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Part III-Cole

14 Dec

Most mornings run the same for me…wake up, make coffee, make breakfast, say goodbye to Esther who now drives herself to school, and then enjoy the relief that comes from what I call ‘my morning constitutional’ (which of course is a natural bodily function and not a walk around the block).  Now in my fantasy world, I like to believe that my morning constitutional is a private affair–meaning that my family members know and respect that the time in the bathroom is sacred and should not be interrupted.  But as most moms know, once you cross the threshold of motherhood, boundaries such as privacy while on the latrine become obsolete.  So yesterday morning, while in my fantastical privacy-land, I heard footsteps approaching my bathroom door.  Next I heard the voice of my adult son and this is what he said, “Mom, as Esther was leaving this morning she said something funny and I smirked.”

“How did Cole progress while in his second week of acupuncture therapy?”, you ask…well, he smirked!  While writing this phenomenal action I feel the same type of bondage I felt yesterday morning when he spoke it through the door; for this type of NEWS should be shouted and celebrated.  We should gather hands and in a circle, do a dance of some sort, while chanting “he smirked, he smirked” over and over again.  And just like yesterday morning, when I was bound to the porcelain by certain sanitary requirements and could not immediately jump up and give my son a hug, I am bound, through this post, to only relay the words as he spoke them without the attachment of his nor my enthusiasm.  Such is the life in prose!

So let me break it down for you in the simplest, yet the most magnificent of terms…Cole’s cranial nerves are discovering new pathways of communication.  And it is through the marvelous therapeutic approach of Dr. Zhu and Dr. Moyee that this is happening!  We are beyond excited because once the nerves discover a new pathway, the communication will just continue to grow and strengthen.  Thus, while here at home, Cole is continuing the intensive eye and face exercises that he learned up north.  And on Thursday (of this week) we will follow up with Dr. Jing Li the acupuncturist here in Irvine who originally referred us to Dr. Zhu.

Other improvements noted in a weeks time:

  • Improved balance, such as, in beginning of week Cole couldn’t ride the stationary bike without holding onto something,  by Friday he needed nothing for support.
  • Better control of left eye lateral movement.
  • Right eye becoming more centered.
  • Double vision decreasing, meaning, the two objects are moving closer together.
  • The distance from his face that a given object remains one, is further out than in beginning of week.
  • Eye lid closure nearly 100%.
  • Increased moisture in the eyes, which means decreased usage of eye drops (which used to be employed every half hour to an hour).
  • Nausea completely diminished.
  • Stomach acid over production decreasing.
  • Improved stamina and endurance.

And with yesterday’s news I can add to the list that Cole is feeling muscle twitching and movement in his face.  The smile he so longs to have is not far from reach…EXCITING STUFF!!!  In addition to this treasure trove of good news, today we received the hard-copy book of the ‘CarePages’ material (I had ordered it a couple of weeks ago).  All Brian and I could do was sigh when looking at the first page.  It has been quite a year and Cole has come so very far!

Next up, Cole has his follow up MRI’s this coming Saturday morning.  And just to irritate me, I am feeling quite emotional.  What you don’t know is that my emotional sensitivity was tripped off last week when Cole and I decided to watch, what we thought would be a hilarious movie, called 50/50.  We knew going into it that it was centered around a young man who discovers he has a malignant tumor in his spine.  And though the movie promoted itself to lean more toward the humor involved in the cancer scenario, there is just no getting around the gravity of the life changing situation.  Turns out it was a little too soon for the both of us to take in.  Now the carepages book has arrived, and well, I’m all messed up!  Aaaahhhh, but this is Part III-Cole, so never you mind about me.  Cole is doing just fine.  PRAISE THE LORD!!! (and pass the ammunition–just kidding) 😉

A New Believer–Rivka

11 Dec

The swallows have returned safely home to San Juan Capistrano.  The swallows, of course, being myself, Cole, and Piper (the dog).  And because I have three different tales to tell, I will break the postings up accordingly…so as to not overwhelm your eye balls.  This first posting is the “Rivka” part; and while there will be crossover integration between the three stories, in this post, I am the protagonist.

On Thursday we moved to a different hotel.  It was a lateral move financially, but location, location, location!  It was a better location, immediately behind the clinic with an enclosed courtyard grounds.  It also had an enclosed pool and jacuzzi area.  And for me, it was the best decision ever.  I would have moved earlier in the week, however, ALL area hotels were booked solidly until Thursday…some kind of corporate convention.  Being that I am the one who took Piper out in the wee early, dark mornings; as well as the one who took her out for the last opportunity of the night to do her “small-business”, the enclosed grounds made both of our lives 100% better.  The earlier hotel had no grounds and was not in the best area of San Jose.  Thus, I found myself looking over my shoulder while trying to encourage the dog to “get on with it”.  At the new hotel I could take her off leash and she got her business done right away…small and large.  AAAAhhhhhhhhh….I tell you, relief for her was also relief for me!

Moving on…

Most of you know that I suffer from Migraine headaches.  Sometimes they come on with no warning–from the weather or such, and sometimes they are quite predictable.  In fact, I have a sure-fire recipe for getting a migraine:

  1. Lack of sleep, or constant interrupted sleep (which equals the lack of).
  2. Continual stress, such as traveling with a fairly new canine companion and a special needs son.
  3. Stressful driving circumstances, i.e. an eight hour drive (though I did it in 6) with the last couple of hours being at night–in traffic.

