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Small Things 9-3-13

1.  Hen refuses to use his right hand.  I know, I know–that’s why he’s going to OT, (and his first appointment is tomorrow.)  But it breaks my heart looking back over photos of the summer, and seeing him in June, swinging from rings and bars at the gym, climbing ladders, swimming, doing all the stuff a 3 year old loves to do.  And the contrast with subdued Henry-in-September scares me to pieces.  Right now all the things he should be figuring out how to do, he’s refusing to even try.  Getting dressed?  Hah.  Eating unassisted?  Hah.  Going in to the potty by himself?  Hah.  Even playing–he’s on a hair-trigger for frustration, and it is so upsetting to wonder if he’s getting any of this function back, or if we really need to be preparing him for life with a semi-serious disability.  We’ve started him up in swim lessons again, not progressing him toward actual swimming, but going back a level–since the cold water seems to irritate his hand, but being in the water is probably one of the best exercises for him.

And even the things he could do, he won’t do.  And when he does do something (ie: because I’m being ‘mean’ and not letting him ride a scooter without two hands on the handlebars for balance) with his right arm, he’ll go back into ‘it hurts, it really hurts’ as soon as he stops.  And I don’t know if it really is pain, or if it’s just (just!) nerve discomfort, or if it’s simply that it’s beyond frustrating and my physical little boy doesn’t know how else to express how awful it is not to be able to do things that he knows he ought to be able to do again.

And I just hatehatehate that he has to deal with this.  And I hate that school will be harder because of it.  First day of school for all the other kids today, and I can’t actually bring myself to say that it’s for the best he’s at home, but it’s not the worst thing that he’s got a couple more weeks at home to–oh, how I hope!–get a little more comfortable in his body.

2.  Smelled (and tasted!) wild grapes on my run this noon.  Possibly the most deliriously wonderful scent in the world.  I let the jogging thing totally go while we were on the no-sleep program this summer, and I’m paying for it.  Not quite like starting over, but I’m certainly not where I was in June. Ah well.  I’m back to it and hoping to get the fitness back a bit quicker this time.

3.  Huge rainstorm last night knocked over a whole row of sauce tomatoes.  Ack!  I tied them up again, but I think I might have lost a lot of green tomatoes.  We’ll see.  It feels like we’re getting an early fall despite the last few days’ brutal heat/humidity combo.  I’m not counting on all these tomatoes ripening, which is a shame!  Of course, my freezer is quickly approaching ‘full’, and our countertop is already there, so it’s debatable if we could use any more, but still–I’m greedy.  I planted ’em, I watered/cared for/staked (repeatedly) them up.  I want to harvest ’em & eat ’em!

4.  On that level, I’m really happy that my father-in-law got to see the garden at its best.  I think last week was probably the peak & it’s all downhill from here.  He’s probably the only one in the family who thinks about his garden as much as I think about mine, so it was good for my ego to have him admire my garden!  And the corn’s over now, and the tomatoes are looking raggedy, the zucchini’s flopping over, and the cukes have finally dried up.  Tomatoe leaves are starting to brown & die off; and really, it’s amazing how quickly it’s starting to wind down.

5.  Hen got super frustrated yesterday when he couldn’t figure out how to open a zipped-up lunch bag (shaped like a dump truck, OMG the cute.) and cried.  Nellie ignored him.  Mattie, however, came running over, meowing, and climbed up on his lap and purred at him until he stopped crying and started playing with her instead.  Honestly, she’s such a good dog!

 

6 comments to Small Things 9-3-13

  • Cat

    I know you’re so worried about Hen’s recovery, probably more than many parents because you’ve had a similar injury yourself, but it’s only been a few weeks since his cast came off. It’s going to take some time for him to forget the trauma a little and use his hand without expecting it to hurt before he even tries to use it. He’s already doing so many things that my four year olds are doing that he can afford to slow down a little while his arm fully heals. Once it’s stronger and less sensitive he’ll charge full steam ahead again. I know it must be frustrating and heartbreaking to watch him hurt and struggle, but it’s just going to take some time for both of you to heal.

    I had the same realization about my garden last night when there was less than a pint of cherry tomatoes ripe. For the last couple weeks I’ve been picking a front-of-my-shirt full of them every day. (Because I almost never think to bring a bowl outside with me and just turn up the front hem of my shirt instead. That’s a unit of measure, right?) The Roma’s and slicers have slowed way down, too, but it will be nice to get a break from the Romas for a few days until the next wave hits – hoping there is a next wave for all the green ones still on the vines.

  • I know how hard this must be for you because there is so much unknown at the moment as to the source (real or imagined) of his pain or limitation. Try, try, try to keep faith that OT and the professionals charged with his care can and will make a difference and will also be able to hone in on the what the real issues are.

    Wishing you and him the best.

  • Poor, poor Henry!! I hope things improve, and soon.

    You could make pickle green tomatoes, if you have enough of them and you do not want to let them spoil. Lemme know if you want a recipe, my grannie has a killer one, very easy, very delicious, and oh, my god, are they wondeful during the wintertime… I am trying to persuade a local farm to sell me green tomatoes, but these Germans are reluctant to do things in another way they are used to, for example picking tomatoes which are NOT ripe.

  • Poor dear Henry! I hope it’s truly just fear and some temporary pain that’s keeping him from using that hand. It’s so hard when they’re not old enough to tell you exactly what they’re thinking or feeling :(.

  • Heather

    I felt bad for Hen (and you) reading this post. However, I agree with Cat’s comments up above. OT can work wonders, and it will take time. He will get back to swinging from bars and hanging from rings, but it will just take awhile. Please be patient with both of you.

    I’ve been meaning to comment for awhile….your garden just seems amazing. Wow. I loved the pictures you posted awhile back. I definitely do not have a gardening touch, but I admire people that have the patience and talent to have a garden. That’s awesome.

    That’s a great story about Mattie. How sweet.

  • I know this advice is stupid as I leave it but it is true: This will pass. As hard and stressful as it is, OT works wonders, and he will be back to how he was in no time. It was a traumatic experience but a year from now this will all be a fuzzy memory I hope! Thinking of you!