Day 7 – Santa Claus Comes To….See Caleb!

Caleb's Dad ~ 17th November 2010

We began the morning at about 8:30am with getting up, getting Caleb dressed and getting ready to go to therapy.  When we have speech therapy first thing in the morning it is a little easier for us, as speech therapy (at least until tomorrow morning) is about eating correctly and helping Caleb along in getting back to eating like he used to.  This morning his breakfast consisted of pureed pancakes, bananas, and grits. As we’ve said before, he loves to eat, and this morning was no exception.  He loved breakfast! He ate a whole pancake as well as all of his banana.  He had a little trouble with the grits (the texture was a little gritty and they kept getting stuck to the front of his mouth), but he was able to eat them and he never got choked.

After a good full tummy we went to occupational therapy, where the focus has become mainly about getting Caleb to recognize and use his left side (ever since the injury he has favored the right side, turning to the right side, looking to the right side, moving with the right side, etc.). So part of his therapy is sitting on a ball, practicing his bouncing and balancing while John, the therapist, moved and rocks him off his center of gravity, causing Caleb to work on rebalancing himself. John was impressed as he said that every day Caleb just gets better and better with his balance.  He is also gaining strength in his left side as well and starting to venture off and use the left, look to the left, and generally use the left when he is at play. Today Caleb didn’t get to sit on the ball as much as he has had trouble the past two days with really bad constipation, which has kept him up at night, and today he has been in pain a lot from it.  He wound up laying and rocking back and forth on the ball. After a few minutes of tummy pain, Caleb let us know that he had had enough and started crying, no doubt from the pain in his tummy.  Mommy cuddled him and we went on to lay him down.  The nurse also gave him some medicine for the constipation.

So later, after a little nap (and a little tummy relief once his medicine worked), he was off to physical therapy. In therapy he banged on a big drum for a little while, used a rain stick, and once again I got to roll the ball back and forth with him.  He is much more alert than he used to be, though still unable to do things on command and barely able to pick things up and do things like rolling a ball. He is doing all of these things with assistance, but again, he is improving and getting better with them every day.

The rest of the day was a little off schedule.  We had a break from 11:00-1:30pm.  Caleb was still very irritable from the constipation, so he stayed in bed most of the time,resting, and crying some.  We have also been having problems with the cafeteria bringing Caleb’s food late, and today they came so late that he didn’t even get to eat before his therapy—a problem we are working on. We gave him a little snack to tie him over and went to physical therapy.

At physical therapy Kristin told us that a bulk of the remainder of his therapy will focused on walking. And so again today he was to do his favorite activity—ride the tricycle! She strapped on his little helmet, strapped his feet to the peddles, got him to hold on to the handle bars, and off he went!  Kristin was quickly impressed to see the difference in Caleb from this time and the last time he was on the tricycle. Last time he had to be strapped to the seat and held upright, and he never tried to push the peddles with his feet.  He also didn’t go very far.  This time he was not only able to sit up completely by himself, balancing himself on the tricycle seat, but he also pushed with his feet on the peddles! This was news to us because he didn’t even do much of that before the accident! He was just learning how to ride the tricycle. Yet again our little man surprised us and the therapist.  He not only rode by himself sitting upright (as Kristin was staying nearby and pulling him along), but he also went for a long ride, all around the third floor.

Next, after a long deserved dinner, we caught news that Santa Clause had come to town and wanted to see Caleb!  Santa is so cool, because he always knows where you are.  We went down to The Zone, the activity center for the hospital and there he was, long white hair, white beard, and all. Santa wasn’t wearing his traditional garb—apparently choosing a lighter more autumn attire for the times where he is appearing places that are less chilly. It was interesting to see Caleb with Santa.  In the past before his injury, Caleb was like most children when they are faced the prospect of being forced to sit in the lap of a very big stranger who is wearing something a little strange…he would always cry.  This time, much like the experience with the dog, he wasn’t sure whose lap he was sitting in at first.  He moved his hand up to get a feel of Santa’s beard, with a very uneasy look on his face.  I can’t help but wonder if he was thinking, “Now wait a minute, daddy gets scruffy, but not that scruffy!” After a few moments of hearing Santa’s voice, Caleb was sure that it wasn’t one of us and started to cry.  However, before leaving Santa we got a few good pics.  We told Santa what Caleb would like for Christmas and to be safe in his journey back to the North Pole.

Because of Caleb’s irritability and sleeping in, missing his music time, we decided to make up for it by attending a Children’s Music concert that was being held that evening at The Zone.  We went down there and listened to a few songs. But after a few minutes it was clear that Caleb was done for the night.  He was crying and wanting to cuddle and was generally in a lot of discomfort from being tired and constipated.

We came back to the room, and after a time of cuddling he seemed to feel a little better.  Instead of having our normal play time on the mat, on the floor, we decided to lay out the mat and just have some good old kissing, cuddling, and tickle time. Caleb loved it! We have written numerous times now of Caleb laughing, but nothing prepared us for the deep down belly laughs that we were hearing from him tonight.  I would raise his shirt, catch his eye, and say, “I’m gonna get your belly, belly, belly…” and then proceed to blow, kiss, and tickle his belly.  He just laughed and laughed, loving every second of it.  Mommy would do the same.  It’s kind of hard not to laugh when mommy and daddy are tag teaming and winning the tickle fights. J The laughing was so good and so long that we got our video camera out and taped about 5 minutes of it! I wish that we had the ability to upload video from the hospital to YouTube so I could show everyone, but the firewall here at the hospital won’t allow it.  But we had a blast, and for a few minutes it seemed that Caleb was able to focus with his eyes.

That’s the last thing that I will comment on. We have been praying earnestly for Caleb’s eyes, and I think the prayers are certainly working.  We are having intermittent times where Caleb seems to be able to focus more and to see things.  We saw some of that today during Caleb’s therapy and play time with us.  We continue to ask people to pray for his sight, speech, and ability to “wake up” more and be more alert and interactive with his surroundings. These are all things that take time, and certainly your attentiveness to bringing these things to the attention of our Daddy in heaven will help things tremendously.


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  1. Chuck Payne

    November 19th, 2010 at 3:41 am

    How wonderful is the picture of his laughing!!!

    I can’t help but to think of how just a few days ago we ALL were praying in concern that Caleb would be able to breath and swallow on his own and now your updates are regarding what he’s eatten, his riding a tricycle and his laughter. Oh I am SO humbled… Our prayers ARE known to Him and God Is Answering and Providing SO abundantly. Such a Blessing to Behold, as God is SO worthy of our Praise and our Gratitude!

    Such Amazing Grace!!

  2. Darlajune

    November 19th, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Oh, this makes me so happy!! We are still praying for Caleb at Holy Resurrection Church in Lincoln IL and now particularly for his sight and speech, every evening at Vespers 5:30 PM
    Thank you so much, Tim, for these updates. It is such a blessing to know how you and your family are clinging to God through this trial.
    In my own life, some of the worst times have turned out to be some of the best times and I hope that this experience will be the same for you, Tiffany, Colton, Caleb, and Connor.

  3. Kristy JOhnson

    November 23rd, 2010 at 8:32 pm


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