Perthes Strikes Elijah….AGAIN

A year ago, Tiffany and I sat with our boy Elijah at Children’s Hospital as we patiently waited on a diagnosis that we would soon discover, would alter my son’s childhood. In April of 2015, we learned Elijah had an extremely rare childhood disease called Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease. Having no clue of what that was, we began a long, tedious, and emotionally exhausting journey of tackling Perthes as a family.

From the moment of diagnosis and throughout all the ups and downs over the past year Elijah has never wavered in his resolve. He has worked HARD EVERY SINGLE DAY going through: two brutal surgeries, MRI’s, x-rays, over a hundred physical therapy appointments strong. When each new sports season would roll around the look of utter and complete disappointment would consume his face as I had to tell him, “Not yet, son. Hold tight. We are getting close.” He would fight back the tears and go right back work to beating the disease that is stealing countless days from his life.

This Monday was supposed to be THE DAY! A day we had hoped would be his full release to go back to running, jumping, and playing with consistent monitoring of x-rays, range of motion, and pain tolerance. Instead of hearing the Dr. tell us to give Elijah’s admission ticket to run, jump, and play, the Doctor said, “I’m sorry. It appears things have regressed.”

I fought back the tears as I heard the surgeon instruct us to bring Elijah back to Baltimore for the possibility of another major surgery……next week. All Elijah heard is another season of baseball is off the table.

Next week we will begin another round of the unknown. We will travel to Baltimore facing another major surgery that will hopefully put my amazing boy onto the path of recovery. My heart breaks for Elijah who has never lost heart, lost his fighting spirit or the will to become himself again. We are not sure where this road will lead us but we are certain of the goodness of God. He has sustained us more than we could ever imagine, and will need Him now more than ever.

Please continue to pray for our little Quarterback as he once again puts his best foot forward and takes another mighty blow as he tackles Perthes. We love you all and will continue to keep you all up to date on his progress.

Shayne

What has @QBWalters1 been up to in his fight against Perthes Disease?

Much has transpired since my last post, so I wanted to take a moment to share with you what Elijah’s life has been like since his latest surgery (ex-fixator removal).

As most of you know, Elijah has been battling Perthes since last April. He has not been able to run or jump for the last 9 months and for much of that time he was on crutches, in a wheelchair, and had 6 lbs. of machinery drilled into his hip, bone, and leg. Since the end of October when his fixator was removed he had to wear a brace nearly full time for 2 months, must continue to wear the brace every night to bed, and has been ordered to not run or jump (a vey tall order for an 11 year old ACTIVE boy). He’s had to fill his days differently than in years past since he had to sit the football and basketball seasons out. So, what has our QB been up to?

*Stretching religiously everyday! There’s a series of stretches the doctor has given Elijah (us) to do twice a day each day.

*Physical therapy at least 2 times a week

*Swimming (indoors gym 🙂 – It is very good for his range of motion

*Trading baseball & football cards

*Biking

*Batting practice with his awesome Stix team. He was cleared for batting only.

*Attending as many Loveland sporting events as he can. The boy is a Loveland Tiger through hand through and they have continued to rally around him. What a treasure to see his peers and Loveland High School students encourage him.

*Enjoying time at Mosaic

*Turning 11 years old (be still my broken heart) 😦

We recently took Elijah for a scheduled x-ray and unfortunately it was not as favorable as we would have liked. We aren’t sure yet what this means for him, but we travel to Baltimore in 10 days to meet with his specialist. He will be doing a thorough exam, x-rays, test, etc. to assess Elijah and guide is through the next course of attack. We truly have no idea what is ahead for our beautiful, rambunctious, brave boy, but we are choosing daily…sometimes hourly to trust God’s plan for Elijah’s life. Most days I hold it together pretty well, but then there are other days I just want to look out the window and watch my boy……….RUN.

Please continue to partner with us in prayer as Elijah continues to #tacklePerthes. We are immeasurably grateful for your love and support.

