*WARNING: This is a looooooong post!*
I wanted to name this post something like: Oh my gosh, I can't believe today happened! But that sounded a bit overboard, and I couldn't come up with anything better. So I settled for the date, so we can all remember the day my son WALKED again! Yes he did!
But because I am who I am, you have to suffer through the back story before you get to the actual walking part.
Mason hasn't walked since the day of his surgery, 14 days ago! He sort of shuffled yesterday while holding on to me for a few steps, but he hasn't really walked. His muscles got stiff from not being used, and began to hurt him. He was scared to death to even attempt walking. He was scared to death to do a lot of other things, too.
Mason has two different therapists: a physical therapist, and occupational therapist. They both come each day, and try to get him to do things like move his fingers, and push against their arms. Every time one of them walks into the room, Mason pretends to be asleep, and then moves on to telling them how much his head hurts, so they'll leave him alone. He utterly refuses to do most of the things they want him to. Because of this, they seem to think that he can't move his limbs! No matter how often we have mentioned that: yes he can sit up, yes he fed himself just an hour ago, yes he can stand up when he wants to, they still think that he can't...which is why when the head occupational therapist came in today, talking about how Mason needed to re-learn how to crawl before they could try walking, I was angry. I know my son can walk! He does it when he stands up to go potty. He is honestly just afraid to fall, so he won't do it unless he feels comfortable. So I made it my mission to try and get Mason past his mental block. Besides, they wouldn't send him home unless he was walking on his own. It needed to happen, and today was the perfect day for it to happen!
Today started off great, with Mason getting his EVD (the tube in his head) taken out, and his feeding tube too! He did not like either one, but he was even more afraid of what pain he might have by taking them out. He yelled and cried through the whole thing, and begged them to keep them in. The feeding tube just made him gag, but I think the EVD removal + stitches hurt him quite a bit.
After that, his nurse came in and made a deal with him: they would remove his IV, and if he would drink enough fluids all day, then they wouldn't have to put a new one in. He pretended to sleep, so I agreed to it for him. :)
...and that's how Mason became wire-free (mostly)! He still has to have the oxygen sticker on his toe, and they just came in and put the leeds back on his chest that he has had off since last night. His nurse last night decided to give him a break from them, and they haven't put them back on until now.
After all those things were out, The Grump went back to sleep for a few hours. Although I am sure he was happy to have all those things out, he was not happy that he had to be awake for any of it. So I let him sleep until he decided to be happy...which happened soon after he woke up and ate.
After a few bites of food, he was agreeing to anything: a bath, a ride around the hospital, going downstairs, and even physical therapy! Although he was agreeing to these things, he was still acting the same way he has been acting since he has been in the hospital: down. Unhappy.
The turning point today was the bath. He didn't want to get in the tub after all, but when he was in, he began splashing the water, and was fine. After a few minutes, he got a rag of his own, and helped wash his body. A few more minutes, and both hands were washing his body. It wasn't long until he was laughing and giggling, then started washing himself, me, and lifting his legs up to wash between his toes! He was completely himself!
He did let us take him for a ride in the wheelchair after the bath, and we met up with my cousin Garan, who is a security guard at the hospital. Mason also saw one of the therapy dogs in the hall, so we stopped to see Mary Kay.
After his ride, the physical therapist caught up with us, and had apparently changed her approach with Mason. She somehow got him to agree to come to the PT room with her. When we got there, he had no problems with parking the wheelchair and taking a walk over to the toy closet to find some trains...as long as someone was holding his hand. His steps were wobbly and unsure, but he walked! He picked out a toy, and then walked across the room to play with it. Luckily, the occupational therapist and the head OT were there to witness this. All three therapists were aghast at Mason walking. I felt very vindicated. :)
Mason stood at a table and played with his toy until he decided he wanted something else. So he walked back to the closet and got another toy, walking back to the table to play with it. I was overjoyed! And I didn't even have any part in it. He was a changed boy after that bath, and not being attached to cords played a huge part in it.
He wasn't done, though. As he was about to leave, the physical therapist asked if he wanted to ride a bike. She nailed his weakness right on! Of course he said yes, and we got him seated and strapped in. It took him a few tries to get the pedals going, but once he did, he did not want to stop! He loved having so much control again. He rode out into the hall, and decided he wanted to go down the elevators. He rode to the elevators, pushed the button, and rode around for about 5 minutes downstairs. That's where we could literally see the energy drain from his face, and he got a wheelchair ride back upstairs to his bed.
Back in bed, he ate dinner (sitting up and completely aware), and is now sleeping like a rock.
So that's the amazing news! I hope tomorrow is as good as today, and have every reason to hope so. Mason is walking again, even if his steps are a bit wobbly. He is so blessed. I am so blessed.
Today was awesome!