We were gathered with our family today and began discussing over our turkey and pumpkin pie all that we have been through since we last sat at the Thanksgiving table. Last years celebration was muted to say the least. We were just beginning our journey with Drew, and we were struggling through the first days of diagnosis. There was so much uncertainty for what Drew's future would hold. My how a year can change things! Today we were all happy, lively and quite honestly I think it was one of the best Thanksgivings ever.
I am overwhelmed with things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. I could try to make a list, but it would not be exhaustive. If it were this post would be too long for you to read! It is hard to even know where to begin, and I don't want to accidentally leave something out. So, I find this appropriate:
T - oday. Everyday with Drew and his sister is a gift, and holidays are especially meaningful with them. Listening to Drew's Sister say her Thanksgiving prayer was beautiful. ("Thank you for the birds that sing. Thank you God for everything. Amen.") I am thankful that we were able to spend the day with our immediate families and that both sides of our family get along so well.
H - omework! I never thought I would say that, but I am thankful for all of the homework Drew's three therapists give us! Drew has three of the best therapists around. He likes each one of them so much and responds very well with them. They all do an excellent job of showing us exactly what they are doing and then explain why they are doing it. They give us so many things to work on at home with Drew. We also appreciate how well the three therapists work together and coordinate his therapy's.
A - udiology and technology. I am thankful for the gift of cochlear implants and for the audiologist that works with Drew. She continues to do an excellent job of programming Drew's processors so that he is hearing optimally with his implants. She has been very responsive to any equipment issues or questions we may have.
N - ew sounds. I am thankful for all of the new sounds Drew has made, from repeating "ahh" in the days just after activation to the "da da da" sounds now. I am thankful for the possibilities each day brings. Drew's first word, understanding of a new word or concept. I am thankful that Drew has taught me to appreciate all of these things that so many others take for granted.
K - ids. I am thankful for all of the families in this area that are willing to share their kids with us! When you have a child that is newly diagnosed as profoundly deaf, one of the best things you can do is to meet older deaf kids who are listening and talking with their cochlear implants. Those kids gave us the hope we needed to carry on in the early days of Drew's diagnosis. We are thankful for every family that shared their kid with us.
F - amily. Especially my Mom. I don't know what I would do without her. She watches Drew and his sister while I am at work each day. She takes Drew to his therapy sessions and is his therapist every day of the week. She has learned so much about auditory therapy and works with Drew on a consistent basis. It is no stretch to say that Drew's successes are directly attributed to her spending so much time working with him. I am forever grateful.
U - ncovered Medial Expenses can be APPEALED! I'm so thankful that I have learned how to appeal denied medical coverage and how to write appeals. I am thankful that my insurance company has overturned their previous decision in all of my appeals thus far. I am also thankful to all those who have walked this path before, as I know I have fought far less coverage issues than others before me.
L - ove. I am thankful for my relationship with my husband. It is amazing how much stress can be put on a relationship when you bring a baby into the world. It is even more amazing how much additional stress is put on a relationship when you have a child with a disability. We have managed to make it through this, and our relationship is actually stronger today having gone through the past year. I am very lucky to have him in my life and I am thankful that he is the man my children call "Daddy".
Happy Thanksgiving to All!