Day 8 – Caleb…What Did You Say?

Caleb's Dad ~ 18th November 2010

One of my favorite things I always like doing at home is getting to go into Caleb’s room on Saturday mornings and waking him up.  During the week I am always off to work early in the morning so I don’t usually get to have that privilege.  But on the weekend this is usually how it goes. I open the door to Caleb’s room and the door was never put on right when we got the house, so it is a little tight.  When you open it makes a cracking noise as the back of the door hits up against the wall facing—another one of those honey-do list kinds of things that “I will get to” one of these days.  But I open the door and as soon as Caleb hears the sound he usually jumps up.  He’s always been a light sleeper.  As he sits up he has that oh so sleepy look on his face as he then rubs his eyes with his little fisted hands, as most kids do.  He then reaches around groggily and hands me a couple of toys that he would like me to take with him, and then his blanket, and then the best part…he throws his hands up an a silent “Ok daddy get me know” kind of motion.  Its then when I usually hear the words, “I want eat daddy…I want eat.” As I have said in numerous posts…our little man is an eater.

This morning I had those thoughts in mind as I turned on the soft light to wake Caleb up to get him ready for another day of therapy. As I turned on the light he slowly began to rouse. I knew that I wouldn’t hear the words, “I want eat daddy,” but I was so glad to see his little face, peacefully sleeping away…again so awed and thankful that God let him stay with us and blessed us with his continued healing.

After morning breakfast (maple and brown sugar oatmeal…Caleb’s favorite…which he had great by the way), we headed off to physical therapy. In physical therapy today we focused on sitting on the bouncy ball for balance, which Caleb was able to sit up on his own and rebalance himself when the therapist moved him off balance, he kept his head up as he laid face down on the foam wedge (a tool they use for strengthening the neck muscles and upper back muscles for head control) with his head and upper body extended over the wedge, and he also got to ride the tricycle again.  We can tell he loves the tricycle because every time he gets on it, he gets better and better.  This time he got on it and was able to push the peddles almost completely on his own! He balanced himself and loved the ride.  He also practiced walking again, and to the surprise of the therapist, he began kicking his left leg out on his own.  This is a little strange being that it was his left side that was the most affected side.  But nevertheless he is showing signs of strengthening and his left leg today was the proof.  We used the same technique again today…I was on the far side of the room as the “prize” and mommy held his hands and coached him as he took each step.  The therapist provided support from behind, and step by step, he made it all across the room, and as he made it to daddy he finished his last step with a smile and loved the attention he got with his big hugs and kisses.

In occupational therapy we worked on much of the same kinds of things.  John used a body strapping called Theratogs to help Caleb recognize his right side.  One of the problems that Caleb has been facing is that since he was injured on the right side of the brain, his left side was the most affected.  He tends to not pay attention to his left side, often turning his body in his wheelchair to the left, seeing better out of his right eye and turning his head to the right, using his right hand to drink from the sippy cup, etc. (oh by the way, I think I forgot to mention yesterday that he learned how to drink from a sippy cup again!!!) So the Theratogs are designed to help you feel pressure on that left side and get him to recognize it more during therapy. His therapy today consisted of more riding of the ball, and more focus on walking.  We also worked on his sitting from side to side, using his left arm and hand and right arm and hand to balance himself.

After therapy we came back to the room and Caleb crashed!  The therapy has really been working him hard, as well as mom and dad too! I had been planning on catching up with these posts earlier when Caleb took his nap, but I too found myself slipping off to sleepy town as I was sitting here with my fet propped up in the chair.  So we all took a nice family nap before afternoon therapy.

One thing I did want to mention here was about Caleb’s emotional state of being. Before our nap we were visited by a neurospycologist that came by to talk to us a little about Caleb’s future with learning and how we will need to work with them in terms of his time leading up to school.  As we were told, children who suffer brain injuries like Caleb’s often suffer various types of learning of behavioral disabilities, and often special programs are needed to help aid these chidren in the process through school.  This of course is a premature discussion and one meant only to orient us to the fact that this information is out there and is something that we will be looking into one day. The thing that was great to hear is that Caleb is doing great with his emotional well beging.  The sphycologist told us that often when she evaluates children, they often come to therapy uable to be in touch or regulate their emotiona.  She said that they often stay angry, or stay sad and cry often, being inable to be consoled by a parent. Caleb however, she said, was doing great.  He laghes when he is supposed to laugh, cries when he is supposed to cry, and when he cries, he is able to be calmed by mommy and daddy’s hugs and cuddling. The meeting gave us a lot of things to keep in mind, as well as a boost of encouragement that Caleb was doing well in another facet of his recovery.

