By Jonah Rhodes-
“I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.”
― Abraham Lincoln
― Abraham Lincoln
We live in a day and age where if something isn't completed at the speed of light, we think something is wrong. To some degree, I had this mentality with the progress Nash was making. His progress has been steady; we have been very blessed that he has always progressed and never gone backward. This is not luck, it has taken work.
Sometimes as parents, we compare our children to the “norm.” I have found myself doing that with Nash. I would see other one year olds and see all that they could do and would, at times, struggle with the "Why can’t Nash do that?" question in my mind. I would catch myself and then remind myself that while Nash may have been one at the time, he was adjusted to an eight and a half or nine month old child's abilities. Progress can be slow at first, but as we are seeing, when the wheels of progress get rolling, they can move very quickly. In the last few months, we have seen a lot of progress in Nash’s life.
Nash was born with many problems. I won’t go into ALL of that. But one was his clubbed foot. We have always known that at some point, we would have to address this with a specialist and get it corrected. So a little over three months ago, we met with the wonderful Dr. Herring from Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas, Texas. I can't say enough good about this man. Such a gentle and kind man, he treated Nash with the Ponseti Method, which is the most common method. We were told that after a period of casting, he would be fitted with braces that had a bar for his feet and would be required to wear them for 23 hours a day for the first three months, then less and less over a period of a year or more. Two weeks ago, we went to Scottish Rite to be fitted for the braces, but much to our surprise and relief, Dr. Herring informed us he would only need a simple splint to be worn with a normal shoe. They fitted Nash for his splint and told us to go buy him some shoes. So, Nash is now the proud owner of a very stylish splint and a rockin' pair of Nikes.
The biggest progress Nash has made has been with is lung development and the weaning time off the ventilator. When he came home nearly a year ago, he was not only on a ventilator full time, but he was also on oxygen full time, as well. In November of 2012, he was weaned off oxygen and hasn't needed it again. Since then, he has gone to Vent Clinic monthly to get check-ups; each month there where little signs of progress, sometimes not truly measurable progress, but progress nonetheless. A couple months ago at his check up, the doctor told us Nash only needed the ventilator night while sleeping. We were overjoyed with this news! Now we would be able to take Nash out more! Those who have dealt with a child on a vent know it’s not the easiest task in the world to take their child anywhere outside of the home. This last week Nash had another check-up with his doctor. He was super pleased with Nash's progress and said it was time for a sleep study. Nash will go for a sleep study rd, and if the doctor likes what he sees, Nash will be taken off the vent for good. This day has seemed like it would never come. Sometimes Progress Road can be hard and long, but the end result will be worth it.
For those who are just starting the journey or might be years into the journey, I encourage you to keep going. At times it will seem like you are spinning your wheels, but I assure you, as long as you're moving forward, it doesn't matter how quickly you finish the race, the prize of success will still be just as sweet as if you had run at lighting speed or crawled all the way. In the end, you can still say, "We did it!"