Monday, October 19, 2009

Muscles and the XeroSox

I really try to make some posts informative because I know that there are some readers out there who also have children who are amputees and that's one of the reasons for this post.
Last summer when we went to the beach with my family we had quite the problem. Before we left we had looked at water legs that Bryson could use at the beach but they were just too exensive to buy for just a week at the beach. We knew that Bryson could get his prosthetic leg wet, but what we didn't think about was what the salt water and sand would do to it. He was only in the water once with his prosthetic and the knee froze and so for the rest of the week he could not bend his knee. This year we knew we would be headed to the beach again for shorter time and really wanted Bryson to be able to play in the water with the other kids, running in and out of the waves. We started doing our research for cheaper options and this is what we found. It is called the "XeroSox." This can be used by people with prosthetics as well as people with casts. I don't remember exactly how much it was but I know it was under $100. The size we had to get for Bryson was a little big and hard to get on, but we made it work. And I'm happy to say it worked. He was able to play at the beach - as you can see from these pictures - and when we left his leg still worked. Because the XeroSox that we bought was so much bigger than Bryson's leg we should be able to use it for a couple years.
I did also want to let you know that when we went to a water park this summer we let Bryson go onto the slides with his prosthetic leg on and it didn't do any damage to it. He couldn't leave it on all the time because water would get into the top and drive him crazy but it did help that we didn't have to carry him through most of the lines. It is so nice to be getting some of this stuff figured out now. It would've been nice for us to find some of this stuff out from other people which is why I decided to post about it. Hopefully, this will help somebody else out.
Now about the "muscles"...

Beau texted this picture to his Dad while we were on vacation. We didn't think twice about it. We never really thought about his muslces, although he loves to flex them until we saw this picture again when we got home. We were shocked to see Bryson's defined muscles. I guess we should've thought about it since he does over compensate for the missing leg with his upper body, but we didn't. Anyway, here is what defined muslces look like on a 6 year old.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What Bryson did the rest of the summer

I realize that it may look like I decided to quit updating this blog, but that is not the case. We had a crazy busy summer and now I am finally into the new school routine. Hopefully I can do a little better updating now. Here is kind of a breakdown of our summer and why it got so busy.

If you remember it all started with Tball...

Then a new baby brother, Riley...

Then trip to KY to see our new nephew, Brogan... (no picture because this is a public site and I didn't ask his parents.)

Then Cousin camp for the three older kids and Youth Conference for Riley, Beau, and I... (no picture of cousin camp because I wasn't there and the grandparents haven't graduated to digital pictures yet.:))

Then trip to Marion to see our new niece, Collette...(again no pic, didn't ask the parents)

Next was the Osborne family vacation to DISNEY...

Then the Hummel Family Vacation to Cincinatti for Kings Island and the Zoo...

Then our vacation with our family friends the Starners to PA...

(Throughout the summer Bryson was going to physical therapy again about everyother week. It was great and I really think strength is improving - we will continue to do this through the year about every other month.)

And the summer ended with Bryson going back to school, but this time in the 1st grade!!!

Did you notice anything different about Bryson in this picture? He has a new leg. It is now blue and he is okay with the color this time. We will have to make sure that on Michigan game day it is well covered, so as not to promote the other team, but we can make it work. The other leg he had was quite a bit too short (seems that kids grow alot :)), so we changed it out right before school starter. Let's see how long he will hang on to this leg.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Can you stand it - two posts in one week!

I received a forward today and I just had to post about it. The email was about an organization called Ampucamp that is trying to get so many votes so that it can win a $25,000 grant. After visiting their site and reading the story I know you will all want to vote for them, so I just had to post. The story is of a little boy who had to have his leg amputated after a fluke kind of accident. The feelings the boys dad writes about are very similar to the ones Beau and I have shared with you over the past two years which are on this blog and our old website I also find it very interesting that the same song their video is being played to is the same song I used on for the video I made in my first couple posts of this blog. It brought me to tears as I relived the past two years of our lives while reading their story and watching their video. It is truly amazing to see God's hand move through it all.

