Ali has found the joy of putting her fingers in her mouth. She moves her hand across her teeth and pushes and pinches her little lips and her eyes roll back in her head. Bliss. While all of you are telling your kids to "get your fingers out of your mouth," we love seeing Ali find her mouth with her hand all by herself.
One of our homework assignments before Ali began to take the bottle was to help her get her hand to and in her mouth. We helped her discover the inside of her mouth with her finger tips. This was the beginning of the brain re-discovering and connecting different parts of the body. This activity gave Ali so much pleasure. I'm convinced that this motivated her to take the next steps and start drinking her bottle.
During the past week, we've reported all this progress to her doctors, nurses, and therapists and new life has been breathed into the team. We've reduced the dose frequency of Ali's medicines so that she no longer gets any in the middle of the night through her g-tube. All medicines are taken orally.
Medicine is not her favorite. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Medicine time is not a happy time. But as much as she hates it, she goes along with the program and swallows it down. She never spits her medicine out.
Ali grabs her bottle when she's being fed as was her habit before she got hurt. She rests her little hand on top of the bottle as the charming and beautiful Susan or I feed her. The only thing is that toward the end of the day, she gets a little wound up and has a harder time making her hand do what she wants. Which frustrates her and gets her even more worked up. That makes it hard for us to get her to bed.
But we're ecstatic with every improvement we see. While Ali was laying on my lap sleeping this afternoon, I was able to read a couple of chapters in a Philip Yancey book I've been trying to get through. In Where is God When it Hurts, Yancey dedicates a chapter each to the stories of two people who when at the top of their games, experienced tragic accidents that left them paralyzed. Joni Eareckson Tada and Brian Sternberg were living full, active lives when, in the blink of an eye, each lost all use of his and her limbs. They watched all of their hopes and dreams traded for broken bodies. But the faith they've displayed through trial is legendary.
We think, sometimes, that if this happens or that, then we can serve God and live a full life. But that's backwards. All we have to do is cling to Him at all times and give what we have to Him, and He'll do things we never thought possible.
Actually, without Him, they're not possible.