Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Miracle called Life

These days, half of my day is spent at Vignesh's therapy centre. His PT and OT are supposed to last for about 45 minutes each and his therapy centre is less than 10 minutes drive from my house. So, technically, I should be back home in two hours time. But, this is never the case. For instance, today it took us a little over 4.5 hours to get back home after the session. Because, Vignesh needs a lot of cajoling to do his therapy; because between his PT and OT session he needs a break - to relax/sleep, to eat, to play with his parents and to gaze around at the other kids; And, a lot of time is also spent on frequent suctioning during/between the sessions.

Spending so much time there, makes my life even more hectic because I have to squeeze my other chores to fit this schedule. But, I don't complain. I love spending time at his therapy centre. Because, I get to witness so many miracles before my eyes. A young boy who has suddenly learnt that he can walk on his own, trying to run around with so much pride and happiness on his face; the boundless joy of a mother who learnt that her daughter (who has been so long treating her mother as she would any other stranger) has begun to give her a special place in her life;

Life is filled with miracles. When our children speak their first words or take their first step, we are so happy and proud. But, when these things happen after a lot of wait and a lot of hard work, our joy is mulitiplied. Apart from being proud of our child, apart from being overjoyed, we also begin to appreciate the worth of every milestone and celebrate miracles in their true form.

And that is exactly what I do everyday. Even as I wait for my son to complete his therapy, I see a lot of these miracles before my very eyes. Kids proving that being 'different' does not mean being 'less' and their parents standing beside them and celebrating every single achievement.

I have the feeling of watching a real time, feel-good movie. But, unlike in movies, it isn't just the ending that is happy. Every phase of the journey is filled with challenge, celebration and happiness. And, even as I'm an audience, I guess there would a lot of others who would be watching the story of my son and his parents and rejoicing our journey of our life as we sail through it everyday.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Down Syndrome – The Feature(d) Article

It was an hour after Vignesh was born. My son's pediatrician came over and said, “Your son might have Down Syndrome”. I did not have any idea what it was. Once I went home, I went online to search for whatever information I could get. I began to read blogs to get a clearer picture.

It was during these times, I came across an interesting blog written by a father of a young down syndrome girl. In one of his blogs, he had said how peculiar he used to feel when people sometimes told him that it did not look like his daughter had down syndrome. A lot of readers on the blog also said that they were annoyed when someone made a similar remark. I could not understand their feelings back then.

Just last week, I was speaking to a close friend of mine. She told me that Vignesh doesn’t seem to be having DS features. I could not help laughing. Although, I tried to make her understand that my son did have DS features, I guess she felt uncomfortable about the conversation and kept changing the topic.

Right from the moment that Vignesh popped into this world, we have adored him for what he was. And, I’m so proud of him. Proud that he has fought more battles in these 10 months than I have in my 30 years and did so with a smile and resilience. Yes, at times, there is fear of the future. But, I guess, DS or not, every parent has those moments of fear about their child's future.

And when it comes to his physical appearance, in my frank opinion free of any manipulation, I strongly believe that devoid of DS, my son would not have looked all that handsome as he is now.

Vignesh at birth

By denying him of DS, you are just taking away all these beautiful features away from him. For all that you know, Vignesh would not have had such expressive eyes, whole-hearted smile and that cute nose, if it was not for DS. I really love him for whatever he is –from the bottom of my heart.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Proud Moment

Vignesh has made his parents proud again. When I asked his therapist if I could try this, he did not believe my son could do it and I could try it if I wanted to. I did try it anyway and he proved his critics wrong. Just a couple of hours back, I just tried to feed him through a straw and YES, he was able to drink through a straw. I'm so happy and proud of my cute little genius.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Vignesh at his Therapy Sessions

Physiotherapy session in Progress

Occupational Therapy Session

Waiting to be consoled and pampered

Father's Love Therapy

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Other Side of Vignesh

Vignesh started his PT and OT classes when he was about a month old. But, every time there was some health issue that prevented him from attending the therapy regularly. After all the obstacles, we started his therapy about two weeks back. This time we are determined to take him regularly to his sessions. As usual, this time too, within 2 days he developed some sort of stomach infection. But, we did not want to give up this time. We gave him just enough time to recover and after 2-3 days we again started with his therapy classes.

My son has always been a strict disciplinarian. He goes about his work without complaining. Whether it is bathing time or sleep time, he is happy to follow his schedule. Touchwood, he is always happy and its very rare to see him cry. Sometimes, it makes me think that my son is more responsible and matured than even me. There are times when he was on ventilator and in pain and all that he let out was silent tears. That would melt my heart away. Only occasionally did he cry and that too for valid reasons. Even today morning, when I woke up, I saw him play by himself with his toys on the bed, instead of crying or trying to wake me up. He makes me so proud of him.

But, in the past two weeks, I'm getting to see the other side of my son.

He refuses to do PT. It is normal for children to cry during PT sessions. But, this guy goes beyond that and cries until he turns red from coughing. He closes his eyes tightly shut and would not open them as long as the therapists are near him, no matter how much we try to console him. He makes his body stiff so that we cannot try to make him do therapy. And, no matter how active he was before the session, he would doze off after crying. We have attempted a lot of strategies. But, Vignesh just outsmarts us. Today, he was crying so much during the session and dozed off. But, the moment we came home and I lay him on the bed he began to smile and played all afternoon.

It really makes thing difficult and makes me angry. I'm not sure how we are going to make him do PT. But, in some corner of my heart, I enjoyed seeing the childish persistence in my son. A new Vignesh - completely different from the more matured person that he normally is. Although, I wish he continues to be a disciplined person most of the times (and esp during his therapy sessions), I would still be eagerly waiting for the naughty person in him to show up once in a while.