Tuesday, March 8, 2011

December Iowa Trip

We went to Iowa during the first week of December. I love traveling around Christmas time. It's so hard to believe that last year during the same time, we were flying every week to Iowa. I do miss seeing the airports decked out in their holiday cheer, and I miss that time that I got to spend with X-Man (or Little Lou when the husband took X-Man). This trip, all four of us drove to Iowa.

We made really good time - I was a little nervous for this trip because 1 - it was our first trip with a potty-trained kid, and 2 - it was December. We got to see a lot of snow. I believe snow in the country is so much more beautiful than our city snow. The drifts on the side of the road were beautiful.

'Icebergs' on the Mississippi

Once we made it to Iowa, we checked in at the Ronald McDonald House - it looked so beautiful with all the Christmas trees! We got to meet some wonderful people who helped put our lives in perspective. There were a couple clubfoot babies there, it was nice to be able to talk to a mom who was in my situation last year. I was excited for her on the changes that were going to happen to her baby! We also met a woman who had a child with several heart issues. She said her child had to be revived almost daily - whenever she gets upset there's a chance her child will lose consciousness. I can't even imagine how scary that must be for her. It helps me keep my life in perspective and want to help others whose children were born with defects.

Also, in the house I read this poem. I remember reading it before, but kind of forgot about it. I love it so much and it really does voice how I have felt and has helped me make the most of our situation:

Welcome to Holland

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this…

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, the Michelangelo David, the gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!" you say. "What do you mean, Holland?" I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy.

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to some horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy a new guidebook. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
The pain of that will never, ever, go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.
But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.
Written by Emily Perl Kingsley

Love it. Every time I read it I get a little teary.

Okay, back to our Iowa visit. The morning of X-Man's visit, we had breakfast while the hubby loaded the car and warmed it up for us (since, Iowa is arctic-like in December!). Well, our car wouldn't start. Luckily, there's a free bus that goes between the parking lot across the street and the hospital. The kids actually LOVED the bus!

We arrived at the hospital and got in to see Dr. Morcuende very quickly. Unfortunately, X-Man decided that he needed to throw a huge tantrum. We were still able to get him to cooperate - Dr. Morcuende was very impressed by how good his feet look. He said we'll need to get at least one more set of Mitchell's with the plantarflexion stop, then we'll be able to get a 'normal' pair of Mitchell's.

After our appointment - we took a bus back to the RMH. We arrived just as AAA was finishing up with our car - luckily, it was just a dead car battery. I don't really remember our drive home, so it must have gone well!

I cannot tell you how incredibly thankful I am of all that Dr. Morcuende, and all the staff has done for my X-Man. I am so thankful for Dr. Ponseti who first implemented a non-surgical method of treatment and for all those that have followed in his footsteps.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Five months of catch ups - Quick look at October and November

Well, again - I'm a slacker. I think I just get overwhelmed once I let this blog thing go without a post for too long. Enough is enough. If you'll read, I'll post! It's been a busy five months, but I'm going to try to get you caught up.


October was great - we went to three trick-or-treat events. X-Man was a zookeeper, Little Lou was the sweetest ladybug. X-Man also 'graduated' from physical therapy - he made wonderful progress and we are so thankful for Lindsay and all she's done for us.


In November, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving with our amazing family. We were filled with Christmas spirit before December and had all our Christmas decorations out before Thanksgiving! X-Man had an appointment scheduled in November to see Dr. Morcuende but we had to reschedule until December. My next post will be all about that appointment!