Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rejoice always

Matt is teaching us a lesson on being joyful in all circumstances. Here is a short clip of him dancing during worship time at church. Not letting his cast hold him back. He is my inspiration.

(Sorry for the sound quality - I was using my cell phone)

Rejoice always

1 Thessalonians 5: 16

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Take 2

You would think that since we all adapted to Matt's of wearing a cast the first time it would be easier the second time around. Sadly not.

Maybe its because the weather is now much hotter and we are more aware of how much water play, swimming and bath time Matt is missing out on.

Maybe its because it is more uncomfortable - it contains plaster as well as fibre glass as it has been specially scuplted to Matt's arm to limit his movement (which is good for healing but makes it heavier); and it has a built-in sling keeping it firmly in place (the previous one's detachable sling lasted 10 minutes with Matt). The increased discomfort has made sleep hard causing great frustration and wakefullness at night!

Maybe its because he is not allowed to remove the sling even to put clothes on so he has to wear his t-shirt over his arm and cast, which doesn't really fit and is rather annoying.

Maybe its because the memory of how the cast was fitted brings back unpleasant feelings. Matt was put under anaesthetic so that the doc could manipulate into place his broken, angled bones and then put them in cast. After he came around from the drugs he was in the grumpiest mood he has ever been in (understandably - poor guy).

So what caused Matt to break his arm again, 2 weeks after his cast had been removed? No he didn't fall off a jungle gym or tumble down the stairs or get his by a truck...he was just walking, holding his teachers hand, decided to change direction, tripped and (while still being held by the other hand) caught himself on his arm at just the wrong angle. Same break, same arm.

Just 32 more sleeps.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Matt has broken his arm again.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Challenging Expectations

Maybe he thought that since Matt can't talk he won't be able to understand or maybe because Matt has a syndrome he thought it unnecessary to explain anything to him.
Matt developed a limp so we took him to be checked out. The Orthopedic Surgeon was very friendly and kind - I can't fault him there. I give him credit for asking relevant questions and genuinely seeming to be interested in Matt. However, I was angered by the way he started to examine Matt.
Matt was lifted onto the examining table, squirming. And the doctor proceeded to manipulate Matt's legs and hips - all the time Matt is trying to get off the table. Doctor tries harder - physically, still no words.

I intevened: "Please explain to Matt what is happening and what you are doing. He really does understand"

I started to tell Matt what was happening and why we were on this strange table. The doctor looked surprised but followed my lead, telling Matt that he needed to check his legs.
Matt calmed down.
He asked Matt to bend his leg. Matt did.
He asked Matt to lift his legs. Matt did.
And the rest of the examination followed calmly with a co-operative Matt.
I think Matt expanded this doctors expectations.


I have never seen anyone scratch as much or for as long as Matt did the moment the doctor removed the cast from his arm. Even the nurse offering Matt a lollipop from a basket brimming with lollipops did not get a second glance - all attention was on scratching.

We were very proud of Matt how he endured wearing the cast and also its' rather brutal removal.

His arm is still a bit tender, as it is not fully healed. Apparently the bone actually requires movement now to assist the healing process. Whilst it is still weak Matt should take it easy and try not to fall on it. Hhhmm that is going to be interesting.
It is a delight to watch him being able to page through books again, to splash in the bath, to swing a bat, and to carry two items at the same time. And sleeping has become comfortable again.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Matt turns 4!

Matt's birthday celebration was simple and low key this year, but it was no less special for him. His birthday morning started with the opening of some fun presents. Sadly many of the toys required 2 hands! But he still was extremely pleased.
One present which didn't require 2 hands was his cute CARS hooded towel.

We did not do a big birthday party for Matt since our lives were a bit upside down as we were adjusting to life with a new born. So we decided to do an activity that he would really enjoy - we took him on a bus ride. This might sound a bit peculiar. But Matt absolutely LOVES buses. He points them out when we are driving. He could watch The Wheels of the Bus Song video 100 times and not get bored. He asks us to sing that song to him every night before bed. In South Africa our public transport system in not well developed and we rely exclusively on our car for transport. Matt has never been on a bus. His birthday treat was a bus ride along the sea front, followed by playing in a park and picnic with his grandparents, and the cherry-on-top was the bus ride back to the car again. The only word to describe Matts reaction: mesmerised.

The following week Matt's birthday was celebrated at his school. We provided the cupcakes. His teacher made him a crown and he blew out candles whilst his class mates sang to him. Matt was really chuffed with it. Here are pics that his teacher emailed us of the event...
When I think back on how far we have come in these 4 years I am overcome with gratitude. I remember the dark days of coming to terms with Matt's diagnosis and fearing that the rest of our lives would be filled with difficulty and sorrow. I would never have anticipated the joy. I also remember reading about RTS and what to expect. Developmental Delay (and more gut wrenching words) were used to describe my baby's future. I could not have imagined Matt at 4 years - a curious, joyful, determined boy who enjoys people; loves music, song and dance; kicks soccer balls with impressive power; makes his opinion known; is passionate about animals and trees; and whose personality is really too big to capture in words on this blog.
I am so proud of Matt. Happy Birthday!