I thought I would do something similar here. It’s so easy to look at all the low points of the year, rather than the high points.
Here are some of the successes I’ve identified:
- Nat being able to walk again and not needing a wheelchair any more
- Discovering Zac has Neurally Mediated Hypotension and treating it, and seeing improvement
- My first publishing contract and publishing Lizzy’s Dragon
- Zac starting a new school and settling in well
- Zac joining youth group at school and making a new friend
- Finding a new team to help Nat with his CRPS, including connecting with the hospital school to help with his transition back to school
- Zac getting his Blue Belt in karate
- Zac getting awards at school
- Starting this blog to share our journey and raise awareness of CRPS and ME/CFS
- Connecting with the Ferocious Fighters groups for support with CRPS
- The amazing support we have received from our church
- The fantastic care Nat received at the new Monash Children’s Hospital
- Spending lots of wonderful time with my nephews
- Nat sharing his journey on his blog, Standing on One Leg
I’m sure we’ll think of more, especially once the boys get home from their dad’s place, but writing them out like this is a start.
In spite of the issues we’ve had this year, there have been many bright spots and successes in 2017. We are all looking forward to 2018.
There have been many days on this journey of ours where it’s easy to get discouraged and think that life will just be a long line of lows without very many highs. Then I have evenings like tonight when I’m so proud I think I’ll burst.
Tonight, Zac went for his blue belt in karate.
This year has had its ups and downs for his karate classes. He missed a term due to ill health and his brother being in and out of hospital. He started back in classes at the start of Term 4. I was quite surprised when I received the invitation for him to sit his test, but they don’t send invitations unless they feel the kids are ready. Zac was keen, so I signed him up.
Over the last 24 hours, he hasn’t been too well. My parents were going to take him to his class last night, however he had fallen asleep as he was wasn’t feeling well! He wasn’t too good this morning, so I emailed the school to say that he was unwell and may not be able to attend. Thankfully, he was feeling better by lunchtime.
Dinner was rushed so we could get out of the door by 6.15. Zac was very excited.
He joined the other kids in the gym and got ready for his test.
As they got started, I watched Zac following the instructions. He looked really good out there, going through his moves with all the other kids. As the test went on, I could see him getting pale and losing his concentration – a sure sign his blood pressure is dropping. In spite of that, I could also see him concentrating as hard as he could on following the instructions. He wasn’t going to let it beat him!
After a break and a drink of Gatorade, he started to feel better and was able to complete the test.
When the test was over, including watching six students achieve their black belts, one of the instructors got up and spoke with the students. He was saying that in karate, as much value was placed on giving it a go and showing up, doing your best and participating, as on getting the moves perfect. His words meant so much to me, especially given the challenges Zac has been facing.
At the end of the evening, Zac wanted photos with his instructors. Each one of them congratulated him and told them how proud they were of him, and they knew how hard it was for him to show up each week and do what he’s doing, and that this evening was a huge achievement.
I’m so proud of Zac and how much he has achieved in his karate over the last few years.
Today, I picked up a very excited Zac. He had been awarded a Distinction in the National Geography Competition!
Zac is very intelligent, but struggles at school. A lot of this has to do with brain fog from his ME/CFS, but he also has a processing issue that makes doing tests and exams hard as he will know the answer but often can’t write it down in time.
He was very proud of himself, no one in his school got higher than a distinction, and he was also given some lollies for his efforts (that seemed to be more exciting than just the award!).
It’s also exciting as it wasn’t that long ago when he wasn’t able to attend school much at all and the thought of him being able to participate in a competition like this, let alone getting a distinction, was a vague idea somewhere in the future at a far off date when he was well again.
Congratulations Zac, this is a wonderful achievement and well deserved.
Today was a really exciting day – Zac got his yellow belt in karate! I was so proud of him that I cried!
This may not sound like much, but for Zac it’s a huge milestone.
Before he got glandular fever, Zac did a term of karate with a friend. Unfortunately, classes were a bit far away for him to continue, then he got sick, so it was an easy way to say the classes were not going to continue. He was getting too tired to go to school and that had to be our highest priority.
When we made the decision to do classes by Distance Education, we thought that doing karate could be both his PE class, and give him time with other kids his age, or he would have been home all the time with little contact with other kids.
He is able to go most weeks, but there are times when he’s too exhausted to attend classes. At the end of last year, but he came down with bronchitis and was unable to take part.
Knowing his test was coming up, we made sure he had a lot of rest yesterday and tried to get him to bed early… but he was too excited to sleep!
His test went really well, he even remembered which side was left and which was right! By the end of the test he was exhausted but really, really happy. He now has a yellow belt!
After his test he had a piano lesson! He was glad to finally get home and have a restful afternoon watching TV and reading. I don’t think he’s stopped smiling all day!
I’m so proud of him. In spite of everything he’s had to endure lately, this is a huge achievement.