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Wednesday Update: 10/18/06

Well, we took another trip to Iowa City today…that’s right, six trips in seven weeks! YAHOO!!! (We’re really breaking in the new car!) Today we met with the Opthalmologist who performed Matt’s strabismus surgery. He checked things over and says we are on the right track. The double vision is still there, but it is definitely different than it was before. Of course, seeing double is still seeing double…and that’s the pits…but we are hopeful that it will keep improving. The dr explained that there is still healing to take place. Matt’s two images are side by side and a little up and down of each other (if that makes sense). Right now the dr wants to focus on bringing the two images closer together, side by side. The up and down fusion will come later. So, he measured and put temporary prism on his left lens. The prism helps bring the images closer together horizontally, and the goal is to have Matt use the prism to try and retrain his brain to fuse the images together. We will remove the tape off and on so he can use the prism and work on using both eyes together. We go back in another 3 weeks to check and see how things are coming along. We still haven’t heard back from the other dr as to the results of the AVM/AVF debate…but will keep you posted when we have news.

In other news, we had a great weekend visit with my family. My parents flew in from Texas for the weekend, and we had 3 good days with them and my sister’s family. The boys hung out on Saturday, watching football, while us girls took the kids to a pumpkin patch near Des Moines. We had a blast running around with Meghan, playing on the equipment, feeding animals, taking lots of pictures etc. It was so good to be with them! I miss family time like that with my parents so much! It is so precious to me!

Meghan and Matthew were as good as always, and we just lavished them both with love and attention! Saturday night we took our parents out for dinner to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary. It was a good meal, with good company. I can’t tell you enough, how much I admire my parents. 35 years…that’s really something. I have no doubt that their example of a loving, supportive marriage based on solid values and friendship, is a big part of how my marriage to Matt developed over the years. They showed me what it is to be committed to one another…and that has helped me reaffirm my commitment to Matt. He has said before that he feels like he is just a shell of what he was before…but I disagree. I believe he is the CORE of what he was before. All that we have lost is external…the shell…and that is so much less important than the core. He is still the same person inside with the same sense of humor, same (somewhat annoying) political views, same interests and same personality. He can’t always show it as quickly as he used to…or as sharply as he used too…but don’t let that fool you. Give him the chance and he will prove it again and again. We both can admit that we have suffered losses throughout this experience, but I haven’t seen any losses, or changes, that I can’t accept. I know it’s harder for him…it’s HIS body that won’t obey his command…but I just pray that in time he too can accept the changes without letting them hold him back. Already I can see him putting himself out there more…the strings of fear are slowly loosening their grip on him…and each time he takes another step further out into the unknown, the more filled with pride, hope, and admiration I am.

Just this week he put himself out there in a new way…we went to the wellness center at Principal to work out. Now, it’s not just the fact that we went that should impress you…but all that we had to go through to even GET there was an accomplishment. In order to bring family members to the wellness center, you now have to register them…and they have to come in and have a digital picture taken and printed out on a special badge which allows them access to the facilities. Do you understand how big a deal it was for Matt to agree to that!? Well, he did! We took his old glasses (without the tape), so he could have his picture taken and feel as normal as possible. The picture turned out just fine! After that appointment, we made our way down to the gym, through two elevators and two different scanning devices to check out the equipment. Familiarizing ourselves with the set up the night before helped. Then on Tuesday, after work, I picked him up and we headed down for our first work out. I helped him transfer over to a stationary bike and set him up with his headphones (each piece of equipment has its own TV screen attached), so he rode the bike and listened/watched TV at the same time. I worked out on a treadmill a few rows behind him while he rode the bike. It was a whole new experience for us, doing something like that together…and it was so good! We are going to try and go as often as we can, on the days he doesn’t have PT. It is another great benefit I have at my job that I am so grateful to be able to use with Matt. I think it will be so good for us BOTH!


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