Now when I awoke yesterday morning I had already had a full week of numbers 1 and 2.  I also had the beginnings of a bad headache, which I knew that with #3 integrated into the equation would yield a suffering in the head that could land me in the hospital at about the time I would be hitting Los Angeles.  Our plan, yesterday, was for Cole to have his final session in the morning and then we would head for home right after lunch.  And I confess I was nervous for what I knew was coming my way.  In fact, I was planning scenarios in which I could help myself through the inevitable…I could drive to my Aunt Susie’s in Encino and stay the night with ice packs on my head, then finish the trek home this morning; though I wasn’t sure how she would feel about Piper in her domicile.  Or, I could have Brian and Esther drive and meet me in L. A. and Brian could drive my car while Esther follows in hers and I lie down in the back.  But those scenarios, I knew, were reactionary options.  I knew I had a proactive option right in front of me, and though I have been witness to the positive effects of acupuncture for Cole, I was still reluctant to have it done for myself.  When it comes to physical pain, I am a baby…I just don’t have the time for it (sing it Carly).  But this situation felt desperate, so I asked if Dr. Zhu had the time to help me.  And help me he did!  He was so kind, especially knowing how nervous I was.  He put the needles, strategically in my head, after asking where the pain was coming from.  He felt how tight my shoulder and neck muscles were and added a few needles in to help loosen those areas.  He checked on me, had me rest, and continued to care for Cole and his other patients at the same time.  When I went to check out and pay, the front office girl, Lisa, told me there would be no charge for my treatment.

What you need to know is that I have taken all kinds of medicine for headaches/migraines.  I know the varying levels of pain, some functional and some not.  I knew, yesterday morning, that nothing that I could take would alter the difficulty awaiting my horizon of driving in Los Angeles at night.  I might make it home, but I would be ill for potentially the entire week–at the very least!  So you can imagine my delight when, with needles still intact, I made the drive home without an ounce of pain, discomfort, or exhaustion.  And this morning, here I am typing a new post without a headache, even though my recipe for one was perfectly constructed.  I have no side effects from medication present in my body, and I feel good.

The question to ask now is, why I waited so long?!  What a dope I have been…allowing fear to keep me from health.  Fear, in any form, is just dumb.  I am a convert, and I will follow up with Dr. Jing Li here in Irvine.  THANK YOU DR. ZHU AND DR. MOYEE, thank you Dr. Li for referring us.  Thank you friends and family for supporting our pilgrimage.  Now you can listen, if you haven’t already, to the song included in this post, with a new understanding of why I chose for it to be here.

P.s. As the Lord would have it, our Chinese doctors are believers in the Lord Most High–no idols were in our presence–just people allowing their G-d given gifts to be used for the good of humanity.  And today I am grateful to be a human.

K9 Krunchies

8 Dec

Well lets talk about how we are doing…

First you need to know that I must be absolutely the most crazy person I know.  I mean, as if life isn’t difficult enough with just the every day reality in which I live, but to bring a dog along in the mix is just outrageously nuts!!!  I have discussed more dog parks with strangers than I can count and keep track of.  I am, in addition to assisting my son in his treatments and out, wrangling a ‘she wolf’.  So much so that my other non-broken fingers are trembling with fear every time I have to put on and take off Piper’s chain collar–the culprit of my first broken appendage.  But it is now Wednesday and I am happy to report that I, and my digits, are surviving.  What, you want to talk about Cole?  Cole who?  Did you not come to this place to read only about me?!  Isn’t this blog, after all, called “BentRivka”???

Ok, ok, I get it, Cole is the star of this story.  So to him I turn my focus…

Cole is, hands down, one of the strongest people I know.  He has a tolerance that puts me (and many others quite frankly) to shame.  He is working out with needles all over his head, and sometimes face, for 3 hours straight.  I have taken a photo of him today on the exercise bicycle.  While on the bike he is working on coordination for his left leg, as well as his ability to balance.  To work on balance, he puts his arms in different positions while cycling with his legs.  This exercise is quite easy for me to do (and probably most of you), which just goes to show how much of Cole’s physical abilities have been robbed.

Now regarding what we are seeing with the acupuncture this week.  Here is my analogy of the situation as a whole.  Let’s imagine we are on a hike and our first leg of the trail involves a steep incline, this means we reach the top quickly.  Then, while still ascending, our next hill is a more gradual incline thus the top is reached at a slower pace.  You probably get the picture by now…the first week of treatment the results were phenomenal, immediate, and miraculous.  This week, while Cole is most definitely still progressing & miracles still abound, the results are more gradual and therefore perceived more slowly.  But be assured, progress is still the course.  In this you can most definitely rely because it has been an exceptionally trying week for me (see first paragraph, and read between the lines), and if progress was not happening, I can promise you I would be sleeping in my own bed this very night instead of spending another night in our little dumpy hotel (though I love the staff).

One more thing…when I am struggling with a low disposition, I think on the Lord and His goodness.  I focus on the MANY aspects of life for which I am grateful, AND I count the blessings of, not just my little world, but of the entire world.  When I do this, my spirit soars.  And when my spirit is soaring I can honestly say, “You’ve got me feeling so fly!”.

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