Anyway, when you get a few moments check out the website for yourself and vote for them. I think it is a great cause.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Moment Bryson Has Been Waiting For

Finally, the moment Bryson had been waiting for for a couple months now just happened. Last week we got to meet Charlie, the boy who had a similar accident to Bryson that I mentioned in a previous blog. Bryson was so excited to see him. For most of the two hour trip Bryson was asking me if we were there yet. I really think this was a good trip for Charlie to see how Bryson is doing, for Charlie's mom to ask some questions, for this mom to related to another mom is similar circumstances, and for Bryson to see another kid that looks just like him. Charlie looks great and seems to be full of spunk! I remember everyone saying that about Bryson and said it was going to be what helped him get through everything. I think it will be the same for Charlie. He was moving around great and even though he was getting tired toward the end of our visit (to be expected for sure) I could tell he has a lot of energy still. Looks like Charlie will be getting his new leg soon and I'm sure will be up running before we know it. Before we left we decided that we would need to see them again after Charlie gets his new leg so the boys can run around together. The two hour trip home was so nice. It gave me a chance to relive the last couple of years, all of the emotions I felt, pray for this family who was right in the middle of probably the toughest time in their life, and a chance for me to thank God for how far he has brought us in the last couple years. Again, this trip meant so much to Bryson and I. Bryson reminds me even at the dinner table that we need to pray for Charlie - so sweet! We hope that we can continue this relationship. It is true that nobody really understands what you are going through unless they've walked in your shoes. Please continue to pray for Charlie and his family as they start the process of getting his first prosthetic leg. I remember it was scary for Bryson at first and even a little painful.

Enjoy the pictures below!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What Bryson has been up to lately

I have been wanting to post pictures of this for a long time but have never got around to it. Now that the season is over I am finally getting around to posting some tball pictures of Bryson.

We never wanted to be the family that is running there kids around to games all summer, but really with Bryson's accident we had a change of heart. We literally saw that any physical activities that we can get Bryson involved in now is like extra physical therapy and a confidence booster. And that is what tball has turned out to be for Bryson this year. He loved every minute of it and really did quite well. As far as skill level goes he was pretty average, which I think is great considering he has an added obstacle. It just proves to me once again that we should never try to put limits on Bryson, because I am not sure there is anything that he can't or won't be able to do. (Already swimming, skiing, and tball - what will be next.)

I think you will be amazed when you look at these pictures how you don't notice his prosthetic leg very much. At the games you can tell that he is running different, but hopefully when we get him back in PT some of that will be corrected. (speaking of PT - right now we are on a waiting list to get in!)

Anway, hope you enjoy the pics!


Sunday, May 17, 2009

My goofball of a son

So, I have to post this video for you. It cracks me up! Hopefully it will show you not only what a goofball my son is, but it will let you see how fun and full of life he really is. After going through the lawnmower accident, amputation, hospital stays, and other surgeries, as a parent I was little worried that the joy of life would be sucked right out of him - well it is not -and PRAISE GOD for that!

The song in the video is "True Dog" from Toby Mac's "Portable Sounds" CD



Please, Please, Please Pray

I really don't know how we could've gotten through the last almost two years without the prayer from all of you are family, friends, and so many others we haven't even met. Because this was so vital to us and still is, I need to pass on a few more prayer requests for you. Just in the last couple of weeks we have been made aware of three lawn mower accidents and these children and families need your prayer. It gets me teary eyed when I read about them because everything is still so fresh in my mind - I don't think I will ever get passed that. The family we have listed in Ohio we have had some limited contact with them and I am praying we get the chance to actually meet them. I mentioned the possibility to Bryson and he said, "really, really, can we go see him. When! When!"

Here they are:

1. 6 year old boy in North Carolina (he has a blog at
His injuries are around his abdomen.

2. 4 year old girl in Kent Co. MI (The only reason I know of this is from somebody commenting on this blog. For those of you who may not read the comments, I wanted to make you aware so that you could be praying.) If I get any more information I will let you know.

3. 3 year old boy in Perry, OH. His injuries are very similar to Bryson's.

Again, please pray for these families.

If you would like to read more about lawnmower accidents there is a website dedicated to it:

Thank you, to the people who made us aware of these accidents. I try to contact the people I hear of because it is just as much, if not more, of a healing experience for me as I hope it is for them. I guess I am hoping and praying too that all of these experiences that we have gone through and will go through will not be in vain, but will be used by God.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Random Pictures

The other day I decided to take some pictures that were a little more informative and not just of my cute son.:) These pictures are for the curious among you. I know we put some pictures on the original website of what Bryson's leg looked like, but I thought it was time to take some pictures of what the healed leg looks like.

This next picture is a picture of where the skin graft was taken to put on the amputated leg. Bryson affectionately called it his "racing stripe."

