As you all know, Caitlin is doing well. This entire 2.5 year blog defines her bravery and stubbornness – intrinsic factors in her progress. We don’t take this progress for granted; tomorrow, she may decide not to take the next steps we’d like her to! Her ‘do it myself’ attitude is a constant companion.
As of 26 September 2015, it’s two years since we were waiting for four year old Caitlin to emerge from SDR surgery theatre with Dr Park and the team at St Louis Children’s Hospital (SLCH). Now six years old, Caitlin has kept moving on. Intricate discussions we had with the school regarding classroom and playground access seem quite distant memories. The wheelchair we had acquired for this phase of her life remains in garage storage collecting cobwebs. Meanwhile, Caitlin’s busy collecting miles: she scoots to and from school, jogs the block with her Dad, has started swimming, trampolines and hopscotches the supermarket aisles between hide and seek.
Along with these skills, Caitlin becomes more aware of her small extra physical needs; perhaps falling over a bit more than other children, or maybe not climbing things as fast. Returning home from school recently, she sobbed a little and wailed “oh why are my legs so weak?” Mum and I had been preparing for such times but it still caught us by surprise; six year olds don’t do conversational lead-ins. Hugs, listening and a focus on her ‘can-do’ attitude seemed to be what she needed this time but we’ll expect more occasions like this. Last week or so was school cross country day and the caring teachers may have underestimated her capabilities a bit too much! She’ll be itching to show them her abilities next time.
Next year may see us returning to Dr Park’s team as a review is overdue. Our aim has always been long term benefit accrual for Caitlin with tweaks where necessary along the way.