We missed church again today. Not because we overslept. Nope. We were up with plenty of time to arrive at the Urgi Center and take our typical seats, waiting in a crowded room. If I had my copays back each year, I think they would exceed my tax return. Which is no great shakes anyway, especially with the whole identity theft mess. But, I digress…
Yesterday was a CYO swim meet. It started poorly because the bungee on her prescription goggles snapped in my hand. And they don’t get to warm up before a CYO meet, so there was no way to check and see if the new cord set the goggles right. So, she want back to her old goggles. Guaranteed functionality – sacrificing vision.
She swam. Hard and as fast as she could. She maintained her time during her first 25 fly in the relay, and took 2nd in the individual fly. She even swam up – with the 7th and 8th graders for a 50 back, and took 2nd there too. But it was during the last leg of the 200 free relay – the last lap of her 50 – her father and I looked at each other and knew – the right arm was hurt.
When I met her in the locker room her resolve was strong. My mission was clearly to help her get out as fast as she could. But the arm made it tough to change quickly. We got into the car before it all came out. She explained how the loss of the prescription goggles altered her judgement and she banged her arm into the diving board rails as she started – out of a lane she has never been in before.
We came home and iced the arm. We watched as the pain seemed to get worse. It went from the arm, up into the shoulder and into the neck. We are so used to there being pain. This child lives in constant pain. Some people must think all sorts of things, because something truly always hurts. But we have learned to put them aside, and, we have to triage. Last week she walked around for 5 days with a sprained ankle. Pain is so personal. Her nerve endings seem so easily excitable. Any injury seems to trigger an attack of “hyper healing” effort by her body. Even with 200 mg of MAINTENANCE Celebrex a day, she contends with joint pain and muscle spasms.
But she is an athlete, trapped in a body that is not quite sure how to handle her. So she presses on, and in between wanting to stick her in a bubble, I am awed by her raw determination. She wants to RUN, and KICK, and PLAY, and SWIM, and be a KID.
It’s not uncommon for her to spend the day after phys ed. recovering. Or a day or two after an athletic play date trying to work through the residual pain. I know that the other kids aren’t fighting their bodies like this, and it breaks my heart. But she is one determined young lady.
So last night we sent a text to our PT. To know Dr. Jill is to love her, as she is one of a select group of medical professionals who truly works for LOVE of the children she services. And when you are Meghan you have “PT for LIFE” and she’s been a patient there for about 4 years! And at 9PM last night we were in her living room – getting informal advice from a very skilled friend. If you’ve followed our story a while you know Dr. Jill is the impetus behind our Cowden’s diagnosis. She is the one who said, “something isn’t right here – too many unconnected pieces. Take her to genetics.” And I did. And the rest is our unfolding story.
Dr. Jill encouraged us to get a muscle relaxant for Meghan at Urgi Care today.
So we did. We also got a note because the injury is to her right bicep and shoulder. Her dominant side. And there is no practice for her tomorrow. And no Phys. Ed. on Friday… and then there is the math test this week. And the gamble as to whether she will be able to write enough, fast enough… So much to think about.
The muscle relaxant calmed the shooting neck pain for a while, but its on its way back as I type.
We spent some time today talking about our fundraising hopes for Rare Disease Day 2015. We talked about my promising conversation with the head of the PTEN foundation – formed in December 2013. We talked about wanting to do something BIG for the PTEN foundation http://www.ptenfoundation.org/ and Global Genes Project. http://globalgenes.org/
I sometimes complain about being too busy, but she, like me, needs a positive project – even a simple play date – just something on the horizon to keep her focused.
She managed to type out the homework. We are getting ready for tomorrow and another crazy week.
We are babysitting my sister-in-law’s 12-year-old rottweiler. A 3 dog house. Cause a little more chaos creates more reason to keep on keeping on.
And I marvel that aside from some waning eyesight which I will have to address eventually – my body is stronger, and more able to endure stress than ever before. And I remember that it’s a good thing I stumbled upon nutritional cleansing when I did. The closet is full of the smallest clothes I have ever owned, and the ability to endure is not to be taken lightly.
So tonight we will get a real sense of how long the muscle relaxant helps. And tomorrow we will conquer the hurdles of having the dominant shoulder banged up during a school day.
I think I’ll get everything prepared nice and early. Just in case…