In my last post I said that Bryson gets a lot of holes in his jeans from his prsothetic knee. Well, the next picture is the evidence. I would say from the fall until now we have put at least 15 pairs of pants for the boy. He wears them until the wholes are on both sides of the pants and then we throw them away and get another pair. We have worked out a system now where we get men's tube socks, cut off the toes, and rubberband those around the knee and that helps some but it is still not a perfect system. We replace the sock when it is totally shredded. The other day though, I had just bought him a new pair of jeans and they came back with holes in it already. The damage must have been done in gym class.:) The jeans in the picture are mild compared to how they look when I decided to throw them out. Now we just keep our eyes open for jeans that are $10.00 or less and buy them - gone are the days about being picky about the kind of jeans are son wears.:)

...and the last picture for this update. Bryson practicing his piano. I started teach Bryson piano I think in February and he is doing much better than I ever expected. Right now he is playing songs with both the right and left hands just not played at the same time. It doesn't take him long before has the pieces memorized. I always said there were two activites I would make my kids do without a choice - piano lessons through elementary school and swim lessons until they are a strong swimmer - now I have kept my word. I'm just glad Bryson enjoys both of these activites right now and so he doesn't know I am making him do them.:)


The Tale of Three Appointments

Since the last time I blogged we have three appointments for Bryson. We had not had any appointments for a couple months (which was a nice break) and it was a little hard to get into the swing of things again. So, here is what happened in those three appointments.

1. Endocrinologist - Bryson's Urologist set us up with this appointment because he figured Bryson would need his hormone levels checked because of the damage to his testicles. Turns out it was a wasted trip for me. I thought I was on time for the appointment in Columbus but I guess I wrote down the time wrong and ended up being 40 minutes late. Thankfully they squeezed him in since we drove 2 hours to get there. When we got to see the doctor she checked his height, weight, felt around on his abdomen and then said that was good. She said that there was no way to test his hormones now (obviously, since he hasn't hit puberty yet!) and that she would see him when he was twelve. The good part is we don't have to see this doctor for 6 more years! The bad part is that I wasted 5 hours of my day for something that could've been said over the phone. I also have to say though, that Bryson was thrilled that they didn't prick him with a needle!

2. Prosthetic - Because Bryson ruins so many pairs of jeans as a result of his prosthetic knee we asked his prosthetist if they could put a cover over the knee during the winter months. This was going to be a couple hour appointment in Akron, so Beau took him to this one since I took him to the last appointment. When Beau and Bryson came back to get the leg, the whole leg was covered with the "skin." I wish I would've taken a picture of this, but I didn't think about it at the time and it didn't last long. Bryson hated the leg with skin on it. He said it was boring - and that it was. His leg normally has red and purple on it which he loves and the leg with skin on it looked like a leg with a thick pantyhose on it. Bryson was adament that he didn't like it, so on the way home Beau called the prothetist and they said to go ahead and cut if off. They said it was Bryson's leg and if he didn't like it to get rid of it - and that's what we did. So there you have it, appointment 3 and another 4 hours - a waste of time!

3. Orhopedic - The last appointment of the three was a pretty good one and not a waste of time. This one was also in Columbus. They took an xray of Bryson's leg which for the first time he was perfect for. Beau said he told him, "I know how to do this, Daddy." and sat really still. The great part is that there are no new growths that he will have to have removed this year - so no surgeries this year!!! The other news we got, which we were kind of expecting, is that we need to get Bryson back into physical therapy. The doctor said that he needs to work on his walking again. He is limping a bit more and kind of throwing his leg out wierd when he walks. When he runs right now he does more of a skipping/hopping thing. So back to PT we will go. I think I will try to schedule it when summer starts. Right now with swimming lessons and Tball I think it is best to wait until those are over at the end of May.

So, that's it. Three appointments are done and the next one isn't scheduled until October - wow! That doesn't count the PT which will be scheduled later, but we are still happy that we have come this far.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

...the rest of the story

I'd be lying to you if I said this was an easy entry to communicate. I've been waiting over two weeks to write this because I wanted to make sure Nicole & I were on the same page on how we wanted to share this.

Shortly after Bryson's accident, Grandpa Osborne's insurance company started doing their assessment to see whether or not they had any liability. After interviewing all those who were at the house during the accident, the insurance company determined that they had no liability as holder's of Chuck's liability insurance policy. We talked to other insurance companies and were told by some that it made no sense why the company wouldn't help with our expenses. So we pursued our options.

