At least that's the way things seem after Ben's orthopedic appointment Friday. It was another typical "routine" check-up for Ben. Not a whole lot of good news but not anything heartbreaking either. After so many doctor visits during his early years where we received what seemed like devastating information every time we saw a specialist I do believe we've finally arrived at a "plateau" we were once told about by another exceptional family.
Hopefully at some point in their young lives the studying, the picking, the prodding, and the questioning finally ends for these special kids. They are just expected to live their lives as best they can with the help that is already available and in place. The visits to Ben's specialists are becoming further apart. For the most part they all end with the phrase, "Call us if you need anything, otherwise we'll see you in a year."
Honestly I think this is good. Even though Ben's hip problems and scoliosis is worsening, it is occurring at a much slower rate than expected. Translation? Ben's orthopedist could not have showered Joan with any more compliments about the quality of Ben's care. As much as we'd like to take the credit most it all goes to every therapist who has ever spent time with Ben. The rest goes to Ben's nurses who have watched, learned, asked questions, and followed through with a daily regimen of work that Ben has to accomplish. Of course I'm missing the biggest key: Ben's determination.
I have to give pause every time I think about what he's been through and how much he has accomplished despite the obstacles, pain, and setbacks. I know I would've given up long ago. The smile you see in the picture is pure Ben. That is the young man we see about 90 percent of the time these days. The other ten percent he's probably sleeping and still looking just as handsome. It is amazing how much joy an individual who you can barely understand gives to the rest of us. With all the crap happening in the world these days I'll gladly take it. And my hope is that our blog and especially that smile on Ben's face gives you joy. After all, Ben doesn't just belong to us. He belongs to you too.
Monday, March 31, 2008