Tiff 🙂

 

In addition to all of this uncertainty with Elijah our family experienced the sudden loss of my courageously strong mom-in-law. 3 weeks ago she surrendered her battle with cancer. Even in her final days she was gazing with such love at our kids. The last words she managed to utter to Elijah while she was in the hospital were just precious. She leaned over and saw the scars from his surgery and with all the strength she could muster reached over and touched them and said, “That’s ridiculous.” I know she was trying to say that how dare someone leave any blemish on her grand baby. My eyes surged with tears because as a mom I could so relate. What Sue and I had so much in common is how much we loved our baby boys. She loved hers and I sure love mine. I miss her so very much. She was such a character. She loved her family. I think one reason my heart hurts so much for her is because I know how desperately she would have wanted to see her Elijah #tacklePerthes to the ground and come out victorious. She was such a fan…..always.

 

 

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Gammy & her boys
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Turning 11! 😦
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Eli & his buddy Dillon
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Working it
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Physical therapy

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Go Stix!
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Myk – Grateful for this man!
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Go get ’em Tigers!

 

 

 

 

@QBWalters1 scored BIG in surgery! Now, onto phase 2 as he #tacklesperthes!

We eagerly awaited the post-surgery update from Doctor Standard yesterday. He was able to see and do for our boy what we couldn’t, so we waited, prayed, paced and hoped for promising news. It was worth the wait. When Doc Standard emerged from the operating room he had much to share. He said that Elijah’s range of motion was stellar, that blood flow had been restored, the fixator had been removed, and the hip was looking GREAT. He said he normally categorized a hip’s condition as moderate to good and good to great. Elijah’s = GREAT! We both broke down in tears. Not because Elijah’s out of the woods so to speak, but there is HOPE. Hope was all we needed. Only God can do what we cannot! I love when God shows off!

A bit later they brought us back to the recovery room, and there he was…our beautiful brave boy. He was completely out of it and we just looked at him reminiscing about how we couldn’t believe that we were there and never imagined he would have to face something so challenging. Of course, I wanted to see his leg WITHOUT the fixator. I had such a love-hate relationship with the 8 pound piece of machinery. I hated that pain, the agony, the aggravation of it, but I LOVED that it was going to give Elijah a real chance at battling Perthes. My eyes had never been so pleased to see Elijah’s little leg. It was bloody and bandaged, but it was beautiful. He eventually stirred and awoke, although he was quite out of it. We took time to tell him how proud we were of him. He had rocked that fixator and phase 1 of treatment with dignity, discipline, and determination! This was also our first glance at his brace he’ll have to wear full time for a month. Looked more like his superhero gear to me! He won over the hearts of the nurses as well as he talked, joked, and began to recover. They even went as far as calling him the poster child for Perthes because he appeared so fearless. We warrant much of Elijah’s “can do” attitude to the Lord, for he knows that he can do all things through the Lord who gives him strength. However, we know it’s also due to the generous outpouring of love and support from family, friends, Mosaic, teammates, coaches, teachers, and the community reminding him that he is not fighting alone.

As Elijah continued to recover, doc shared with us that because he was improving so well, that he would grant us the option to go home. (Prior to our arrival, Elijah was initially asked to stay through next week.) We did not anticipate this and we were floored! The agreement was that we would have to immediately begin aggressive physical therapy and manage his pain. You got it, doc! So, that is the plan! Hoping E sleeps well and we can begin our trek home to Cincy!
So, what’s next for our Perthes QB? Well, this is what we know now for phase 2…. 1 month in a full time brace and crutches with NO running or jumping. He should only bear 50% weight on leg/hip. He’s required to go to PT several times a week, do sets of exercises/stretches 3 times a day at home, wear a brace/customized pillow for a year while sleeping, x-rays in 6 weeks, and back to Baltimore in 12 weeks. We wait and see how his hip continues to regrow and how his range of motion hopefully continues to improve. This next segment is when Elijah has to push through his pain to do all he can to help reignite a healthy hip. He’s got his work cut out for him, but like we always instill in him….anything worth having is worth fighting for.

We ask you to continue to lift him up in prayer and give him a high 5 when you see him! We thank you from the deepest and most inner parts of our hearts for cheering him on, believing on his behalf, praying for victory, and even listening to his endless talking! YOU are such a significant part of his journey as he continues to #tackleperthes! We are infinitely grateful. Words do not adequately express our thanksgiving. Team Perthes all the way!