We spoke with several attorneys about how to come to a settlement with the company and we were not only encouraged by several attorneys to file a suit and not only to file it but that it was a slam dunk. But we just felt unsettled through this whole process. In one way we felt that we were pursuing what was just: Liability policies are owned for these purposes and we felt like we were being taken advantage of because the person we had to sue would be our father. But on the other hand, we were torn with what the Bible has to say about filing lawsuits. Putting it shortly, the Apostle Paul unitized the court systems beginning in Acts 21, but Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6 that it is shameful for Christians to take Christians to court. We asked attorneys if there was another other way to pursue a settlement without filing a lawsuit ("no"), I spoke with some of my pastor friends for advice, and even talked with an attorney from Fresno Pacific University's "Peacemaking and Conflict Studies Program." We really felt like this was a gray issue to Christians and Nicole & I decided we didn't want to be the kind of Christians who "live" in the gray areas. We felt like we did our research, we spent time praying about it, and since we did not feel 100% comfortable we decided to drop the idea of a suit altogether.

So nearly a year ago, we let it go and let Bryson's financial future rest in God's hands and really felt a peace about our decision for the first time. Now that doesn't mean we didn't do anything. We received financial assistance from Ohio's Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps that would help us cover any expenses insurance wouldn't pay for until Bryson is 20. This was a huge blessing for us, because Columbus Children's hospital, where we had all of our appointments from the beginning, was not in network for our insurance. And because we weren't paying overages out of pocket for Bryson we were able to put some money back for Bryson so that he would have somthing when he was off our insurance and not covered by BCMH anymore.

In the meantime, the insurance company kept calling us to "close our file." They kept calling and I never returned their phone calls. I'm not sure if it was out of frustration or because I just didn't have time at that moment. Eventually a new person from the insurance company, who had just taken over the case in order to close it, got hold of me on the phone and I retold the story like they asked. They proceed to call Nicole and Chuck to have them retell the story. A few weeks later they called back to inform us that after declining our claim the first time, after reviewing the case they REALIZED THEY HAD SOME RESPONSIBILITY IN THIS CASE. I was stunned, to put it mildly. "What changed?" I asked. "It's the same story." The response blew me away: "A new set of eyes."

God's eyes? Was God the difference? It's hard to know for sure, but after hearing from an individual how hard it was for an individual within the insurance company to convince the corporate offices to change their original ruling (which rarely if ever happens without being forced by a lawsuit), we couldn't help but think there was something more to it. And combine that with the fact that on March 25 we received confirmation that Bryson was going to receive a settlement that was going to take care of him for many years to come (and this one came without the 35-40% attorney's fees we would have amassed had we gone to court), how can we not believe God didn't have His hand in this all?

Just because Bryson is receiving this settlement doesn't all of a sudden make God good.
Just because Bryson is receiving this settlement doesn't make God better than He was before.

And this is why I know: After telling an individual from my church what happened, he asked me, "Isn't that a huge weight off your shoulders?" I thought for a moment and with little hesitation and absolute certainty, I replied, "No--that weight was off months ago when we entrusted everything to God." That's the truth! I really don't know how to explain the peace Nicole and I have felt for the past year since we surrendered Bryson's future to God. Did we feel like we had some responsibility in saving as much as we could and doing everything we could to help Bryson along the way? Absolutely. But oddly, we weren't afraid. God didn't all of a sudden get good or become better. He had been GREAT all along the way...and we're absolutely grateful for the kindness He's shown our family--especially Bryson--thus far.

Thank you for all your prayers.
And thank God with us for all He's done.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Finally able to enjoy his birthday present!

Beau took this video on his phone so I know it is not that great, but I wanted all of you to see it.

Bryson got the basketball hoop for his birthday awhile ago and with the warmer weather we've been having he is actually able to enjoy it. He never ceases to amaze us! We do have the hoop lowered but still it is very amazing.

Sometimes he has trouble dribbling while running because he hits the ball off of the foot he can't feel, but this mother is pretty proud. His dribbling is getting better and his shot is getting better. His favorite part though, is when his dad lifts him up to dunk the ball.

I'm starting to believe more and more that there is nothing this kid will not be able to do when he puts his mind to it.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Say What?!

