All being well, Andy is moving to Musgrave tomorrow morning and we are so excited for this next step. Change can be scary, we are currently very comfortable with our surroundings in the ward and Andy loves the staff (he has them wrapped round his finger at times). So please pray for Andrew as he moves tomorrow, pray that he will not be worried about it and that everything goes smoothly for him. It will be the first bit of fresh air he has had in months which will be lovely for him as well.
Andy is still progressing so much and within the last week we have seen his ability to communicate improve in lots of ways. He is using his voice more/making more noise and he has started to use his body to describe things. For example, when he needed a tissue today, he pretended to blow his nose. He has not previously been able to do these things so it is another step forward in his communication and so great for us to be able to understand him better. He has made a pretty good attempt at saying my name but most of the new sounds come when he isn’t trying. For example, when our friends showed him pictures of their baby, he said “ah” and “aw”. Also when trying to explain something to me, he was thinking hard about how to communicate it and said “emm”. As the days go on, we are hearing him more and what we hear is sounding more like Andy.
His general understanding has also improved to the point where he is asking more about people and remembering things better. Last week he was able to ask about his best mate (who he turned away a few nights before) and clearly wanted to see him to apologise. When he arrived in the next day it was like Andy had seen a celebrity, he was so happy. Since then he has been enjoying seeing a few more friends, maybe because he is sick of looking at the rest of us every day. This in itself is great progress as he must be in a better mind frame to want to see everyone and hear about their lives. It has also been such a blessing to us as a family as we get to watch others enjoy Andy’s company and see his face light up when someone new comes in. The only down side is that I have to remind people to be quiet as Andy is making everyone laugh so much with his hilarious facial expressions and gestures. Thank you so much for praying peace over Andy, it is clearly working! Yes he will have times when he becomes frustrated with communication and days that he isn’t as bright, but overall I am amazed and so so thankful for how well he is dealing with everything.
Visiting time for Andy is a time to show off. For new visitors he will show them his fan that has a setting to fire mist at people, the scar on his left knee which is apparently ‘cool’ and the improved movement in his right arm. Last night however was the best thing he could show off, something that I had heard of him doing but not yet witnessed myself. Whilst chatting to our friends he pointed to his left knee, I asked him if he was going to move it for us and he agreed. When he tried to do this you could see the concentration on his face and his right arm started to shake quite a lot but he did it! It was a very slight movement and if you blinked you could have missed it but he was so happy with himself and the three of us were so glad he was able to. I have asked him many times before but he hasn’t been successful, however it doesn’t bother him and he shrugs it off so well. Our prayer is that he can continue to do this and more frequently be successful. We were told on so many occasions that Andy’s scans showed that he would be paralysed from the chest down, yet he has feeling in his legs and last night we saw him move one of them. When we remind ourselves of the original diagnosis and the results of the scan, we are reminded how miraculous Andy’s recovery is and how good our God is.
Andy is currently struggling in the area of speech and language. He knows what he wants to say, but when it comes to typing or writing, it doesn’t make sense. I sat with him last Monday afternoon and watched how he struggled to fill in a missing letter in small, common words. I suppose if I was honest I’d say that this threw me a little and it was difficult to see him make those mistakes but the encouraging thing was that he knew his answers were wrong. The next day I left him with my phone as I spoke to a nurse and came back to see “Andr” typed on the screen and knowing that he has previously struggled with the letter “e”, I helped him with it before he completed his name. This was such a good moment for Andrew but I think it took a lot out of him as well. Since then we have noticed that there are days when he gets it and others where he struggles, but he is definitely improving.
We brought Andy up an iPad last night for him to use for Netflix etc. but with the intention of him eventually being able to iMessage us. I did a quick run through of how to work a few things but didn’t have much faith that he was taking it all in as he was giving me funny looks. Later on I decided to send him a little message, in the hope that he would get it and know that I was thinking about him. Within the space of a minute I saw the three wee dots appear to tell me that Andy was typing. This was amazing! I sat staring at my phone for the next six minutes as the dots continually appeared and disappeared, until I received the best text message of my life: “Emma”. Knowing his struggle with that initial letter made it all the better as I knew how happy he would be. We exchanged a few more messages where I sent a word and he copied it before he gave up on me and I assume went to sleep.
I am so excited for what the weeks ahead have in store for Andy and for us. Please continue to pray for items mentioned in the previous blog post and for his communication. Please also pray that he settles into life in Musgrave, that he will be able to cope with the change of routine and his strength will build.
For those of you who follow my Instagram, you will know that trying to get Andy to smile for a selfie is tough and as a girl who loves her selfies, I struggle. If you do see him smiling please know that he probably didn’t like me much in that moment because I have said “if you just smile to begin with, we won’t need to take another ten photos”, and then proceeded to take just a couple more. So here is a photo of Andy, attempting to force a smile for me so that I will leave him alone (attempt 5 I think). Please thank God for the change in him since my Christmas Eve picture.
“My faith does not rest in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” 1 Corinthians 2:5