Love,

Tiff 🙂

E's buddies face timing him from the bus before he heads into surgery!
E’s buddies face timing him from the bus before he heads into surgery!
Team Walters! Great look on Shayne, don't you think!
Team Walters! Great look on Shayne, don’t you think!?
Grinning and gritting while getting his IV.
Grinning and gritting while getting his IV.
Doc mapping out the plan.
Doc mapping out the plan.
Post-surgery sleep.
Post-surgery sleep.
Slowly coming out of his fog....
Slowly coming out of his fog….
Doc Standard, THANK YOU.
Doc Standard, THANK YOU.
Such a treasure to have E's teachers and principals sending and showing their support!
Such a treasure to have E’s teachers and principal sending and showing their support!
Awesome friends sending pics from the 5th grade field trip to show Elijah their support!
Awesome friends sending pics from the 5th grade field trip to show Elijah their support! Thanks, Colleen!

@QBWalters1 heads in for surgery tomorrow! Time for this Tiger to punch Perthes in the face! #tackleperthes

Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Elijah goes in for surgery #2! Our surgeon will go in and remove the fixator, check his range of motion (which is HUGE), blood circulation to the bone, and get a vivid arthrogram. All of these will factor into what doc decides next phase of treatment looks like. We do know that Elijah will have a customized brace, which he was fitted for today, and will have to wear indefinitely. So, now we’re just hanging tight (thinking about our 5th grade Loveland Tigers who earned themselves a spot at the Super Bowl this weekend) and waiting for tomorrow morning.

Today was quite special, because as we were in Baltimore prepping for tomorrow, Loveland Intermediate was holding its annual carnival. This year’s carnival was particularly dear to our hearts, due to the fact that they asked if it could benefit Elijah?’s medical bills. What? What an unexpected and incredible blessing!! So, as we were sitting in the waiting room at Sinai Hospital, we were getting pics of the fun, the booths, the amazing people enjoying one another while having a blast!  Although it was a bummer missing it, we were reminded that we are surrounded by such powerful love.

It’s strange being away from our other 3 children, but this time with Elijah has been precious. I love listening to him and Shayne rattle off sports stats and trivia (even though they can’t even remember to take out the trash :). I love watching his love for life, adventure, experiences. I love rubbing his neck and feet. I love seeing him inhale life. I love joining in as we talk about how good God is despite Perthes. I love getting a front row seat to watch God use these circumstances and use Elijah for HIS glory.  I love seeing him discover that he has more courage and bravery than he ever thought possible. I love watching him #tackleperthes. I love being his mom.

Please partner with us, as we are believing and expecting for a great surgery and miraculous report!

Thanks to the LMS crew for supporting today's LIS Carnival!
Thanks to the LMS crew for supporting today’s LIS Carnival!
The CHUCK!
The CHUCK!
The BEST Big Mac we know!
The BEST Big Mac we know!
Lunacy Attack!
Lunacy Attack!
Go #54 - Nick Elam!
Go #54 – Nick Elam!
Yes! Koehne representing!
Yes! Koehne representing!
2 hour wait before getting in to see the doc!
2 hour wait before getting in to see the doc!
Ben the bulldog Kirlin!
Ben the bulldog Kirlin!
Our send off to Baltimore!
Our send off to Baltimore!
This boy = nothing but love....and an occasional fart! :)
This boy = nothing but love….and an occasional fart! 🙂
Flying high!
Flying high!

8 days until @QBWalters1 is fixator free! He is in full out Tiger mode as he #tacklesperthes & heads back to Baltimore for round 2!

Well, we are 8 days…8 days away from returning to Baltimore for round 2 of Elijah’s battle as he #tacklesperthes! In some ways the past 4 months have flown by and in other ways it has crawled by. Most recently it has been a struggle because 1 of the 6 pins in Elijah’s hip and leg has become loose causing him excruciating pain at times. He has also recently encountered a pin site infection, which brings about horrible discomfort. However, like always, he has fought back with resilience and perseverance. Immensely proud of the character he has demonstrated through this whole process.

What does a typical day look like for Elijah?

Wakes up at 6:00 am for school and crutches to the bus stop w/the help of big sis.

