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Sunday Update: 08/24/08

Phew…another busy week and weekend are winding down and we’ve finally got some time to sit back and enjoy the beautiful weather we’ve been having. 75 and sunny…it really doesn’t get much better than that!

Friday we had Tim and Mary over for dinner. We hadn’t seen them since leaving China, so it was really nice to catch up with them and talk about our experiences together. They are settling back into a routine back home and are doing well. It was really good to see them, and I’m sure we’ll do so from time to time…they’ve definitely touched our lives!

Saturday afternoon we headed down to our church picnic for a time to visit with the folks there and enjoy a cookout. We sat in the shade with the breeze blowing through chatting with various friends. They are always so happy to see us, and Matt always feels right at home amongst them…it’s a good feeling. We left there and went over to Blake and Amy’s for their annual ice cream party where we hung out on their patio sampling their latest flavor (coconut). It was a beautiful evening…we actually got chilly sitting out there! But, it didn’t take long and we both started getting pretty wiped from the busy week, so we headed home and to bed fairly early for a Saturday night.

Today after church we went up to Boone for lunch at Matt’s grandparents’ house. We had a good time visiting with them and Matt’s parents for a few hours…and now we’re back home to relax and get ready for the week ahead.

We’ve decided that this week will be our last week of physical therapy. The doctor originally wrote the prescription for 6-8 weeks, and that seemed about right to us. Matt and Amy have been working on core strength and balance, as well as a few other things. She’s been compiling a list of activities for Matt to continue working on at home, and I’m sure he’ll keep up working on them. I’ve had people ask me what Matt does with himself all day…and if he’s bored, or what. As I explain all the things he usually does in a day, I sometimes sense that people aren’t satisfied with my answers…as though he could or should be doing more. I think what is easy to forget is that everything Matt does…EVERYTHING is a form of therapy. Everything he does takes 10 times more concentration, effort, and work than it would for you and me. The simple act of getting something out of the fridge is an exercise in coordination and balance. The fact that he sometimes goes outside and down to the mailbox is huge…that is not an easy thing for him…it could easily take him 15 minutes to do it. So while it may seem like he must have a long day filled with nothing…it’s just simply not the way it is for him. While he does spend time watching tv, reading, or working on the computer…getting to and from those locations, getting the lights situated, grabbing the magazine he wants to read…all of those things take effort on his part. Anything he does should be celebrated as something he has relearned to do…after all, there was a time he couldn’t complete the simplest of tasks. He has come a long, long way from those dark days in the hospital, and we are both just so thankful that he’s regained all that he has and that we can move forward in our life together, enjoying it the best way we can. If that means Matt doesn’t ever go back to work, so be it. We are so blessed that he doesn’t HAVE to work…that we are able to make ends meet and continue living our life without having any financial worries. That is just an enormous blessing to us. And while it would be easy to feel like Matt needs a job to give him a purpose…or something to DO…believe me, he has a purpose all on his own. A job does not a purpose make. And life isn’t all about doing…it’s also about being. And we are just trying to be in this moment in our lives…accepting it for what it is…and being as happy as we can be. While we’re always going to remain hopeful that more changes will come, and we’re still going to work towards them…we also want to just, I don’t know…exist and live. Does that make sense? I feel like we’ve been justifying our life, our actions (or inactions) for years now…and we just want to own our situation and hope that everyone can be as happy for us as we are in it. You know? Matt has said before how can he accept himself, if we can’t accept him…and that really makes you think.

Since we are going to have some free time, with therapy ending, we are also researching the possibility of having further acupuncture treatments locally. I’ve been in contact with a few acupuncturists and I think we’re going to meet with one sometime in the next week or so. It’ll be interesting to talk to someone about acupuncture and Matt’s condition who can explain what they would do to treat it…instead of just going with the flow and never understanding (due to language barriers) exactly what they were attempting to trigger! Matt is excited to explore this avenue.

I am also going to speak with Dr. Struck’s nurse this week about the possibility of having Botox injections to try and treat Matt’s tremor. Matt had Botox early on to treat the muscle tightness he had in his right arm. I’ve done some research on tremors and all the medications most commonly recommended we’ve tried, with little benefits. I have read that Botox is sometimes used to treat tremors which didn’t respond well to medications…so we’ll see if this is a possibility we can explore. I would just about give anything for that tremor to go away. Without it, Matt’s entire world would be enhanced in so many ways!

So, while we are ending another chapter in Matt’s journey, I think we are also preparing to open another new one…and I pray it will also bring us positive results. In the meantime, we are both feeling good about where we’re at. While we keep moving forward…we have countless things to be thankful for and we never want to forget to enjoy the now. As we head into a new season, we’re looking forward to the fall weather, college football madness, and all the things we love about fall…and we’re also looking forward to the next season in our lives…hopeful that the future, which is always in HIS hands, will be wonderful.

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