It was great! These days, Anniston's neurology appointments are pretty uneventful (which I am VERY grateful for)...no seizures to talk about, and she is doing well, so I was really feeling pretty indifferent about the appointment. The only thing that I was slightly dreading was telling them how far she still (I feel) has to go motor and speech-wise.
We did pray, as we always do before these appointments, that we would be encouraged even though it really was just a simple check-up. Well, we were encouraged :). Her doctors were literally shaking their heads in disbelief that she could be doing so well after the stroke she had. They said it would be devastating for an adult to have her stroke, and I know they said these things at her last appointment, but I guess it has taken some time to sink in. When she had her stroke at four months old, we were in such a state of shock and just did not realize the extent of the trauma even though we had seen the pictures of her brain. It's hard to talk about, but basically half of it was gone.
Let me tell you, God is restoring her. She is learning and growing so well. I cannot tell you the comprehension that this little girl has. She knows everything going on around her, and I feel like I could teach her just about ANYTHING at this point even though she is not exactly talking much.
Anniston has this "grin" (eyes closed, toothy/cheesy grin) that she does that we always laugh at, and you can tell that she knows she is cute :). She even will do it when we tell her to "grin". Well, the other day, I was telling her not to do something that she knows she should not do (tossing items from my bathroom drawer into the shower), and she just looked at me and gave me that "grin". It was all I could do not to laugh. She is already trying to use her cuteness to get out of trouble, so I am pretty sure she is doing just fine :).
Yesterday at the appointment, the Resident who saw her at this visit and at our last one in December said that he could tell a MAJOR improvement since then...if I didn't know that he has an incredible memory, I might wonder if he was just saying that, but he seriously remembers crazy details about his patients. He and the main neurologist were so very encouraging. They said we were doing a great job with her, which may sound like a silly thing to take comfort from, but it really does mean alot. I always feel like I could do more for her, no matter how much we may do.
I haven't mentioned this, but Anniston has had some trouble walking again. The muscles in her right leg have been tight from a growth spurt, and she has been afraid of falling again. The doctor said her leg did not feel too bad but did mention botox shots if we were interested when she is older (to loosen the muscle). We have heard different reviews on them, but apparently it is pretty common with neuromuscular issues. Not a big deal, I guess. We are very convicted, though, to have faith and to keep believing for her restoration. I was reading I Corinthians 12 the night before this appointment, and God just reminded me of His power and of how He intended the body of believers to live. It would be selfish for us to think that we could do any of this without Him or that it was our "work" that did anything...it is only Him. I just pray that we would look to Christ and trust in Him...that Anniston's life would bring Him glory.
My thoughts/concerns about her speech were put at ease as well. They once again encouraged me with the fact that her comprehension is wonderful. The left side of her brain (where speech is) was affected by the stroke, but the fact that pathways for language are obviously being made, they said was a very good sign that the rest would come...it just could be a little more difficult. That's fine. We serve a big God, and this is itty bitty for Him...and itty bitty compared to what some are going through.
We are very grateful.
Thanks for listening to my long spill if you are still reading :).