Gets picked up from the bus at school by the lovely Mrs.Tucker and she wheelchairs him to class.

Enjoys classes at school and spends some of his recesses and gym time helping in the special needs room, which he loves.

Gets to learn under the direction of Ms. Papa & Coldiron. Did I mention that Ms. Papa’s son has Perthes!? He was younger than Elijah when diagnosed, but is doing so well in college after all his treatments! Seriously, how awesome that God would place our boy in a teacher’s/mother’s care whose son faced similar circumstances?! Love when God reminds us He’s not forgotten us.

Mrs. Tucker loads him back on bus and he crutches home from bus stop. When he arrives home he has to put his hip extension bar in for an hour or two. This extends his hip. This is a hurtful part of this process. The stretch can be quite rough. He takes it turn by turn and dials it out slowly….not a fan of this. He takes pain meds, grabs a snack, and refuels for the night.

We head to physical therapy where they push him to stretch, extend, loosen. He’s the youngest patient and they are so fond of him and his “can do” attitude. The feelings are mutual. He works hard for them trying to impress them. I’ve realized that this has taken the spot of football during this season. This gives him the platform to compete, and although it looks different than a football field and he doesn’t have a defender glaring at him face to face, it has given him a chance to compete against himself. Each week he pushes himself harder and works to be faster and stronger than the time before.

His nights mostly consist of football practice with our favorites, the Loveland 5th grade Tigers, Mosaic family, friends, and homework.

The nights bring about Perthes stretches and the hip extension bar gets put in his fixator all night.

What have been the highlights of this whole challenging disease?

The unexpected and unprecedented outpouring of love and support from our family, friends, and community. The way people have rallied behind Elijah has been overwhelming. From Alaine Oleasko single handedly leading a Tiger sock fundraiser, LYF sporting #1 on their helmets and sponsoring Elijah during cheer week, the varsity football team highlighting Elijah during a recent game, the community purchasing and wearing #tackleperthes shirts, meals made for our family, Eli’s teammates and their families lavishing him with kindness, LIS selecting to help with medical bills from their annual carnival, and even the most recent surprise plate of goodies left for Elijah at our front doorstep by some precious girls. Speechless….just speechless.

It has been beautiful to see Elijah’s teammates and classmates eagerly seeking to help him day in and day out. Whether it’s sitting on the sidelines with him, coming over to hang out with him, wheeling him on and off the field, or just calling/texting him to see how he’s doing. One instance in particular stands out to me about E’s friend Brady. I was asking Elijah what he did that day for recess and he told me he hit a homerun in baseball. In his condition that would obviously be challenging, so I inquired further. He went on to share with me that he smacked the ball and then Brady ran him around the bases in his wheelchair. My eyes swelled with tears immediately. There was something about envisioning my son needing help and having a friend there to do what even I couldn’t at that particular time. Each time I see Elijah’s peers take a moment to check on him or even pause to put his needs above their own just overwhelms my heart with gratefulness, joy, and hope.

God deepening our faith and reliance on Him.This whole situation has reminded me that as much as I love Elijah, God loves him even more. God loves him so much that He sent His only son to demonstrate it. God knows how it feels to see His son hurting. He identifies with how I’m feeling. This has forced me to put my faith and trust in Him, in a way I’ve never even had to before.

Seeing Elijah grow in his faith and character. I would NEVER have chosen this for my beautiful boy, but the way in which he has and is handling all of this is exemplary. I look at that little leg with a massive piece of machinery connected to it and can’t believe it’s actually real, that we’ve actually been walking through this, but it has also allowed me to further discover the strength and character of Elijah. I have watched him wince, cry, sob in pain, just to then say, “Mom, it’s ok. I’m gonna be fine.” Who is the parent around here? His commitment to getting better and pushing through the pain has been remarkable. Seeing the way he is depending on the Lord and just trusting Him has been immensely encouraging. He is a warrior. I’ve believed that for 10 years. This year he got to prove it. Today this was reinforced as he was chosen as 5th grade student of the quarter. Hearing his teachers say that he is a natural leader, a friend to everyone, and the words “I can’t” don’t ever grace his leaps, was a precious testament to him.

