dribbles a ball any chance he can get. He pushed himself even though his leg was starting to loosen up and hurt. After the season was over it was time to sign up for Baseball...Jaxon signed up and Karsen said no way. I kept talking to him because I just wanted him to at least try. If he hated it I'd never make him play again. It's Peewee 7's. With Jaxon playing I decided to take on a position on the board as well lack of a better term Mother of all Team Parents. Talking with members of the board I decided to persuade him. We got to the last and final day to get him in and I txt Karsen on his iPod and he says ok I'll play. WAHOOO! I sign him up DONE!

Well not really...with him signed up we get him a bag, a glove and what not...He was all set!
Kinda, He then lacked any form of confidence. We finally get him outside to practice and BAM!!! Jaxon throws a ball to him and WHACK right in the head. That was the end of practicing with Jaxon or anyone for that matter. Pep talk after pep talk I tried to get him to practice with me. Promising to throw soft. Use the softer baseballs we had with the Pitching machine I borrowed. It took bribery to get him to practice with us. Jaxon on the other hand practices daily and it shows. He'd cry about not being able to play and not being good enough. It was heartbreaking. So I take Karsen to practice with his Coach who happens to be a newer neighbor of ours and gladly takes on my little boy with a prosthetic. I NEVER want to down play my son or make him feel like he can't be as good as anyone else so all I said was this is his first year and he's way nervous. Well low and behold he'd do anything Coach Nick told him to do. I noticed him set aside some of his fears and LISTEN! Yep LISTEN! The first game he went out there nervous but tried. In Peewee 7 part of the game is machine pitch and the rest is Kid pitch. He would swing the bat and miss. He did get on base and score a few times through some of what we love about PW 7 kid pitch. By the end of the season he walked out there confidently. And did what his Coaches taught him.
During the season we got him a new better fitting leg and he walked and ran better with it. His leg from his last surgery has healed well and he keeps growing like a weed. I spoke a little with his coach about how he needs to pivot differently since his left leg faces the pitcher. Funny thing is he got hit the leg...the prosthetic one. First time he looked at me unsure what to do. I said even if you can't feel it take your base you still got hit.

The last few games I'd stand behind him recording and he like any cute kid with a mom coaching him from behind the fence turned around and Shushed me...yep fingers to his lips shushed me...We all had a good laugh and I realized his Coaches had it under control. He was so eager by the last game to get a hit. Unfortunately he didn't but his swing was so much better. There are things we can adjust that will make him even greater as he grows and he's willing to try.

From Season Opener to his last game he has changed so much. Built so much confidence. And well now he's talking Flag Football...Who knew my baby who I worried would never be the athlete I thought he would just might. Never doubt a kid with a heart as big as his...I'm thankful every day for the lessons he teaches me daily. Not sure how I got so lucky to have such a little Rockstar in my life...but I'm forever grateful!!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Feeling Oddly Emotional but More So Grateful...

I haven't had a ton to blog about but this is something Fun so I had to share. A few weeks ago I was called from our Dr at Shriners and he asked if we'd be interested in working with a group of Seniors in the Research & Development department at the U on their Senior Project. They were working with Ottobock to develop a new foot for kids with prosthetic legs. It is meant to feel more real and comfortable as well as be adjustable in length. Pretty cool concept. 
It's exciting to be able to assist in the research. Learning things that had we not ever had the accident we would be clueless about. All that goes into the engineering and developing the things that help Amputees function. We aren't finished yet but it's pretty cool to be a part of it. 
So I start to wonder...HOW on earth is this in any way some emotional experience... 4-1/2 years ago I laid in a hospital bed with a barely 3 year old boy while holding him I panicked. What if people don't accept him? What if kids at school are mean? What if he hates me or resents me for the rest of his life? What if he'll never find someone to love him? What if people are repulsed by his minor imperfection? SOOOO Many questions, concerns, worries, etc. As we toured the building last week and I say the process/development of so many things we are now familiar with I realized had this never happened we'd never ever know anything about anything when it comes to Prosthetics and Orthotics. Then I saw the wall...15,000 individual molds for 15,000 people that need custom made liners that are only shelved for 2 YEARS...WOW...I was blown away. I thought of each mold as people who struggle with something most people will NEVER comprehend. I know I personally take advantage of 2 functional legs that maybe at times can be sore but nonetheless I still have them.
I watch my boy who's now 7 run, play, skip, jump, hop, throw attitude, act like a little boy and try almost daily to drive a mama crazy but yet he blows my mind.  He's got this way about him that ALMOST makes me bend everytime. Couldn't imagine life without him and his brother and sisters.
As we drove away after a 2 hour appointment he was so Excited...Not only getting out of school early but he was a part of research that may or may not help the future of children's prosthesis. And all I could do was feel grateful he's alive, ambitious, grateful, full of life and ready to conquer the world and extremely happy. And even though September 24th 2009 was one of the worst days of my has become such an extraordinary opportunity. And I hope for many more to come...Gotta make due with whatever curve balls are thrown at you...
15,000 custom molds of different peoples
amputated legs.

This is what it looks like without the groovy fake foot.
I think he walked a mile with 4 different models


Walking Stairs and Ramps

Racing Mike  from Ottobock

Mike trying the Stahl Karsen just showed him.
I caught him too late.