After nap time we were off to speech therapy. Speech therapy had been up until today mainly about getting Caleb to learn how to eat again.  Today however began the added work on his vocalization and learning how to talk. The therapist was very encouraged by how she saw Tiffany and I interact with Caleb.  She said that all the things that she tells parents to do to help foster speech in their children, we were already doing, things like…singing familiar songs like Itsy Bitsy Spider, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Jesus Loves Me, etc. and then stopping at certain points with certain words, waiting for Caleb to “fill in the blank” so to speak. We also play familiar games like “Get Your Nose,” or daddy’s ever famous “Punch Dad In The Nose And Laugh At It” game. We also like to do the “Indian Yell” thing where you move the hand over the mouth over and over again, making the “Indian” sound. And lastly and my personal favorite, the “Hey Caleb, gimme a kiss.” And then when he acts like he doesn’t want to give you a kiss or pay attention to you, acting like you are crying…”Boo Hoooooooooo,” …it gets him every time! He hears the fake crying, smiles real big, then turns to you and gives you a big kiss!

All of these things, plus the sign language that we always do with our kids, the therapist said, help foster language in children, and are better than any therapy that she as a stranger could do with him.  We were proud to know that we were doing all we could for Caleb, and as we always do, pray for the day when we get to hear his sweet voice again…which by the way, new news on that…but I will save the best news for last.  On we go….

In physical therapy we focused on crawling, sitting up on the knees, and then sitting upright on the knees, as well as sitting on the floor with his arm and hand to the left, and then to his right. We also focused on walking which again, Caleb is continuing to improve.

By the time we wrapped up the day with music therapy, Caleb was quite tired.  Caleb is not so sure what to do in music therapy.  I am not sure if he remembered the play time we used to do with music or not.  He hasn’t yet tried to hit any of the drums or shake any of the shakers.  Today he mostly tried to hide behind my shoulder and put the drum sticks in his mouth.  I mentioned before that he is in that baby stage right now where everything goes into his mouth.  Of course it probably didn’t help matters that his drum stick was long and had a multi colored rubber ball on it, making it look like the yummiest lollipop ever seen.  Bit overall music is where we have seen the least amount of participate with Caleb so far.

After therapy we came back to the room, rested a little, and then had dinner.  Caleb again ate a great dinner, so much so we found out another piece of good news when the nurse came in.  Over the next 4 days we are supposed to report exactly how much Caleb eats that way they can figure the amount needed to give him through his feeding tube.  The good news is that the rule of thumb states that if you eat over 50% of your food, then you don’t need your overnight feeding. Well, Caleb is definitely eating over 50%, and in some cases he is eating near 90%, and so tonight the nurse said he won’t need his feeding tube feeding! Woo Whoo!  We are so excited about this because, as they have told is, if he can do ok without the tube for 3 months, then he won’t have to have it, and then they will remove it.  We are so excited for out little man.  He is doing great in the eating department.  In fact he is doing so great that in the morning they are going to push Caleb a little bit more.  Instead of giving him pureed food, they are going to order him a mashed tray—food that is just mashed up—a step up from the pureed food.  They tested his chewing out today to see how he would do by giving him some baby puffs.  He loved them, and chewed them up with no problem at all.

After dinner we laid the mat on the floor and played some.  As usual we integrated a lot of the day’s therapy into our play routine, and kept it fun and full of laughs as we went.  Instead of balancing on the ball, he was balancing on daddy’s tummy.  Instead of sitting on his knees in front of the counselor’s thighs, he was sitting on his knees with his hands on daddy’s chest. Instead of pushing on the floor with his hands, he would push and pull on daddy’s hands as I pushed and pulled him back and forth on my lap, getting his neck and tummy every time I pulled him up. We went over each movement for the day, even making standing and sitting into a game.  We had a beautiful time together.  And the laughing…oh how I love the laughing! That is the one thing that typifies our home…the sweet sounds of our children laughing and playing.  I am so thankful for the laughter.

And now finally, the big news.  Just as we have seen him start to see more, at least with his right eye, he started tonight to vocalize more.  As we were playing and as he was vocalizing with the laughter.  He also did a little extra sound from his voice.  After a long hard laugh, he would say, “Ahhhhhhhhhhhh,” and then go right back into another laugh. Over and over again, he would laugh, and say, “Ahhhhhhhhhh” and then laugh some more.  We were so excited!!! The therapist earlier said that we would see a progression toward talking, just like that.  And again it is like going back through the stages.  First they make sounds, then they vocalize and make long strung out noises, then they begin to put sounds together and say things like dada and momma, and then they begin to learn words. He has already made sounds twice outside of laughing, one of which was earlier when I was playing with him at speech therapy, and it sounded like (wasn’t sure if it was this or not), but it sounded like he said “noooooooo.”

