Sunday, January 25, 2015

Iron, ears, cookies and cold.

Monday 19th. Brendon and I headed into town with Ruth and Asher. First Ruth got some blood drawn to check her iron levels. She was very brave and it went a lot better than she expected. We got the results the next day and although her iron levels are ok, her iron stores (ferritin) are only just within acceptable levels. Ruth has been complaining about forgetting things recently, and so we are discussing putting her on a gluten free diet to see if this helps. When she was very anaemic as a toddler we took her off gluten for a while. So perhaps it's time to do that again. We will just wait until after church camp which is mid Feb.
And then we headed over to the hospital for Asher's hearing tests. With her speech delay we decided that it would be worth just making sure there are no issues here. We know she can hear - but perhaps there is an aspect of her hearing that is not working properly and adding to her struggles with learning to talk.
The doctors were all very friendly and very good with her. First they took some photos of the inside of her ears and then they took some measurements in each ear (measuring the response of each ear to sound). I had wondered how they would test such a little child and was amazed at the technology that is available. It was good to know there does not seem to be any structural issues.
Not fun to be held tight but she did very well.
Once that part of the check was done we headed next door. Brendon and Ruth sat behind us (so Ruth couldn't take any photos) and this doctor (pictured to the left) sat opposite her at a table. He would play and try and keep her looking forward and then the lady next door would make different noises come through the speakers to the side (there was a one-way mirror between the rooms). When Asher looked - a dark box would light up and she would see a toy. It got quite tricky though as the noise and boxes were only on one side. So there were a few times we knew she was just looking to see if she could see the toy - not because she heard anything. Brendon and I both felt she did not hear the very soft sounds at all (and the times she did look was just by chance).
The doctors agreed that it was not conclusive, so they have suggested we re-test in about a months time. And they plan to do this "playing" test part first. I will also bring a book with that I know she will sit quietly and look through. She was moving around a lot by this stage and I think just wanted to get out. So hopefully the next visit will give us more definite info.
Tuesday 20th. It was lovely to have Brendon take the day off today so that we could spend his birthday with him. We had thought about possibly going to Hanmer Springs for the day, but decided against it with the concern that Asher may have a seizure with the swimming again. So it was a quiet day at home which we all enjoyed.
Brendon had gotten his hammer out to flatten some nails that had started coming up on the deck. It didn't take Ruth long to get onto the job herself. She does love doing different things and helping when she sees a need.
I was amazed again at her wonderful flexibility.
She heard me talking about it and asked what I was talking about. I showed her how bad I was at squatting. I definitely can't squat with flat feet.
Ruth said something about making chocolate chip muffins for Dad's "birthday cake" and I decided to rather make choc chip biscuits (gluten free of course). They were really good (you can see two are already missing by the time I got the photo taken).
It was great to have friends join us for dinner (and treat us to ice cream and chocolate sauce for desert). Hannah was VERY pleased when she got a "yes" to her request to play the bible game with her after dinner. She knew that Brendon, Ruth and I had played it on Sunday night, so she was very pleased to get to play.
I so enjoyed having Brendon off work for the two days. I could feel how much it had done for me. I am so looking forward to next week, when he has the whole week off.
Thursday 22nd and before I could even get her breakfast ready, Asher had a 2 minute vacant seizure. Ruth held her while I finished off breakfast. She didn't sleep after the seizure, but when I had eaten I held her and she did have a little nap.
I was very pleased that her new homeopathic remedy arrived today. We do pray that God would graciously allow it to be a help to her and will help reduce the seizures.
Ruth asked if we could perhaps try swimming again in the afternoon. Her thought was that if Asher had already had a seizure in the morning, perhaps she would not have another.

We knew there was no guarantee, but decided to give it a try. Unfortunately within minutes of being in the water she had a seizure. The girls had forgotten the towel bag in the car. By the time I had run out to get it and run back in, she was already having the seizure. So I sat with her sleeping in my arms while the others got a swim.
It was lovely to have one of the mothers come over and ask if we needed help when the seizure happened. She did help by watching the others so that they could swim while Brendon sat with us until the seizure was over. He then got in the pool and the mother came and sat and chatted with me. It was just what I needed. I needed to just talk about how sad it was that Asher would not get to swim again this season. It was now just so clear. And then to see Hezekiah having so much fun. She can't be thrown up in the air either, can't slide, can't swing. So I shed a few tears about the things that she is loosing out on. I could quickly get focused on all there is to be thankful for. And there truly is so very much.
Hannah wanted a turn with Hezekiah's wings when he was finished. She let all the air out of her costume and had fun using them to float for a bit.
Unfortunately on Friday morning Asher had another vacant seizure. Thankfully this time she had already had her breakfast, and I was busy getting her medication ready. I am so thankful that Ruth had been watching her both days and could quickly call me when the seizure started. Ruth again held her so that I could get a few things done. She kept wriggling around though, so eventually I lay down and had her on me. She slept well and we could all just have a nice quiet start to the day.
Just as she woke I got a message from Brendon that he was bringing a trailer of wood home. Yip - it's that time of year again. We are very thankful to the Lord's provision for us. This year we don't have to split the wood as we have done the last 2 years, and this has saved us many, many hours of work. This is an extra blessing this year with all the extra care that Asher needs.
And then I was blessed by having a lovely visit from a friend.
And not only did I enjoy wonderful fellowship with her, she also blessed me with these beautiful flowers (which lasted over a week).
After dinner Brendon took the older children to the pool. Asher and I enjoyed lots of tickling time and she also watched one of her Bible Song DVDs. I had to smile as she knows the song that comes before this one and gets her tent ready so that she can join the boy fully with this song. I love how many more actions she is learning to all the songs.
And this is also typical - as soon as she sees the camera she says "cheese". :-)
Brendon was home from work by lunch time on Saturday and we started discussing trying Asher at a heated indoor pool. I was keen to know if it was the cold or the excitement that was the trigger. So we headed off to Dudley Pools. It was our first time at these pools (with them being 45 minutes away). They have a lovely facility and the leisure pools were so much fun for the children (including a current pool).
Asher had a ball. She was SO excited when she saw that waterfall and spent a lot of time there. She was also in and out of these pools and into the pool next door (the learning pool which was not busy on the day). So she had slight change of temperature between the different pools, but not too much. The leisure pool sitting at 32 degrees.
Asher and I just stayed out of the family spa pool - as that was very hot and they all said the other pools felt cold when they came back.
We spent a wonderful hour in the pools. Brendon quickly got the camera to take these photos before we got out.
Hezekiah ended up going under the water in the spa pool as he followed Hannah off the step (not realizing he could not stand there). I was pleased to hear that he did not get stressed about it.
Hannah was happy to have the air out of her togs and she spent quite a bit of time trying to swim (on her own). So it was a great time for everyone. I was so pleased Asher got this extra swim in. The change in temperature is obviously the issue for her.
Brendon woke with a headache this morning and again had to take his migraine meds to be able to get to work on time. He knew this month's headache was related to very stiff muscles in his neck and back. So the girls gave him a massage in the evening. Unfortunately he woke with another headache on Sunday. Thankfully he didn't need the stronger drugs today, but with using other pain medication it did take a bit longer to get it properly clear. So we just had a quiet day at home. The week ahead off work will really do him good.

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