WOW....doesn't seem as if two years has gone by... still feels like it just happened yesterday! I still get emotional this time of year but very thankful I still have him here and full of hope that things will continue to improve with his recovery. As I look back on the website in the archive of blogs it is amazing to me to see just how far he really has come in 2 years. 2 years... wow... even typing this it's hard to believe that 2 years has passed by. It has flown by and then again.. no it hasn't lol. From 3 hours to live to 2 years....THANK YOU GOD! This year has really been a GREAT year in recovery as Alex has really come leaps and bounds with things that he can now do that he was having trouble doing the previous year. He still has a very long way to go cognitively speaking... not sure that he will ever get that part back just as he was but again... I still have a lot of HOPE and BELIEF in the man upstairs that he will do this in his OWN TIME... not mine!
Reflecting back... here we go... a year in review:
January.... HE GOT THE TRACH OUT, how could I forget that happened this past year, lol! That's a HUGE DEAL!
February... HE WENT IN THE WATER AT THE BEACH, yes in February, lol. He was so excited to get that Trach out and be able to go under water...30 below zero water... but he was determined to get in it! We also had his Celebration at Macedonia Baptist where we got to meet a lot of our prayer warriors! A big thank you again to Macedonia Baptist, THE ICE MAN, Diamond D Ranch, Fran's and Debbie's Doghouse for making it a big success... LOVE YA'LL!
March....ALEX WENT TO HIS SENIOR PROM!! He also SWAM for the first time! WE WENT TO HAWAII.... compliments of DREAMS COME TRUE...thank you thank you thank you... OMG... I wanna go back and stay lol! Words cannot tell you what that trip did for our family. It was refreshing and we got to step away from reality for 7 days, much needed to reboot and regroup and not have to think about what our lives are really like on a day to day basis. Alex turned 18 while in Hawaii and got to surf! AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING!
April... had a little set back and we thought he had fractured his left ankle, had to wear a boot for a bit, but he worked thru it.
May... Finished his senior year school work!
June....GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL... AND WALKED ACROSS THE STAGE LIKE NOBODY'S BUSINESS!! Thank you God and Miss Zember :0) To celebrate that, we took a trip to Alaska, thanks to Sherry and Pete.... INCREDIBLE!! What an amazing adventure that was!
July... Had our first baclofen pump trial and failed. They couldn't get into his spine but we didn't give up! Alex finished and graduated his day treatment program.. THAT WAS A BIG DEAL!
August....ALEX TAKES HIMSELF TO BATHROOM and uses cane to walk around house!! BIG DAY FOR ME, lol! Finally some independence for this young man... amazed how God will just show up and throw me a bone to get me thru to the next month, lol. Just when I think I will give up and think this is how it's going to be forever... He will show me what he is capable of and pull me right back! IN HIS TIME... not mine!
September...HE GOT A TRIKE!! Alex wore a cast on his left arm for most of the month... not so much fun, lol. He decided he wanted to do chores ( that lasted the month of september, lol) He became Brooks' biggest fan on the football field at Baldwin and LOVED going to his games and cheering him on. Would show off occasionally with a special Alex dance or walking on track for crowd... He's a hotmess FO SHOW!
October..... his left arm really started showing signs of improvement. Was able to start bending his arm from elbow out. Never could do this before. I really feel like that left arm will come around .... I think God is saving that for his grand finale'!!
November... Alex had neuropsych evaluation where I was told that basically what he is today is what he will be for the rest of his life. I DID NOT LIKE THAT ANSWER, lol.... after being in a state of depression for 3 days, God decided to throw me another bone, ALEX TOOK A SHOWER BY HIMSELF!!! Alex was able to get up from the floor by himself no cane, no help... AMAZING leaps and bounds progression between October and November in physical and occupational therapy!!
December ...Baclofen pump trial was a HUGE SUCCESS!! Walks into therapy with NO CANE! He isn't allowed to use his cane at therapy and has been doing GREAT!
3 hours to live.... to TODAY... Thank you God for the many miracles you continue to bless us with on a daily basis. ALEX MICHAEL ROSS is definitely a MIRACLE!!