So to close tonight, I have to thank you.  I have to thank you for the continued prayers and how much you have made yourself a part of our family.  And of course I am talking about the many thousands who have prayed and who have continued to pray for our little Caleb.

And so we close the book on another day of little miracles.  God bless to all. Good night.

094Would you consider adding Caleb to your church and personal prayer lists? Also a fund has been set up to help offset Caleb's ongoing medical expenses and related costs. Thank you for your love and support! Donations via PayPal can be made by clicking here: 

Paypal_button1

26 Comments

  1. Gayle Oliver

    November 19th, 2010 at 12:29 am

    It’s such a blessing, daily, to read your updates …

    God bless you all … Continued prayers …

    <3 <3

  2. Sònia de Jaime, Barcelona (Spain)

    November 19th, 2010 at 2:39 am

    You seem to be around a great team of professionals! I really thanks for that too!

  3. November 19th, 2010 at 4:12 am

    Caleb is blessed to have you two as parents. It is good to see him progressing so quickly. He is a daily inspiration to me and so many others. We are praying daily for all of you. Praise God for all of his blessings.

  4. Tammy Cagle

    November 19th, 2010 at 5:27 am

    your post are so wonderful and uplifting. He is doing so wonderful with all of the progress that he is making. I am blessed to start my day off every morning with your post on Caleb’s progress. He is so lucky to have such wonderful, caring parents as you and Tiffany. I continue to pray for his recovery. Thanks for sharing with us. Continued prayer her in New Johnsonville

  5. Tammy Shaver

    November 19th, 2010 at 7:03 am

    I just love you guys! Keep up the good work. I feel like I’m reading a wonderful book and am having to wait each day for the next chapter….can’t wait to that glorious blessed ending where our Caleb has been healed 100%….it’s coming, I just know it!

    Ya know, on a side note…..I’m a thinker….I’m notorious for thinking too much and too often….well, saying that, I can’t help but wonder…you and Tiffany may have a calling in doing some kind of therapy as a profession. I know you are a pastor, but sounds like you may have another calling also. :)

    Tammy

  6. Carla

    November 19th, 2010 at 7:20 am

    Thanks for the tears of happiness and joy for your family. Praise God….

    With love, from Franklin TN

  7. Ruth Ann

    November 19th, 2010 at 7:23 am

    So happy to hear about Caleb’s progress. Tell the music therapist to use “Thomas the Train” music—that might get a response! :)

    • Tim Brown

      November 19th, 2010 at 9:38 am

      Good thinking. We’ll have to try that! :)

  8. Dorothy Pryor

    November 19th, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Caleb you are definately a eternal light that will forever glow in my heart. I know soon we will see the victory of your progress because God has never failed his children. caleb all I can say is little buddy you rock, and Caillou thinks so too!

  9. Billy Hutchens

    November 19th, 2010 at 8:00 am

    I am praying that the day will come soon when you will have the joy of Caleb looking you in the eye and saying “I love You!” Prayers for your family continue daily.

  10. Melissa

    November 19th, 2010 at 9:05 am

    So happy that little Caleb is doing better!! Me and my little boys will continue to pray for you guys and Caleb! I just know that he will be saying mommy and dada soon!

  11. Kelli

    November 19th, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Thank you for sharing Caleb’s journey with us. He is making such great progress every day! It sounds like you are at such a wonderful, caring place, where he is getting excellent therapy, how awesome!!! God Bless you, Caleb and your family!

  12. Diane Harris

    November 19th, 2010 at 10:36 am

    What a great day you had! Have any of your therapist mentioned that having Colby talk with him might bring more of a response speech wise? As a mother of 4 kiddos, I remember how many times I would hear my kids talking with each other in a room, and then when I came in they’d stop! Guess is was too secret to share with Mama! Just an idea.

    Praying for you as always,
    God’s continued blessings on you all.

  13. Lanise Dominguez

    November 19th, 2010 at 11:35 am

    We are so glad to hear Caleb is making progress. Still praying for his voice and sight and for him to be healed and ready to go home before Christmas so that his whole family will be together. I have to Say Praise You Jesus for showing us what You can do with Your powers.

