Sam. Conqueror. Overcomer.

On the 15th May 2009, Samuel Christian made his way into this world...two month's premature and in severe respiratory distress. Within hours, Sam was diagnosed with Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome - a very rare congenital disorder, of which little was known. The diagnosis together with the immediate challenges Sam faced to thrive became our core focus and it was with joy and thankfulness that we eventually brought Sam home, after nine weeks in the NICU.

As time pressed on, it became obvious that Sam's development was falling behind that of his RTS peers. Shortly before his 5th birthday Sam underwent a brain scan and it was confirmed by a paediatric neurologist that in addition to Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome, Sam also has Cerebral Palsy related to his premature birth, as well as Autism.

This blog chronicles our journey through these challenges...
Our world has crashed, been blown apart.
This can't be happening....why us? Why now?
Your fragile life shaken before it could barely start,
How do we get through this...please, Lord, tell us how?

Drowning in our sorrow, waiting for answers that just don't come.
Our baby "special needs"? It simply can't be true!
The heartache overwhelms us, we're left feeling cold and numb.
The diagnosis tells us little - these children are so few.

But then we finallyget to touch you, to see your precious face
And all the heartache and questions fade, replaced with love and pride.
It's obvious from the very start you're showered in God's grace,
And with His love and guidance, we'll take this challenge in stride.

When once we couldn't pronounce it, Rubinstein-Taybi's become our norm.
When once the future seemed dark, we now welcome the journey as having an RTS angel brings lessons in unexpected form.

Our world has crashed, been blown apart!
This IS us.....right now!
We've been blessed with a gift, so precious from the very start. How do we get through this? Here's how.....
By believing in a God, so merciful and great,
By trusting that He's right beside us as we journey through the narrow gate.
By believing His love for us is not determined by a human frame,
By trusting that we draw Him near by merely calling His name. This precious baby we asked God for,
Prayed he'd be perfect and complete.
And, as Samuel means "God hears", He's laid His answer at our feet.

(Nicky de Beer : 27/05/2010)

Friday, March 7, 2014

To emigrate or not to emigrate...that is the question

It has recently come to my attention that my sleep pattern is no longer compatible with the South African time zone. I am generally wide awake from 12 am onwards so the only reasonable solution, at this insane hour, seems to be emigration. Perhaps spreading three kids out over sixteen years was not such a good each child eventually outgrew the early childhood sleep and health issues (asthma with Luke; croup, sinus and ears infections and eczema with Meg...and now Sam - nuff said) I went and had another baby. So after 20 years of motherhood assault my sleeping mechanisms have thrown up their hands and said 'you're on your own you crazy woman! '

Or it's the fact that at the ripe age of almost 40 I have a strict bedtime of 7:30pm thanks to Sam not being able to sleep on his own and refusing to go down with anyone else so, only ever having needed 4/5 hours sleep at night, I am bright-eyed and bushy-tailed by 1am (not so much by 2:00pm-ish tho). And this horrid cast and the subsequent rash it's caused on my shin doesn't help. Neither does the fact that Sam has upped his game from mere bodybashing to Tazmanian Devil style body-whipping. Why, you might ask. Because I have no faith in my own judgement, that's why. Chatted to Doc Paed last week about Sam's urine retention problem arising again (Did I blog about that yet? Sam went a record breaking 17 hours without a drop of wee) and mentioned that the lil smurfy dude is still not sleeping. Doc Paed asked if we should try Phenergan. With having a maximum two/three night success rate with Aterax and Valergan resulting in nothing less than an impromptu circus, the mind screamed DON'T.DO.IT!

The voice said...sure!

First couple of nights there was sleep but nothing fabulous. Last night the Tazmanian Devil arrived, literally whipping himself up the sides of the bed, pulling hair and trying to shred pillows with his bare teeth. So when preparing to get Sam into bed last night, Chris asked 'Phenergan?' (a legit question). The mind screamed DON'T.DO.IT!

The voice said...sure!

I've acknowledged I've been a long time sufferer of FIM Syndrome (Foot-in-Mouth) and my brain and mouth seldom seem connected but this is just ridiculous.

Just 1hr and 23min till my alarm goes off and 23 mins till the end of this particular loadshedding block, which never happened Woo hoo! Now I can get up and go to the loo. Didn't want to chance it during the scheduled times in case they decided to cut the power just as I'd stumbled up onto my crutches. My foot keeps going numb, especially at night, which is a little worrying as my cast is definitely not too tight. Even more worrying is Sam's lack of exercise since I fell. Before, he and I would walk around the house a good few times every day but he refuses to do it with anyone else and while I stretch his legs during the day, it's just not the same. I can already feel his tendons stiffening but what can I do? I can't even keep my own balance without crutches at the moment so don't feel comfortable trying to hold Sam up just yet. He's probably going to need more intense physio rehab than me :(

Sam's only happy place at the moment :

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