On his feet and walking out of his room! (with lovely Donna)

Today Cole did a lot of sharing (in addition to his physical therapy routine). Oh but wait, I am getting ahead of myself and the day…

So as you know from my ‘mini post’, Cole was getting ready to take a trip outside again (check out the pictures from today’s voyage). He actually walked out of his room today…think about that for a second. Yesterday he took five steps. Today he walked out of his room, into the hallway, and stood for a minute waiting for Esther and I to finish fumbling with his wheelchair in order to get it over to him! Now I realize, of course, that Cole came into the hospital a strapping young man, in great shape physically (on a musculoskeletal level) and thus his sitting and walking accomplishments really are not all that surprising. HOWEVER, Cole did have some kind of an “episode”, as Dr. Kim refers to it, making his left side weaker than his right as well as causing numbness to his lower right leg and foot. Oh my goodness, and let us not forget his mega incision, as well as the double and blurred vision, each a contributor to the muscoloskeletal coordination abilities. Therefore, keeping those issues in mind, we can thoroughly REJOICE at his rapid physical progress.

More good news, all of Brian’s speech and swallow therapy has paid off (and of course Cole’s willingness to practice, practice, practice)!!! (seriously, Brian is amazing…how did I get so blessed?) Anyway, I noticed last night, before we crashed, that Cole was swallowing very well, very strong. And sure enough, this morning the speech therapist cleared Cole to have a FEES swallow test (Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing). This means come tomorrow morning Cole will have a small tubular camera inserted through his nose and down his throat to evaluate his ability to swallow (Elaina M. and John B. know exactly what this is!). But in all honesty what that means for Cole is that he is too close to being able to swallow effectively and safely for them to consider a GI tube in the stomach…at least that is what we are told! “YEAH”

Now onto some mush…
Yesterday Cole confessed to me that he was humbled. He felt humbled by the fact he couldn’t hardly walk. He thought he could run, and here he couldn’t even walk…he said it was humbling. He shared that he was paranoid. I asked paranoid about what and he said about everything. He shared that again this morning with Pastor Dave. Now the week before we came to the ER, Cole and I had made a deal. I would stop biting the skin on my thumb (he thought it looked leprous) and he would not use the word “retard”. Tonight as I was finishing up the details of getting him ready for sleep, he said, “I realize that retarded people are not born retarded.” I said,”Yes, that is why we shouldn’t use that word.” He agreed. I then asked him if he knew why I have always called him ‘my beautiful’. He said, “no”. I told him it wasn’t just because I thought he was beautiful on the outside, it was because he was given a beautiful heart when he was formed in the womb. I told him how he always had a love of people as a child. He never saw dirt, nor poverty, nor skin color, nor disability; he just saw the person. It was his heart that earned him the nickname. I told him that it was difficult for us who have known him since birth to witness him, as an adolescent, try to live apart from his character. But I encouraged him that we always knew it was there. I told him he was like Simba from The Lion King during those years, trying to run away from who he really was. He agreed.

Right before surgery Cole told us he was going to write a book. He told us the title would be, “What the **** do you know about ‘**** happens’?” Tonight as we were talking we discussed his previous desire to have a purpose in life and how he really wanted to help people. I reminded him that his impact is going to be so much stronger, as his empathy for others is growing tenfold. I then reminded him of the amazing story he would have for his book, to which he said, “yes, but I am going to need another title.” I said, “oh yeah, what is the new title going to be?” He told me he doesn’t know yet, but it will be something that will be able to reach an audience broader than that of Howard Stern. …out with the old for the Lord has something better, something new!

Cole is being molded; being prepared. I hope I get to stick around to see all that lies ahead. It is, and is going to be, good.

Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”