Chris and I have decided to go home over the weekend for the first time in over 2 months. The Ronald McDonald house allows us to take a 48-hour leave without giving our room away so we wanted to take advantage of at least 2 nights at home in our own bed. I am not sure how well Annadelle will do on the 4 hour ride home, though. Her bottom starts to hurt if she sits in one place for an extended period of time. She isn’t able to adjust herself yet, but I have faith she will soon.
Our nights here at RMHC have been such a blessing. We almost forgot what life was like outside of the hospital.
We have taken the opportunity to work with Annadelle periodically throughout the day when she isn’t in therapy. I am trying to find ways to have her exercise without her realizing it. The photo above shows her on her belly, propped up on her arms. She could not do that just a few short weeks ago. She is now able to bear weight on her arms like this for a short period of time, something she used to do often while watching a movie or playing on her iPad.
In therapy yesterday, Annadelle was able to lay on the table and raise her right arm all the way over her head. She does well from the elbow down, but this was the first time she was able to use her upper arm muscles without assistance. Even OT Holly seemed impressed. I also got a video of Annadelle using her left arm a bit while laying down. I haven’t quite been able to figure out the best way to share videos on the blog yet. I think I will need to upload them to a platform like YouTube in order to share it publicly.
During our first full day out, we took Annadelle to see Santa Clause at the Riverchase Galleria for an annual Christmas photo. Santa choked up as he watched her roll up in her wheelchair. Annadelle wasn’t bothered by it at all. She is very resilient and is adjusting to our new life relatively well. We keep encouraging her to keep moving and assuring her that it’s faith her movement will come back. Using phrases like, “When you start walking again…” seems to keep her encouraged. We are keeping full faith that she will have a full recovery despite the odds. I know God can do amazing things for those who believe.
Also, I recently spoke to Dr. Ness about Annadelle’s rapid recovery to date. She has been studying AFM cases since 2014 and noted that of the patients diagnosed more recently, she has seen much quicker and better recoveries than patients diagnosed in years passed. I heard a news interview with a different doctor whose name I can’t remember and he said the same thing. He believed the virus believed to be causing AFM could have mutated over the last few years, hence the change in recoveries.
Speaking of the news, we have been contacted be several news outlets regarding Annadelle’s diagnosis. They asked us to speak to them about her battle with AFM and we agreed. We are hoping by getting her story out to the public, it will bring awareness to the need to determine the cause and the cure of AFM.
One of our first interviews was with ABC3340 in Birmingham. We drove over to the studio and were able to see where the “magic happens”. It was much smaller than we thought it would be.
Please pray for us as we travel home for the first time. It has been quite an adjustment and I know we have a long way to go.