I read a book not to long ago called "The Shack." Great book, by they way, that I would encourage anyone and everyone to read. During the book a man has an encounter with the Trinity and finds healing from "The Great Sadness" in his life. Having gone through a "Great Sadness" I could relate to a lot of what was going on in the book. That being said, I have been wanting to blog about my favorite paragraph in the book, but just couldn't sit down to do it until now.

So why the title, "Say What?!" on this post? The other day I was told through the grapevine that a person I know said that Bryson's accident was the result of sin in the family and/or an undisciplined family - say what? - I know. I am fully aware that I did not hear this from the horse's mouth and so it could be a rumor, but I wanted to blog about this even more because that was exactly what the paragraph in the book was about. To top it all off, the weekend after I heard what this person said I was to teach the teen Sunday school lesson which was titled, "Does sin cause suffering." The lesson was the story of Job and how his friends tried to convince him that sin was causing all of the suffering in his life when in fact, God allowed Satan to test Job through all of the suffering because He knew Job would be faithful. (If you are not a Christian you can check out the story in the book of Job in the Bible.) Well after all that, I knew I needed to blog about this, if not just for myself, maybe for somebody else who has experienced suffering.

The paragraph
(Mack is the guy and Papa is the Father part of the Trinity)

Mack “Is that what this is about? Did she have to die so you could change me?”
Papa “Whoa there, Mack, that’s not how I do things.”
Mack “But if she hadn’t died, I wouldn’t be here now…”
Papa “Mack, just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn’t mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don’t ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead to false notions about me. Grace doesn’t depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors.”

Excert from "The Shack"
by WM. Paul Young

Here is what was brought to my mind right away when I heard what the person said about Bryson's accident.

"As he (Jesus) went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?'
'Neither this man nor his parents sinned,' said Jesus, 'but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.'"

John 9:1-4

So, here is what I believe. I believe that sin does cause much suffering, but I also believe that there is much suffering in the world because we live in a fallen world. As Christians we are not immune to the ups and downs of life, but rather we are to live through all of this knowing that Christ has been there and is walking through this life with us. We can do all of this knowing that God has a plan and though we may not be able to see it and we may not understand we know that we can trust him.

I believe that Bryson's accident was not caused by sin (although we are not by any means perfect) or by an undisciplined family (if you really know my family you know that we are anything but undisciplined:)) but rather because our family lives a real life. And just because we are Christians does not mean we are immune from tragedies. I love the part in the paragraph from The Shack where it talks about where there is suffering there you will find grace in many colors and facets. I believe that even though our family and especially Bryson has faced great suffering I believe that at the end of our lives God will have made something beautiful out of all of it. And I pray that through it all God's work might be displayed in our lives.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Tooth Fairy Stopped By

We finally crossed a hurdle that has been in our view for about a month now and Bryson cleared it with flying colors. I think for every child it is a special time to lose a first tooth, but for Bryson it was so much more than that.

When Bryson first started talking about his friends losing their teeth he was adament about the fact that he did not want to lose his teeth. We tried to explain to him that all kids lose their teeth and they get new teeth. After a few conversations with Bryson we finally found out what the real problem was. He was afraid to lose his baby teeth because he didn't think it would grow back. Makes sense now coming from a child who lost his leg and it didn't grow back. To top it off his new leg is nothing like his old one.

Well that conversation was a couple months ago and it wasn't until last month when Bryson's tooth started getting loose. Bryson was pretty excited about it being loose since most kids in his class had a lost a tooth by now, but it changed one day after school. Bryson came home and said he didn't want to lose his tooth because a kid in his class said that it hurts and it bleeds. Again since Bryson's accident he freaks out at the sight of blood. If you remember way back just after Bryson's accident he was afraid to stand up or look at his leg for the first time because he was afraid to see "bleeds" again. He must have seen a lot of blood right after the accident. We tried to assure Bryson that if it bled there would not be much, but Bryson was not interested in anyone pulling out that dangling tooth. We were just hoping that he did not swallow the tooth while he was eating.

Finally the day arrived and I was so proud of my son. While he was eating breakfast on Feb 13th he just pulled that tooth right out. It sounds like he even shocked himself that he did it. There was just a little blood and he just wiped it really quick on his shirt. Since that day he does a lot of smiling and shows everybody the tooth he lost. He was, however, a little upset that the tooth fairy was going to take his tooth and that he would not be able to take it to school the following Monday, but that quickly subsided when Daddy told him what the tooth fairy leaves in exchange for the tooth.