Watching others faith grow. We have had 3 different instances in which people, whom we dearly love and adore, have shared dreams and visions they’ve had of Elijah’s healing and future. We cling to these, especially in the days of doubt and despair. To think there are people moving, praying, and receiving on Elijah’s behalf is incredible and humbling.

What’s up next for our QB?

Friday, October 23rd Elijah will have surgery and have his fixator removed at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. He will be in Baltimore for extensive physical therapy and will also be getting a brace to wear for a time. They will also be checking the bone, blood flow, and range of motion. These all play a vital role in prescribing what is next.
Of course, we believe that God has been scripting his story all along and will continue to do so. It is our great hope that he will recover, but we are daily doing our best to submit and surrender our hopes and plans for him to the Lord.

How can you help?

Pray. Pray. Pray some more. Above all else, we covet your prayers. We believe in the power of prayer. We believe that prayer moves the heart of God. Please lift Elijah up with us.

Encourage and support him. As we go to Baltimore, please continue to send him texts, pics, calls reminding him he is not alone. We just found out his class goes on a field trip the day of his surgery, which was a disappointment for him. However, he’s got this. Whether in Cincinnati, Baltimore, or across the globe….our boy can face this. Why? Because with GOD all things are possible.

Thanks to all those who have partnered with us. You have lifted our hands and hearts when they were too much for us to carry ourselves. Although the future is uncertain, we choose to believe that all will be……well.

Much love,

Tiff 🙂

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All smiles….almost always.
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5th grade student of the month!
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Loading up!
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The brotherhood.
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Dance party. Walker style. 🙂
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Physical therapy with Mrs. Stephanie.
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Working it!
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Go Tigers!
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Best buds!
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Great pals!
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Football is life. 🙂

A Dad Learning From His Son.

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Team Walters! Great look on Shayne, don’t you think!

Hey Blogger World,

I wanted to take a moment and share a few thoughts with all of our blog friends, especially the dads whose child is battling Perthes disease.

Elijah and I are the best of pals. We love doing the normal Dad/Son things that many of you do. We watch the Buckeyes, play games, throw the ball, I coach him in most of his sports, we serve in church together, etc.

So, when I found out Elijah had Perthes I did the normal things men do. I block it out, treated it like a sprained ankle, thinking give it a few months and we will be back to normal. Well, the hard reality is that Perthes is not a sprained ankle, a quick fix. I have spent most of 2015 watching my boy live life from the sidelines. A boy that use to spend his days running, jumping, playing, and competing now sits as others do that. He strains to get to his bed, hobbles from one event to another cheering on his little brother or watching his friends compete. He sits on the sideline of his football games, dying to be in there knowing it won’t happen this year, but still pressing to be any part he can. Today he learned he would not be able to try out for basketball and yet another season of sadness.

However, on this journey, where I am suppose to be the encourager, I am learning in my quiet times that actually he is the one encouraging and teaching me. Not one time has he had a pity party, given up, or lost focus. Everyday he does what he needs to do: physical Therapy, stretching, bar in and bar out, and most of the time with at least a smile. He often shares about one day soon being back on the field, on the playground, in the yard, in the life he was created to live. What I am learning is, that life is not fair. As a Pastor I know that, as a dad I am learning it. But despite the pain or disappointment in life, there is still life to live. As I watch a my 10 year boy (or young man in his view point) battle, I am learning that no matter the size of the struggle we choose to live life to its fullest or complain about where we are. I have no doubts Elijah will be back to being Elijah. Why? Because he chooses everyday to live each day to its fullest, never feeling sorry for himself, but embracing where he is and where he is going. I have watched my buddy live his faith in Christ and as a leader no matter the fear or pain, he just keeps on keeping on.

I have learned most of all, it’s okay to let your guard down and be vulnerable to your child and others. I knew on this journey how much my boy would need me, I was just so clueless on how much I would need him. The Bible tells us that to truly know God we must the faith of a child, I have preached that for 20 years and finally learned it this year.

Shayne

Faith, Family, Friends, & Football = A powerful force for our QB as he #tacklesperthes!

