Our family just had the most wonderful experience of meeting another family who has a boy named Preston with 4 things in common with Ava:
1. Lives in Minneosta
4. Brachial plexus injury with avulsions C6-T1.
Preston with his mom, Ava with me, photo bomb by Violet
Carly reached out to me as she knew someone in New Prague who knew someone who knew me, or at least followed this blog. Anyway, small world.
We met Monday night at our home, and the kids had so much fun playing. Ava’s initial reaction was that Preston’s nerve damage was not similar to hers because he does not have to wear a brace. I explained to her that, because his injury was during the birthing process 5 years ago, he didn’t need to wear a brace any more like she will for a few more years. (It protects her wrist from breaking as that area doesn’t have nearly as much support and protection as a functioning one, also it keeps her hand from developing an inward curl).
In any case, the kids played! They rode bike, jumped on hay bales, dug in the sand, and just had a wonderful summer night. Tuesday morning, we had YMCA swimming lessons and they enjoyed the hotel pool.
My mother-in-law has a kid’s clothing store, Main Street Kids, so we popped in there for a bit and then drove out to the dairy for lunch.
Do snowpants for sale mean that summer can’t last forever?
We walked around the farm but Preston’s two-year-old sister was pretty scared of all the sounds and most of the sights (it was nap time) so we cut it short.
Prestons’s older brother is into metal forging so the boys hunted through an old scrap iron pile to find something heavy that would fit in their van.
At this point, Carly (Preston’s mom) and I had a nice long talk. It was very therapeutic for me to visit with someone who can tell me she has had the exact same feelings. A lot of our sentiments ended with, “I’m sure you know what I mean” or a similar phrase. For me, it was much more emotional to think back to 1 year ago than for her to go back 5 years. Preston has endured 3 major surgeries so Carly was able to speak with a lot of “been there, done that” attitude. Our conversations keep running through my mind this morning.
Ava received an Ulu, which is a knife from Alaska that is very handy to use to cut your food with just one hand. To get it out of the packaging, well it was quite a sight. They both immediately sat on the floor so they could hold it in place with their feet while pulling with their left hands. Ava was just enamored with it at supper last night.
We plan to meet up again soon. They live just 200 miles north of here. Also, we talked about attending a camp next year for families that live with brachial plexus injuries.
For me, I sincerely hope that this visit will be a turning point in my health. I have had a sick summer with lots of light-headedness, nausea, and some sort of whooshing through my head. It has left me unable to care for my kids some days but a doctor’s visit and lots of blood work revealed nothing. I am on my seventh day of feeling well! Record for the summer, I think.
Perhaps it was some sort of virus, maybe just stress. I just switched most of Ava’s therapists and it was worse (much much worse) than switching hair stylists. When people have helped you through so much, it is tough to move on but I just want what it best for Ava. Kindergarten also looms in the future and it weighs heavy on my heart.
In any case, I now have a new resource and, more importantly, a new friend in Carly. Hopefully, Preston and Ava will somehow find peace and hope in knowing each other. God works in mysterious ways.