This Mom is thankful that the dangling tooth finally came out, is thankful that there wasn't too many "bleeds", is thankful that the Tooth Fairy remembered to leave the quarters, and is thankful that we crossed another hurdle that day even if it was a smaller one.



Bryson's New Smile!

Pictures of Skiing with Mommy

I know, I know I'm a little behind on the pictures to go with Beau's last post, but better late than never. Since Beau's last post Bryson has had a few more ski lessons and the last one went really well. Hopefully, we will get a few more lessons in before the snow is all gone and it gets warmer. (Sorry to all of you who have been praying for spring to come. I'm praying for at least another cold snowy month.:))

Beau is trying to remind me how to ski!

Somebody is starting to look a little confident here.

I'm pretty sure Bryson is rubbing it in that he beat me down the hill.

Can you imagine having there jobs and having to help Bryson every time he falls down?! Especially on the days when thinks it is fun to fall down. Bryson's teachers are amazing. They have so much patience!

I thought this picture did a good job showing you what it looks like when Bryson has the rope around his waist. It really does make him to most of the steering.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

On the Slopes Again...

Since we last had a chat, Bryson's been on the slopes twice. Two trips ago we found ourselves right in the middle of a snowstorm. The drive home took us nearly two hours where it normally is just over one. Bryson looks forward to skiing each time. The most recent step forward is that Gary, his teacher, rather than tying straps to the front of Bryson's skis in order to help steer him, ties the strap around Bryson's waist. This allows Bryson to be in control of making the turns by himself. Standing 15 feet behind Bryson, all the teach does now is just make sure Bryson doesn't fly out of control down the hill. At the first of his two lesson, he started to enjoy falling so much that he wouldn't make a trip down the hill without falling and marking his spot in the snow.

We found the solution...bribery.

On our next trip MOMMY came along (she had nothing to do with the bribery). She was so excited to see Bryson, but terrified to get her skis on. We figured out that the last time she was on the slopes was February of 2002...before she knew she was pregnant with Bryson. On the way of the chair lift, she was appalled that I would even DARE not let her go down the bunny slope. Buuuuuuut, she made it...though dizzy once she made it to the bottom the first time (I don't think she took a breath the whole way down).

Enough about about the bribery.

Once we discovered again that Bryson was enjoying the falls, Grandpa Hummel pulled out his wallet. "50 cents if you make it down without falling." No problem. Before the next run, "$1 if you make it down without falling." No problem again. On the next run, the offer was $1 once again. Just as Bryson began down the hill he took a spill, without hesitation, you could hear him shout, "That didn't count!" Grandpa agreed, he really wasn't on the hill yet. Just as he began to start again, another accidental spill. "That didn't count!" Graciously grandpa agreed, this time with a chuckle. One more time, and he still isn't 20 feet down the hill, "That didn't count!" As soon as he was on his feet again, he made it all the way down and made his buck.

$2.50 in his pocket.

He still can't wait for the new pack of Pokemon cards.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Pictures from Ski Lesson #2

Believe it or not, sometimes Beau and I don't communicate very well. I didn't realize he had posted about Bryson's 2nd ski lesson until I looked at the blog like all of you. Don't get me wrong though, I'm glad he posted! So, here are some pictures from that ski lesson.

...and he's off on his own!

Bryson, distracted by somebody who had fallen behind him.

Watch him work his skiis!

After just two lessons - imagine how he will be at the end of the winter!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ski Lessons: Part II

Yesterday (1/24) Bryson hit the slopes again. He was so excited to get back out there (and I was excited that the temperature was nearly +20 this time!). He obviously remembered something from the lesson before, because on the first trip down the hill, he didn't biff once. Now that's not to say that he didn't make friends with the snow several times, but the grin never left the face from the moment we arrived on the hill till the moment we left.

Now I naturally want to know how Bryson is progressing. I asked Gary, Bryson's ski instructor, how hard he was holding on to Bryson with the straps from behind. Gary told me that if he would take the straps off him, Bryson would just fly down the hill and, ultimately lose control and probably wreck. But at the end of the 1+ hours of lessons, Gary said, "I want to do an experiment." Those words were have terrifying and half thrilling. Without hesitation, Gary started pulling Bryson up the hill. About 50 feet up, Gary turned Bryson around and unhooked the straps from Bryson's skis. "Go ahead, Bryson," he said. "I want to see you stop at the bottom." To my excitement, Bryson kept his composure really well (even though an grown man learning ski hit the ground hard about 20 feet away from him). When he got within 15 feet of us, his teacher began yelling out, to make a wedge with his skis and stop himself...and he DID!

