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.