April showers bring May flowers, but what about April snow?

I have sawdust in my underwear. Just saying.

It’s all because of this crazy weather we’ve been having. Even though it’s spring, it has snowed the past two weekends. Not light “winter’s almost over” snow, either. All day long, slushy, wet, heavy snow that took down two huge limbs on the trees in our backyard.

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And tonight, it was finally warm enough on an evening that Brian was home to cut them up.. they’ve only been there more than a week. And at one point, a branch fell the wrong way and I had to help hold it while he cut it and, well, I got sawdust in my underwear.

That’s not the only thing the snow messed up. It messed with my car, too. Last Monday, after a weekend of wet, wet, wet snow, my car stopped wanting to travel above 60 miles an hour, or 45 even, if I happened to be trying to pass a particularly annoying vehicle. I discovered this on the freeway and it made me quite nervous. But it took till today for me to get it to the shop… only for them to not be able to find any evidence of problems. They tell me it got above 75 mph without breaking a sweat. But today it wasn’t snowing.

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At least the only thing it cost me was a little bit of routine.

And the change in routine was actually quite a treat today. With my car at the mechanic, Patrick and I drove Brian in to work this morning. Then, after a stop at home to finish doing morning medical care and take naps, we packed up and headed up to the hospital.

Patrick had his semi-annual appointment with his rehabilitation doctor today. In case you don’t know what a rehabilitationist is, this doctor specializes in helping patients overcome injuries, illnesses, etc. that require some form of therapy.

In Patrick’s case, this doctor is helping him to meet developmental milestones, despite the damage done to his brain by his cardiac arrest. (I learned new medical terminology this month. “Anoxic brain injury” is the official name for what happens to a brain when your heart stops beating and delivering oxygen to the brain cells. I’m learning that this phrase is especially powerful, and plan to put it to good use as I work to coordinate services over the next several months.)

Back on subject – as usual, she watched Patrick walk, stretched his muscles to feel their tone, asked about his speech and other development, and declared him a miracle.

Still, there is no doubt that Patrick is going to need a lot more help to do what comes easily to other kids. He’s walking well now, but still with a limp and he still falls a little too easily. We decided to go ahead with some botox injections to help some of the more stubborn muscles to relax so that they won’t resist his efforts to learn to walk correctly. That will happen in mid to late May and hopefully will help him to be able to spend less time wearing his brace this summer.

We also talked about his speech and she said that she agrees with verbal apraxia as a description of his language problems. (Medical vocab lesson: verbal apraxia is a mixing up of sounds between the brain and the mouth. In other words, Patrick may think he’s saying words correctly, but they don’t come out right. Add possible right-side muscle weakness in his mouth, and it’s no wonder everyone thinks he’s saying “go” when he’s trying to say “car”.) We talked about making sure that he gets as much speech therapy as we can possibly get for him. (Ahem, nudge, nudge insurance company)… And using music, too. Apparently learning simple children’s songs helps the brain sort out the sounds.

Looks like a good excuse for me to try to go to more library music groups now that cold and flu season is coming to an end.

But, as a glimmer of hope, she couldn’t help but be amazed at how naturally Patrick is using his right hand… this is a sign that he can overcome the other difficulties, too… at least in my opinion. If I can just stay on top of things.

Yes, we fit all of that into just one hour of doctor’s visit.

And then, because we needed to also pick Brian up from work and make it to get my car back from the mechanic, I decided we’d play a while in the city. Since we were there on time for Patrick’s TPN break, we stopped at Liberty Park to let him play without his tubes. He took off his shoes and walked in the sandbox. (Pushing sensory limits? You betcha.).. Then let him play on the playground, go down slides, crawls through tubes, etc. He spent nearly 20 minutes on the swings and pouted when I made him get out so I could go prep his new day’s TPN.

And then back home to play in the yard while Daddy cut down branches.

It was nice to have a break from the cold and wet, even if it might be back as early as tomorrow.

At least we have these amazing snowy day pictures from our Saturday excursion to Temple Square to show for the cold, wet spring.

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