Usually throughout the day I kind of “rough draft” a blog post in my head. Actually, if I’m being honest? There are far more blog posts stuck in rough draft mode in my head than I have ever actually found the time to write. However, the typical thing that first pops into my head is a title. I don’t know why but after I start to formulate our day that is what rises to the top…oooh and then it is ACTUALLY at the top. Ha.
Today? All I keep thinking is “No.Frickin.Way.” …but I didn’t feel that was an appropriate title. I didn’t feel that it gave the appropriate amount of weight to what today encompassed. Not to mention? It doesn’t envelop the … gosh. I don’t even know that I have a word to express the level of combined excitement/joy/hope/pride/etc that I hold in my heart at this very moment. I just keep thinking “No.Frickin.Way.”
As I started to formulate this post my mind went back to three months and eight days ago. I sat across the desk from Dr. Tish and received the news that our daughter was potato and soy intolerant. I got that news just after I had to ask for a towel to clean up the vomit from my child’s shirt… just after I had seen a look of compassion, concern, and worry rush over a near stranger’s face at the sight of my child choking and fighting to catch her breath. Three short months ago I packed extra blankets, waterproof pads, and extra changes of clothes. Our days revolved around trying to get her meds in her at just the right moment so that she would keep them down and hopefully tolerate enough of a feed to where we weren’t concerned for the day about her hydration.
What amazes me the most looking back? Is how much I didn’t realize the strain that was present. For us? It was our “normal.” It was all Alyssa had known. I woke to the sound of her gagging daily and just figured it was how things were. We stripped sheets daily and had just factored it into the daily routine. We planned when to feed her, tried to get a quantity that would stay in for car rides, and overall? without even REALLY realizing it? We were in constant “wait” for the next time she’d vomit. . . and we didn’t even realize it. It was just how life was…. until it wasn’t that way any more.
September is a blur. There was a lot of the “worse before better” that came with trying to dial in her diet. The vomiting increased. It was harder to handle because it wasn’t laced with the smell of vanilla. There were calls to Windrose for advice. There were moments of worry. There was a time when we wiped her intake down to just coconut water because she wouldn’t tolerate any thing else. There were moments when Neil and I lost it together after she was in bed. There were days when I wanted to give up. When it felt TOO HARD. When we’d go to the chiropractor… do the NAET (http://www.naet.com/) testing and find out we had to cut out something else for a day… and I’d want to throw in the towel. Instead? We stuck it out. We muscled through. Alyssa once again showed us that if we are willing to put in effort…she’d not only match it but she’d surpass it as well.
September faded into October and October into November. It was a trying few months in many ways. November is for some reason always an emotional struggle for me. I don’t quite know why… but it seems to happen that way. However, over the course of those months something amazing happened…well somethingS amazing. Alyssa is not the same weak little girl who sat nearly lethargic as I got the news that day at Windrose. Alyssa is not the same little girl who had to be slowly and gently fed so as to keep her from vomiting. Alyssa hasn’t woken up gagging…in…well… I don’t even remember the last day. If she spits up now? It is just a tiny amount.
At any rate… as you can tell… all of this stuff has been gradually changing even if rapidly. So … why am I so speechless about today? Why am I without a title for the events of today? Well… it is a day that I didn’t think I would see for a *very* long time. It is a day that I honestly didn’t know if we would ever experience. It is a day that I for certain would have never placed in 2010. It is a day that once again showed me what a determined and strong little girl we get to spend our days with. What happened today?
Well… Alyssa did not receive any food via her g-tube today!! Not.one.bite. She ate 100% of her food calories off of a spoon. What’s more? SHE ENJOYED IT! She lights up when you say “Do you want to eat?!” and she actually stays interested until the bowl is empty! Of course she still got her supplements, medicine, and liquid via her g-tube. However, she consumed 30 fl oz of purred food off of a spoon today. Now… say it with me. “No.Frickin.Way!!!!” 😀 I just cannot even begin to put to words the emotion that it fills me with. Maybe after a couple of days I will be able to, but probably not. I am *so* proud of her. So very VERY proud. Also? I’m so EXCITED for her. I’m simply THRILLED for her that for the first time in her life food is not a source of pain or discomfort. I’m elated for her that she’s gone a long enough time without food causing her pain that she can actually enjoy meal time. Finally? I’m a bit…ok a LOT… excited for Neil and myself. It’s just…well…EXCITING!!! I’m hoping that today is just the first of many to follow!!! ❤