Sitting here, looking back... reflecting upon the past year... tears of joy and sadness falling. Bittersweet memories of what I miss and yes there are still those days that I MISS HIM... the old Alex! I catch him watching his video's online.... he smiles as he watches.. to me, so sad. He is flat, no emotion, turns to me and says... "we had a lot of food in our pantry back then". REALLY, LOL... that's what you get out of that, ha ha! He thinks it's funny when he watches but I don't think he quite knows how to express what he may or may not be feeling... sad to me. I have my moments... right now might be one of them. Even though I know I am truly thankful to have him alive and home and in the awesome condition he is in... I'm not dismissing all that, but I do still grieve the loss of MY old Alex Michael Ross and what he could have been. Maybe I'm just having one of those "pity parties" by myself lol. I have those days... they are getting fewer and fewer... I may never fully get over the void that is there, I can only hope that with time it gets easier and few and far between. I try to stay as positive as possible for Alex... he has only seen me cry about his condition once this year, on our ride home from the neuropsych evaluation in which I couldn't contain my emotions after hearing the doctors take on Alex. God has shown up on more than one occasion and continues to bless our family in more ways than one. One of my goals this year is to do more of Paying it Forward and blessing others as we have been blessed. It's our turn to give back in more ways than one! To start on Alex's documentary and book! FREE MOM TIME is what I need to accomplish that... may take a little longer than I originally anticipated, lol. I talked about getting Alex enrolled in atleast one college class but that is being placed on hold once again until we get this baclofen pump surgery out of the way and see what kind of set backs we have if any. Once he has that in place, I have to see what our therapy schedule will be as it may be a bit more intense than what we have now and I don't want him to miss out on school if we start. I should be hearing from the neurosurgeons soon to discuss the date of the surgery. I am very hopeful that we will see dramatic progress in that left arm and hand and it is my goal to see that Alex is walking without his cane by the end of next year! We still face obstacles on a daily basis... and yes we still deal with the whole HANDICAP BATHROOM issues, lol. Just dealt with it today at Walmart on Beach boulevard! Of course he is calling this lady out in the handicap stall and says... " I don't see any wheelchair wheels under there"... "ohhhhhhhhh my Goooood" he says! My little brain injured boy, lol... shhhhhhhhhhh "let it go" I say. CRAZY KID! There are days when Alex has an off day and we can't quite put a finger on why... neither can he. Hoping to get him another eye test to see if he has improved... also think he needs a hearing test because he blares the TV and I'm not sure if it's because he can't hear or he can't block out the noises around him to be able to focus on just the TV. He is able to sit thru an entire movie without going to the restroom (THANK YOU JESUS)... his attention spans seem to be getting longer and longer for different things... just depends on time, place and if it's somewhere he wants to be or somewhere I need him to be, lol. I just need to get across to his friends that even though he seems ok on the outside... he really isn't the same on the inside and he has NO THOUGHT PROCESS. He cannot think and act like he used to. Again.. if he thinks it, he says it and he does it without any rationalization. Does not see the end result or think about it. Now that I think about it... he didn't really do that before lol. Alex was always my daredevil... acting then suffering consequences later. Now... he is just flat. Sometimes it's a blessing. Sometimes not so much, lol. 2 years... WOW.... hard to believe that I haven't gone to a job outside of my home in two years...BUT I DO WORK 24-7 don't get me wrong, lol. Today I am very thankful to have ALEX very much alive NO MATTER the challenges we face or obstacles that get in our way. I welcome the obstacles knowing that it only makes me a stronger person and shows others that with Christ ... ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. I will continue to let my light shine, looking back fewer and further between, focusing on the positives as ALWAYS and embracing the new journey path that has been set before us. I'm learning forgiveness and letting go of hurt....something we all probably need to do sooner than later. Life isn't easy... no one said it would be. You never know when your phone call may come and I hope it never does. A parents worst nightmare... can happen when you least expect it. God is using us as an example... a tool if you will...and I hope that we continue to inspire all around us!! Alex Michael Ross... you are a true miracle of God... I love you with every beat of my heart and I am so very proud of you and all you have accomplished thus far. There is NO LIMIT to how far you can go.... God has a plan for you and I know in HIS TIME, YOU WILL DEFINITELY DO GREAT THINGS FOR HIM. Keep reaching for the stars and keep that beautiful smile on your face.... YOU GOT THIS!!
A huge thank you to all of my friends, family, prayer warriors and followers if you are still out there. I couldn't do this without your love and support. God knows when I need a lift and he sends angels my way with a little pep talk here and there or a girls day out :0) I know life goes on for all of you and you probably think that now we are home and it's been 2 years we are fine. And we are for the most part but we are far from normal. What is normal anymore, lol. Stress still plays a huge part in our every day life but we adjust on a day to day basis. Still baby steps but moving forward.. none the less! If you ever have an off day... just think about Alex and put a smile on your face. Even on my worst days of days I have to regroup and know that there is someone out there that has it worse than me... ALWAYS! On my worst day of days... you know what... LIFE IS GOOD!!! AMEN!
Thank you God for one more day with my Handsome boy!