It has been approximately 29 days since Elijah’s surgery. Each day is a new challenge AND a new chance for Elijah to see what he’s made of, who he is made of….our young man of God. I wanted to pause and share with you how our QB is doing since he’s been home.

I’ll be the first to admit that I was most nervous to return home. Home meant back to appointments, meetings, deadlines, back to crazy. I loved being in Baltimore because we could focus solely on Elijah, and I was nervous that I would feel even more insecure about taking care of him. I mean, I am pretty decent at being his mom, but his nurse? SCARY. However, like always Shayne encouraged me and reminded me how much good being home will be for Elijah and how God will supply the wisdom and discernment for us to support him. He was right. The old cliche – There’s NO place like home – never packed a punch as powerfully and deeply as it did returning home with our boy.

The medical staff in Baltimore told us to allow Elijah to be our guide, so we weren’t quite sure what to expect when we got home. First thing he wanted to do was sleep, so we let him. He still does not have the stamina of our “normal Elijah” as his body is still recovering and because he still has 6 pins protruding from his leg and hip. He awoke and when we began talking through sleeping arrangements downstairs for him, he chimed in quickly. He expressed that he wanted to sleep in his bed. The problem was that his bedroom was on the 2nd floor, and there were about 20 stairs in between him and his bed. He had NOT done stairs yet, but he was adamant about trying. With some help from dad…..he did it! He was slow as a tortoise, but he did it. He was proud. We were prouder. None of us thought about getting him back down the stairs, but we didn’t care. At that moment we were elated and overjoyed. He SLEPT the entire night. I know his bed never felt so good. So, we conquered the first night home, but let’s be honest, as I got in bed that evening my mind starting getting preoccupied with what we’d do the next day. He would have his first physical therapy session, but what else? Like a newborn…..the days are long. I calmed down and leaned on the Lord…..He was WITH me, He would sustain me, He loves me…..He loves Elijah even more than I do.

The next morning we were beckoned to help Elijah creep out of bed. Elijah is normally my first child to hit the floor running. I hear him pounce on the ground and make a b-line to the bathroom. That has now changed. We have a whole routine before he even gets up. He yells, “Mom! Mom! Mom!” I arrive, he pees in his bottle, we do all of his Perthes stretches (which we do 2x a day), we get his hip bar taken out, give his meds, I tell him how proud I am of him, his dad tells him how proud he is of him, and we wiggle him out of bed. We help him get dressed and he loads up on his walker. He’s tried the stairs a variety of different ways and has seemed to settle into his favorite way. Anyway, it was going to be his first trip to PT, and nobody knew quite what to expect. Shayne takes him and he’s the talk of the clinic. None of them have ever seen an external fixator and they are quite mesmerized and intimidated by it. Elijah showed them all the things he learned at PT in Baltimore, he gave them the folder and DVD from Baltimore that were full of material to assist them. They seemed to be up for the challenge!  The first PT session brought on a lot of tears, but Elijah pushed through the pain and they were thrilled at his initial attempt. He will continue PT 3 times a week until further notice. We are hopeful that this will be a match made in PT heaven.

Like I’ve said before, we feel it is important to train our kids to have a plan, a strategy, and goals. As parents we feel the same about ourselves, so we prayed, conversed, and agreed that our best strategy to support Elijah is to keep him as engaged and connected as possible to his friends and family. They are undoubtedly good for his soul and if we make every effort to keep him close to his friends that it would continue to motivate him to want to keep moving forward. However, it also means that I’m going to have to allow the guardrail down a bit and not put him in a cautionary bubble. His friends have been extremely thoughtful and generous. They have come over to swim, do archery, shoot the Red Ryder BB Gun, play video games, play board games, do puzzles, take walks with him. We have been digging deep to find creative activities for him to participate in.

We did face a super tough day last Monday. Elijah was experiencing tons of pain that he was having a hard time explaining. There were lots of tears shed and unhappiness. He just wasn’t my Elijah. We realized that he was beginning to battle a pin infection and began antibiotics. The next day he was on his way back to being….Elijah. Thank you, Jesus!

