Monday, May 7, 2007
Day One at Conductive Learning - Grand Rapids
We actually got here yesterday at around 2 p.m. After about a 2 1/2 hour drive, which wasn't too bad because Brittany and Tori were there to entertain us on the way. Lonnie followed in the other car, and the girls ended up driving home with him around 7 p.m.
I didn't realize how lonely it would get with just me and Daniel. I mean I'm with Daniel every day so why would being here be any different? Oh but it is, today (Monday) not even a full 24 hours alone and I'm in tears. I suppose that is on top of going to CLC today. Which by the way went good, aside from the crying episodes that everyone in the class went through. Plus.....this time I'm just emotional. I wanted to cry during the class. It is so sad to see these little babies with these horrible things wrong with them. It's not their fault and it just plain sucks to see them have to struggle to just do the normal things in life. It just rips my heart out, not just Daniel, but the other two in the class also. They were all smiles and happy little babies, and they have to do all this crap and be away from their families and who they are comfortable around, and they have to work so hard. It just sucks.
Ok lets start with the Ronald McDonald House. It is very nice here. The people seem very cool. There are a total of 7 families that are here for CLC, the rest are for other children's hospitals and things in the area. I have only met a few of the CLC families so far abut I do know that Daniel is the youngest one in the house. We met Joseph (8 yrs old from PA), Alyssa (9 yrs old from Canada) and her sister Victoria (who is just tagging along). Our room is on the small side but of course it is just Daniel and I, and we have our own bathroom. Thank goodness we aren't here in the middle of summer because there is no air conditioning!! LOL. We have one small window but I am closing it at night as it is off the front porch. I was smart, we brought a fan just because I like the sound of it at night.
There are rules at the Ronald House, no food out of the kitchen area....this tends to stink, also no beverage unless you have bottled water. NOTHING ELSE!! If you know me, you know I like my diet coke, and we will let it be known that right now, as we speak I am going through withdrawals!!
Conductive Learning Center: Well I managed to find it driving on my own. Although if I wanted there is a shuttle that the RMD house provides people who are staying here. They will take you where ever you need to go. They have everything here, food in the pantry (don't have to go out) they have the car seats, highchairs, you name it they have it for you. Anyways, back to CLC. Our teacher is Hungarian and is difficult to understand but Daniel thinks she is funny so I guess that is all that matters. She told us her name but for the life of me I can't remember how to pronounce it. I do know it translates into Georgia. There was a student also there to help from the Aquinas College named Liz. There are 3 children including Daniel in the class. One child, Gramm, had spina bifida. Then there is a little girl who is 13 mos old who has the exact same thing as Daniel (BPP) but has never had the seizures. Of course like the doctors say each child is different that has this. She is here from Mass. she is also tagged with the diagnosis of CP (Quad). It is sad, but then again it is comforting to know that there are others out there like Daniel. Gramm can walk with his walker. Actually Daniel is the only newbie in the class as the other ones have been there before and said that they see a lot of results.
It is very much like a class setting. We practiced with the standing and then pulling with our arms to pull our bodies along. Also pushing away from a table, and walking with the aid of the slatted chair. Then they also put each child on his/her own potty. Not necessarily to potty train them, although it does help, but also to teach them to balance on the potty and to learn to stand up from the potty. Although Daniel didn't go potty, he did like sitting there and playing with the bubbles! Then they had snack time and practiced feeding themselves. I will have to say I felt like a horrible parent because I haven't taught Daniel these types of things. To be self sufficient. I have been doing all this stuff for him, but practicing the types of therapy that we do at home. Then we did some crawling and pulling themselves up on the backs of chairs. Hard work! Kills my back I'll tell you that much.
Anyways that is it for the first day, trying to get out of my slump and stop the emotions. Very lonely, very scary, very everything. Most families here know each other and have come with their families. Daniel and I.....we have to stick it out, and hopefully it will pay off.