Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Allie's Gait Trainer

I felt like my heart was going to burst. The Charming and Beautiful Susan and I spent time with Allie running around in our breeze way and side walk adjacent to our apartment. Allie grins and laughs and shrieks with joy. I don't really know what to do with my emotions so I just boss her around. "Lift 'em up, lift 'em up!" I shout in my nicest drill instructor voice.

What you'll see in the video below is this kid running around in a Pacer 502 gait trainer by Rifton. Allie needs coaching to help her focus on the job. She likes to just chill on the weekends but if I have to work, she has to work.

She has one of these rigs at school, too, and I'm pretty sure she's more responsive to her teachers and physical therapists than she is to mom and dad.

Kids are kids.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Thankful for Allie's School

Allie loves school. She likes riding the bus to school. She loves arriving at school. Allie loves her teachers. And they love her. So I love them.

They make sure Allie has plenty to do every day. One of the things they have her class involved in is a garden out behind her classroom.

If you look closely at the tray attached to Allie's chair, you'll see a large red disc. That's a button. When Allie pushes the button, she waters the plants.

Allie lets everybody know how excited she is to be outside in the garden with the power to water plants at her fingertips.

Another day out in the garden with one of Allie's favorite teacher's aide's.

Ready. Set. Spray.

Today Allie stands and helps water the plants growing our behind her classroom.

You can't believe how this makes my heart explode to watch her stand tall with assistance and enjoy doing some work.

Susan and I were reflecting over the weekend on some of the initial predictions about how life was going to be for Allie. One doctor was always particularly negative. When Allie was in a coma, he told me not to expect her to ever emerge from the coma. When she did come out of the coma, he told me to never expect that she would be much more than a vegetable. As Allie showed more and more promise, he expressed, reluctantly it seemed, surprise, but he told us to expect to have serious behavioral issues.

Allie continues to grow and exceed all anyone ever expected from her life. Her behavior is continually joy-filled expressions of affection and contagiously positive personality. I wish that doctor could see her now.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Ready for Christmas

This is Allie's eighth Christmas. She's come so far in the past few years — further than anyone ever thought she would. We're so proud of her and so blessed by her company. Blessed.

It says "Ready for Christmas" across the top of this picture. I shot this over a festive but fake poinsettia and Allie is surrounded by Christmas stockings tacked up all around. The one closest to her has Elmo popping out of it. The stocking next to Elmo is mine. I've had it since I was two or three years old. 

Our Christmas tree is out of the shot. Every morning when I get Allie out of bed, we walk out of the bedroom and switch the Christmas tree lights on while the living room is still dark. Allie gets so excited. This year is the second year we've done it this way. I can see this becoming a tradition for many years to come. We're not sure how much about this season Allie grasps, but we definitely want to do something different this time of year to help her set it apart from the rest of the year.

I miss my other two kids terribly. Last year was the first year we didn't have them here. Both Charity and Aaron have their own lives going on in very different parts of the country. Life has us apart for now. Hopefully, it will only be a short time before we are able to all be together again for Christmas.

Enjoy what you have this season. No matter what your circumstances are, do good.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Allie at the beach [VIDEO]

The Charming and Beautiful Susan shot this video at the beach in Melbourne, Florida.

Susan's parents just moved into a little house a block away from the beach so there should be a bunch more of these videos in the future.


Thursday, June 06, 2013

Our Recent Stay at Miami Children’s Hospital

We were at Miami Children's Hospital earlier this week to have a thorough MRI and video EEG. The goal was to capture good data about the seizures Allie has been having for the past few years.

Here are some findings.
Allie is having tonic seizures. Her seizures originate in her brain's right frontal lobe. Doctors arrived at this conclusion with data gathered from the MRI as well as analysis of video EEG information captured during two strong seizures Tuesday morning.

The original plan for our hospital stay was to be admitted from Monday through Friday of this week. But doctors on Allie’s case were able to collect all the data they needed on Monday and Tuesday to accurately diagnose and categorize Allie’s seizures.

We got to go home early and checked out Wednesday at noon.

Miami Children’s stands head and shoulders above the other Florida hospitals we’ve stayed in for these reasons:

  • They put the patients and their families first in each and every interaction. It’s obvious that this is a part of the corporate culture.
  • They are organized.
  • There is always a plan and they plan for adjustments to the plan.

When families are dealing with trauma and hardships with their children, these three things lighten the load. In fact, this demonstrates a cognizant effort on the hospital’s part to help shoulder the burden. This has tremendous therapeutic and healing affect on a family working through some of life’s most difficult trials – that is, children afflicted with sickness, disabilities, or injuries.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Center of the Universe


Beauty times two.


I feel like I know what it is to have everything a man could ever want. When I look into these faces, I know that I’m loved.


Such a beautiful face.


This picture was taken as I rocked Allie in our giant rocking recliner. Sometimes she fidgets when I hold her, but in this picture, she is just at peace laying across my lap. I love to make her feel safe and loved.


Beauty and the beast. We all know which is which.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Happy Action Allie


The Charming and Beautiful Susan caught Allie, in this action photo, having way too much fun.