Author: Kate Anderson

Sometimes You’re Thankful for Candy

With Thanksgiving a week away, I started asking the kids what they are thankful for. At the ripe old age of 5, Bailey listed out each person and why she was thankful for them. Spencer on the other hand had a one word answer “candy.” Bailey asked him if he was thankful for anything else and he said, “Nope. That’s it.” I can respect (and envy) that. While he can’t respond the way the other two can, Gavin has his ways of letting you know what his feelings are on any number of topics. Bailey flipped the tables and asked me what I was thankful for. I was quick to respond, “I’m thankful for each of you, your daddy and grandma and grandpa.” And the conversation was left at that. But the more I’ve thought about it, the more I realize that I am thankful for so much more and to so many people. I think like many people, 2016 was not the year I had hoped it would be. It wasn’t totally horrible by any means but it certainly wasn’t the stellar year I had placed so much hope on. But if I am being honest, it was a rough year. Nothing seemed to come “easy” (which I know, in life nothing is easy, BUT does everything need to be such a process?!?!?) We would take one step...

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Time Is The Enemy

To quote Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch “Tomorrow is Christmas! It’s practically here!”  Now while it’s not THAT close, the reality is there are only 10 shopping Fridays left till Christmas (you’re welcome). As much as we may want it to, time doesn’t slow down, stand still or even go in reverse. Not even The Grinch has the power to change time.  Time does what it does – keeps marching forward at a steady pace, no faster or slower than the day before.   Why do you ask, am I so focused on time? Well in less than two weeks the boys will be turning 3 (no biggie – I got that covered – well my mom does anyway!) but Gavin will be transitioned out of Birth to Three and into pre-k at our local school. During our IEP meeting we met the OT, PT, special ed and speech folks.  As luck would have it, Bailey had an open house the same night we had our IEP meeting so we brought Gavin and made stops in all the rooms – and he got to meet everyone as well. MUCH to Bailey’s relief, she will see him several times during the day and his main room is just down the hall. During open house Gavin even got to visit the OT/PT room and played on the platform swing – allowing both the...

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The First of Many “Firsts”

The day I have been dreading for five years arrived on Tuesday:  Kindergarten.  My “baby” isn’t such a “baby” anymore. With each passing day she needs me less and less. “I can do that mommy”, “I don’t need any help”, or my favorite, “Mother, I can do my own hair” (remember, she’s FIVE!) She’s her own person now with (strong) opinions and views. The things she notices or comments on continually surprise me. So while I know it’s time for her to go and continue on her independent journey, I’m not ready. But let’s be honest, no matter what her age I wouldn’t be ready. I think I handled the first day better than initially thought. So I take some comfort in that. Although it was an insane morning ensuring each lunchbox was packed to its owner’s specifications, breakfast eaten, vitamins, teeth brushed, etc. Not to mention the “first day of Kindergarten” pictures. In hindsight I guess we were so busy I didn’t get the chance to worry or be sad. But as things have calmed down a little and I have time to reflect I wonder if she’s ok. Is she hungry? Is she warm? Is she warming up/getting comfortable and making friends or is she miserable? Will the teacher know to ask if she’s doing ok or just think her being shy is the way she is? Will they...

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The “Go-To” Family

When we first started our journey with Gavin and his diagnosis we didn’t know anything.  Well aside from the basics of him being a baby and how to care for him in terms of feeding, bathing, diaper changes, etc. But beyond that –when it came time for specialist and therapist appointments and specific questions we needed to ask – not a clue.  I was aware of what CP was but how it would impact Gavin or our family – nothing. Insurance…? I’m lucky I know the basics of plan coverage but how to get devices or services approved – seriously? I would have had a better chance of guessing the nuclear guidance codes than figuring that mess out. Literally, we knew nothing other than basic care for Gavin – (aka care you would give to an able bodied child). We have asked waaaay more than our “20 questions” at any given appointment. But along the way something happened. Something that up until recently I never thought would actually happen. We have learned enough and been through enough that we have become the “go – to” family. We are no longer the “newbies” looking to everyone else for help/guidance (although there is still plenty of that going on, trust me). We still ask questions – but we’re closing in on 10 an appointment vs. the 30 – 40 we used...

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When the Advocate Needs an Advocate

Back in March I posted about Gavin’s win against our insurance company in the battle for his adaptive stander.  I am still in shock that it took us a year, numerous internal appeals and an external appeal to get it approved. But it also left me feeling worried and nervous if that would happen for every single device we would need for him moving forward. While at Shriners in April we had Gavin fitted for a new gait trainer (AKA walker) and I fully expected to have to go through the same year-long battle.  But this time things would be different.  I would be ready for that battle.  I had “people” now. In my excitement over the fact that we had actually won our external appeal, I only gave a brief nod to the organization that was the driving force behind our monumental (at least to us) win  – The Office of Healthcare Advocate (AKA my “people”). Simply put these folks are AMAZING! I cannot say enough about how responsive, helpful, supportive, informative and understanding our advocate, Caroline was. Not to mention EXTREMELY patient with me! In my opinion, Gavin wouldn’t have his stander if it weren’t for all the hard work and effort put in by Caroline. From the get go, Caroline told me it would be a process – but she was there every step of the...

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