He's doing so good...doing his daddy so proud.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Daddy Use To Always Say...

"Don't let anyone ever tell you you can't."

(My dad's probably reading this, brow furrowed wondering when exactly he ever said this. Honestly, I'm not sure he ever did...but it did make for a SWEET title, didn't it?)

Thanks to the good people at The Adaptive Adventure Sports Coalition (TAASC), Bryson took a chance in the single digit weather (probably sub-freezing with the windchill) of last Saturday to do something I never considered as I lay in the rock-hard-imitation la-z-boy chair in the waiting room of Nationwide Children's Hospital as his leg was being amputated: SKIING. TAASC, based out of Columbus, Ohio, offers opportunities to individuals with disabilities to "enhance their quality of life" through adventure sports (kayaking, skiing, water skiing, cycling, sailing and ice skating). In English, we paid $40 for a family membership so that on select 2 hour segments through the week, we pay $15 for ski lesson, ski rentals, and lift tickets...DID YOU HEAR THAT!?! $15!!! Thank you TAASC! (You can check them out at

The plan was simple: because of the weather, take 2 or 3 trips down the slopes, go in and warm up for a few minutes, and repeat for an hour or so. After 3 trips down, and an average of four falls per trip, Gary, Bryson's below-knee amputee ski instructor, and the other five observers asked Bryson, "Are you hands cold?" ("No.") "Are your feet cold?" ("No.") "Do you want to go again?" ("Yes" with a smile.) And so again he went...for 1 hour and 15 minutes straight!

The first several trips down the slope he was putting most of his weight on his left (real) leg, so every time he'd try to turn to the right (you do so by putting pressure on the left ski), he had too much weight to begin with and he'd biff. It was pretty cute as he lay there in his bulky size 6 ski coat as 5 adults gather to pick him up. (He couldn't move at all in that coat.) They'd pop him up on his skis and, with little hesitation, continued down the slope. By the end of the day, with a grin frozen on his face, this is what you would have seen...

Again, after 1 hour and 15 minutes on the slopes, a cup of hot chocolate, and a call home to mom (see below)...

Home we went. On the way home my dad (the wise one not necessarily quoted above who accompanied me, he with the camera and I with the camcorder), he turned to me and said, "I needed to see that." According to dad, it was one of the first things he's seen that's convinced him that there's more to Bryson's future than we can possibly begin to imagine at this moment.

I agree...what a day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Just a year ago

I was so excited when the real snow hit a couple weeks ago. I love winter but I especially love snow! I couldn't wait to take the kids out sledding and to just play in the snow. It dawned on me before we all bundled up to go outside that last winter Bryson didn't have a leg, so he either crawled around in the snow, we pulled him on the sled, or we carried him. I asked Bryson, "Bryson, do you remember last year when we went out in the snow." He said, "Did I have my old leg then?" I said, "No, you didn't have your old leg and you didn't have your new leg." It amazed me that he didn't remember. I'm also starting to think that in a few years he won't ever remember having two real legs and I'm not really sure if that makes me happy or sad. Well, here are the pictures to prove it. A snow angel with 1 leg and a snow angel with 2 legs.

Canceled Appointment

Last post I mentioned Bryson would be having his first Endocrinology appointment on Thursday - it didn't happen. It wasn't the snow storms that kept us away, but rather the vomiting boy that very morning. I was actually looking forward to the appointment to see what his future would hold as far as checking his hormone levels, but I can't say I didn't miss driving to Columbus in the snow. The appointment isn't rescheduled until March, so we have awhile to wait now. I must say, it has been nice not to have doctor appointments every week, now it is not even every month - YES! Oh - and the sick boy - back to normal later that day.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bryson's Journey Begins Video

Well, the old website we had for Bryson will be shutting down soon and all the pictures of his journey through the initial accident, skin graft surgery, new leg, and physical therapy would not be posted anymore. Therefore, I decided to make a video of some of the pictures so that any new viewers could get a glimpse of the last year and any old viewers could remind themselves if they wanted. The music on the video is "Praise you in this Storm" by Casting Crowns.

I also wanted to let you all know that on Thursday Bryson has his first appointment with his endocrinologist. From what I understand they will need to watch Bryson's hormone levels as he matures. I'm anxious to hear what she has to say. We will be sure to update you after the appointment.