Hello friends & Hello blog,
I’ve been missing you! Today I was reminded just how lucky we are when I saw my Memories from one year ago today… This is what was going on in our world just 365 days ago. It was a really scary moment in time for us and I have been meaning to give a little update on our best little boy.
Mitchell Dennis is now TWO and doing great! We celebrated in January with a rockin party, Elmo style!
In just 365 days, Mitchell has really come a long way and we are SO proud of him! I was reminded a few weeks ago during an Open Play at our favorite kid spot, Rolly Pollies. Mitchell went in the bounce house and loved it! He was bouncing with a bunch of other giddy toddlers, climbing up the ladder and whizzing down the slide. It was a proud moment. I couldn’t help but think back to last spring when I was next to him in a similar bounce house and it all became too much for him… the other kids, the noise, the heat, the slide… his little body responded by shutting down and then going into a seizure. We rushed him home, cooled him down and then he slept about 11 hours. He recovered by the next morning. Us, not so much. We were a wreck.
For most of 2016 we walked on eggshells. Some days Mitchell would be completely fine, then other days he would experience 4-5 pass-out episodes in a 24 hour period with occasional seizures and an occasional hypoxic shock states. The episodes would tire him out so much that we would have to drop everything and get him home so that he could nap it off. Leaving the house seemed daunting. The Cleveland Clinic kept telling us that he would be fine and that he would outgrow it, but we were still terrified. He was our baby boy and we just couldn’t seem to keep him safe.
Then our pre-school suggested that we call for early intervention services (thank you Childrens Kastle!). We had no idea that this existed so we did some research and set up his evaluation. Given his challenges, he qualified. It felt SO GREAT to actually have some control over a scary part of life… talk about a game changer! Mitchell started working with up to 2 therapists a week to help him improve his coping skills as well as his verbal skills, and we have noticed some really positive changes! His therapists are wonderful and gave us the analogy of a stop light… he’s good on green, and okay on yellow, but he’s not good on Red. If he gets too overwhelmed or stressed on Red his body shuts down and it causes an episode. So now we have a number of tools to use to help him avoid Red Light moments. And it’s working!!
Perhaps he is improving because of his age, but I attribute a tremendous amount of his improvement to his team of therapists. His confidence has grown substantially – way to go buddy! And they have given us tools and wisdom to keep our little boy on Green.
So now, we are slowly getting back to regular life. We might sign Mitchell up for toddler soccer this summer and we may even let him ride his trike without 54 layers of bubble wrap… or maybe not. For those of you who know Denny, you know that he is Captain Safety. 🙂 But we’re definitely figuring out how to manage fear and still have fun. He loves hanging out with his big sis and his big cousins and he will do anything to keep up with them!
We are absolutely counting our lucky stars, and I have a feeling this summer is going to be a good one. Here’s to spring and here’s to hope! For those of you going through tough days, just keep swimming!
Lots of Love,