Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Ramp

You may have noticed from the last post that William got a new wheelchair.  I have had very mixed feelings about this.  Actually, we've put it off for awhile.  Not really in hopes that he would walk independently.  I know that isn't reality since his nerves in his legs died.  But more out of a desire to want him to use what he DOES have.  I know it's good for him to move his body.  But the fact of the matter is, he just wasn't doing it.  He spent most of his time on the floor in one spot.  Sure, he got up and used his walker when I asked him to, but never by sheer choice.  I mean, let's face it.  It's HARD. Really hard for him.  And he didn't really notice a benefit.  He could get from point A to point B much faster by crawling and either way he couldn't carry anything with him, so why bother?  So he's been stuck in this sort of limbo while we tried and tried to get him to use his whole body.  So we decided to go ahead with the wheelchair.  Just to keep him from overtiring on long trips, like an hour at the grocery store, or fun trips, like a day at the zoo.  Don't get me wrong, he loves his KidWalk.  And he uses it in appropriate situations.  But never at home.  It's just too bulky and requires too much to get buckled into and out of.  It's not practical for home use.  At least not for him.  It's great for exercise and short walks, though.  I digress.  :)
He was fitted for his wheelchair several months ago, before he got sick.  It was ready while he was in the hospital and we picked it up 3 weeks ago when he had his first x-ray after hospital release.  He's been a wheeling maniac ever since!  He loves it!  It's moved him to a whole new level of independence!  And it's been heartwarming to watch him grow in self-confidence and be so proud of his new skills.  And he's pretty amazing in it!  When we were at the imaging center, the very first day he had it, he wheeled himself all over the place with skill.  I would warn him about a wall or a door, but for the most part he would sense these things for himself and ease up to them.  He would bump them ever-so-slightly with his chair, then take off and remember where it was and never hit it again.  Amazing.  It was actually quite intriguing to watch.  The only time he has trouble in it is when he gets to playing and going fast he is likely to bump into someone that he won't see and doesn't have the time (or presence of mind) to sense.  We're still working on that. ;)
For the last 3 weeks, his 3 favorite things are: getting his OWN drink, washing his hands BY HIMSELF,  and brushing his teeth WITHOUT HELP.  My heart is full.
But it gets even more amazing.  For as long as I can remember, we've carried him from the house to the car.  We had steps outside our door that he couldn't manage without crawling, so we just carried him.  Of course, we carried his KidWalk to the car as well, but it just isn't practical at such a short distance to carry him down the steps, put him in the KidWalk, walk 10 or 20 steps to the car, take him out of the KidWalk, put him in the car, take the KidWalk apart and load it in the van.  And if you know our family, you know we're pretty much always running behind.  :) Anyway, we carried him.  But Saturday some of our dear, sweet friends brought over and installed a wheelchair ramp.  Mike and Brady took the steps off the porch, but left the platform and it fit like a perfect puzzle piece, like it was MADE to fit there.  Amazing.  God is amazing!

Unloading from truck

Sweet Anna oversees the project

Setting in place

William's finished ramp.  He's still learning the "down" part, but totally has the "up" mastered!
The finished project

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