Ava’s 7th birthday was a big deal today. She had so much fun and even got to skip some school!
I also want to take a minute to update you on the best ways to pray for Ava and let you know of her progress. Thanks so much to the local people who ask about her when we meet in town…it means a lot.
But first, she had a wonderful birthday. We celebrated yesterday with extended family complete with her much-anticipated strawberry cupcakes after Sunday lunch. She received, as gifts from us, a weighted blanket (her anxiety struggles have returned and hopefully this helps a bit), as well as a new bicycle seat. This morning, Grandma Vander Kooi picked the kids up for a donut breakfast before school. After Ava finished her couple of hours of standardized school testing and recess, we pulled her out of school for a hearing test and ear doctor visit in Sioux Falls.
Her hearing is okay, but not great. She has had ear tubes for a full year so we have realized all the gains from that surgery. The next step would be to have a specific type of nerve study that might indicate exactly what’s missing in her hearing BUT it requires sedation. I’m not excited about that, especially since it only yields information at this point but nothing that leads to a solution. I would definitely get it done if she was undergoing a surgery in Cincinnati for her arm injury though.
The peanut shells are still pretty elusive to her.
We talked to a salesman about trampolines and then he gave the girls a free round of bowling at Scheels. She also took a $1 turn on the Ferris wheel and had free ice cream. I am sure I never had that much attention for a birthday!
I remember last year at this time I was asking for prayers that Ava would have the ability to open her right hand. In short, God has just not granted that to her. It brings tears to my eyes to admit that. I haven’t given up. We see teeny tiny improvements in using her wrist and a few nights ago her pinky finger wasn’t clenched closed as tightly as the other ones. Yet, it was discouraging tonight when it was time to shower and I found a pea from supper that had somehow gotten into her closed hand and she hadn’t even noticed, so there is definitely not much sensation there either. We meet with her brachial plexus team in June and I anticipate there will be some tough discussions. I love our team there but if somebody else can offer something else for Ava (I have a ton of research to do on this subject), I am sure willing to pursue it. I booked her June appointment to be in conjunction with a one-day camp the hospital is offering for kids with brachial plexus injuries, and we are really looking forward to that!
Please pray for peace and wisdom for both Joe and me. I would never have thought that it would take us this long to heal, but we are still working on it. It is still difficult for me to talk about it, and I honestly wonder if it ever will be a less emotional thing.
Please pray for Ava’s healing. Is anything within the medical world ever a closed, done deal? I don’t think so; I believe in miracles. Pray for more of those very fine nerve connections within her hand, as well as new advances in medical technology.
Ava’s ability to be understood when she speaks is improving. Every now and then she can really surprise us with good eye contact. Yet, the most exciting thing is that she is learning to READ. So, if you love sending cards or chatting with little kids, she is ready for it. If you are still reading this, you are certainly a blessing to our family and I thank you!
Enjoy this warmer weather and the mud. Spring planting is just around the corner!