  14. Andrea Baker

    November 19th, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Just to know that God cares, no matter what we face in life, eases a heavy load. I know that God cares for you all, and it is so amazing to see the great strides, step by step recovery that Caleb is making there at Scottish Rite! Still praying for total healing, and look forward to all your posts!!!

  15. Wendy Johnson

    November 19th, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Thank you, Tim and Tiffany, for allowing us to be a part of Caleb’s recovery. I am a special education teacher and I am so happy to see what a huge role you are taking in his recovery. Your involvements and efforts will make such a difference in his recovery, and I truly believe he will do very well. I continue to pray daily, and my daughter prays for him every night, and I pray for your continued strength. Way to go, Caleb, on all the milestones you have already surpassed, and way to go, Mom and Dad for all you do for him. God bless you all!

    • Tim Brown

      November 19th, 2010 at 8:27 pm

      Wendy, thank you so much. Blessings.

  16. Gail

    November 19th, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Thanks for your daily post. At work you would talk about painting pictures with words in lessons or sermons. You have a gift with words. Even if you create a cliff hanger that had me scrolling to the bottom for the big news and the going back and finishing. Miss you. Still not letting anyone take your desk.

    • Tim Brown

      November 19th, 2010 at 8:26 pm

      Thanks Gail. Don’t let ‘em. I intend to come and be your neighbor again one day hopefully soon!

    • Tim Brown

      November 19th, 2010 at 8:33 pm

      BTW, how did the site turn out? :)

  17. Suzanne Bradford

    November 19th, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    We are still praying for Caleb in Smithville, TN. I sent Caleb a prayer shawl from our church, but I do not know if he received it. We did not put the whole address on it. The shawl was from Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church in Smithville, TN. We prayed over this shawl before we sent it to Caleb. Be blessed in Jesus name.

    • Tim Brown

      November 19th, 2010 at 8:26 pm

      We have not received it as of yet. I will certainly keep looking. And thank you!

  18. Leesa Wright in Hixson Tn

    November 19th, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    Glory be to God! i looooove reading these updates and seeing Caleb smiling and laughing! I always read them right before I go to bed. What a wonderful thing to read right before I drift off. You guys are doing such a great job with him when he official therapy day ends! Way to go Mom and Dad!!! And Caleb! I am so impressed with him!! What a strong little boy! As he grows he is going to be up for anything! He is one strong little boy! What a testimony he is going to have. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with me and letting me be a part of this prayer group. I am so blessed to know your family.

    Praise God!!
    I will continue to pray that all your prayers will be answered!

    Much love
    The Wright family

  19. Donna Whitehead

    November 19th, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Tim and Tiffany I am so glad Caleb is getting better. I check in daily sometimes several times to see if there are any new updates it is really great that you are doing this for us all. You two are great parents and he is very lucky to have you. You two have the patience and know how to get on his level and seem to do the right things by instinct not even being told what to do to help him improve faster. That is just amazing I think. You do have a terrific little fighter on your hands. I can’t believe a 2 year old can have the patience to go through all that therapy and just amaze even the doctors with his accomplishments everyday. Praise God for the iron will he gave your baby.
    What ever happened with the little boy down the hall did his parents ever come back? So pitiful makes me cry just thinking of the little guy.
    Sorry I didn’t mean to write a book just wanted to let you guys know I am still praying everyday for you all since I haven’t posted in awhile. Keep up the good work all of you and stay strong. God Bless your family.

  20. Thomas Grimes (Canton, MI)

    November 20th, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Tim, we’ve only met once, perhaps twice, but we are cousins either once removed or let’s just say you are my 2nd cousin! That makes it easier! haha

    Wanted to let you know that Caleb has been lifted up in prayer at the Lifechurch here in Canton, MI. There are people lifting up powerful prayers on your sons behalf! Each week I request that he be added to the prayer list.

    God is good and faithful and I know He hears the pleas from his people! He says that we have not because we ask not. Well, we’re asking and He’s answering! God is healing little Caleb! We are so thankful!

    May God bless you, your wife, Caleb and your other children with all that you will need to handle whatever comes down the road!

    Living in His love,
    Thomas, Janet & Malloree Grimes

  21. Donna L. Fetterman, Streetsboro,OH

    November 20th, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Tim and Tiffany, I too am still praying for your whole family, especially for Caleb. I can’t wait to get home so I can read all your updates! God is so wonderful! I have been telling my family and friends about what is going on when I can and they are also praying too. I talk to my Dad about little Caleb also to get his own mind off of his cancer. It really seems to ease his thoughts about himself as I see it in his eyes! I love all the pictures you also post!

Leave a Reply