One beauty of the fixator is that it allows Elijah to swim! Now, that first time in the pool was quite interesting as there’s no awesome and handy chair that lifts and lowers him into the water, so it was all us trying to filter through it. It was a slowwww process, but we did it!!!! We got him in the water. He was initially a bit apprehensive, but once the football entered the water it was game on! I am convinced that swimming and sunshine are good for the mind and the body, so I am getting him to the pool, even though it is quite the task, as often as possible. Kids should be splitting and splashing in the summer, especially when the sunny months are as limited as they are in OH-IO!

Football has also begun. Normally my boy would be taking to the field for some tackle tunneling, tiger jacking, and sprinting. However, this year instead of being the QB he’ll be the junior coach 🙂 who will be coaching alongside his dad and incredible coaching staff. I gotta admit that loading him into the car each night knowing that he is gonna be sidelined has had me choked up several times. I can tell that some nights affect him more than others, but he continues to love being a part of this team. I told him that it was one thing to help lead the team in the huddle, but it will be even more impactful if he can help lead the team demonstrating perseverance, encouraging his teammates, and pushing through the pain. It has been precious to watch his football buds tend to him in his wheelchair/walker. We are blessed to be part of the LYF family and the awesome cheerleaders who cheer him on daily.

One activity I love to do with my kids is to read books with them. This especially comes in handy while Elijah has limited activity. We just finished Mockingjay and are now reading Tim Tebow’s autobiography, Through My Eyes: A Quarterback’s Journey. We are loving it! The discussions we are having are so rich and so fun. One night we spent lots of time dialoguing about Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. We chatted about how God can use things that we deem bad actually for good. It was so neat to hear Elijah’s heart. He grew my faith that night as he reiterated that he didn’t understand why this was happening, but was trusting that God still has big plans for him. No wonder God asks us to have a child-like faith. Their faith is super sized!

Our Mosaic family, friends, neighbors, and teams have been vital in helping us transition and settle into our new normal. If you’ve sent a text, called, stopped by, prepared a meal, transported our other kiddos, prayed, sent a card/package WE THANK YOU. Your love and support have filled our tanks as we battle this with and for our boy. We are infinitely grateful.

I’m keenly aware that the road ahead will be bumpy, uncertain, and at times downright frightening, but I know that the Lord will continue to be faithful. Why? He always has been.

Elijah’s recent victories:

He tackled the stairs AND pool.

His attitude and attack have been superstar!

He is getting stronger each day and it is evident in how he is moving in his walker.

He is managing his pain quite well. Although he is still on some major meds, we have been able to decrease the frequency and potency of the meds.

How can you keep cheering him to the goal line:

Keep praying.

Keep encouraging.

Keep calling.

Keep high-fiving him.

Pray we don’t fumble the parenting ball too often.

Until next time…..

Tiff 🙂

Archery with friends!
Archery with friends!
Video tourney with cousin!
Video tourney with cousin!
Our 1st walk to the pool!
Our 1st walk to the pool!
Elijah & Zach! Swimming it up!
Elijah & Zach! Swimming it up!
Pushing through PT!
Pushing through PT!
Back home to Mosaic for the 1st time since surgery!
Back home to Mosaic for the 1st time since surgery!
Eli buzzing around Kroger with me. He's my sidekick. We had to rig the bottom with a basket since he can't bend his knee that well!
Eli buzzing around Kroger with me. He’s my sidekick. We had to rig the bottom with a basket since he can’t bend his knee that well!
Sweating and smiling after our daily wheelchair stroll around the neighborhood!
Sweating and smiling after our daily wheelchair stroll around the neighborhood!
Drop ball from the 2nd floor!
Drop ball from the 2nd floor!
Red Ryder BB Gunning!
Red Ryder BB Gunning!
Biking, blading, and wheel chairing!
Biking, blading, and wheel chairing!
Finished Mockingjay!
Finished Mockingjay!
Buddies!
Buddies!
Cooling off with Noah!
Cooling off with Noah!
Alicia leading the cheerleading charger as they snack shack for Elijah!
Alicia leading the cheerleading charge as they snack shack for Elijah!
Watching Judah practice and reading our new Time Tebow book!
Watching Judah practice and reading our new Time Tebow book!
Hopelessly in love with this boy!
Hopelessly in love with this boy!
Kicking back in the sunshine!
Kicking back in the sunshine!