Last week we drove up to Indiana and dropped four of the kids off at my parents’ house for extended family time while Haus Meister and I along with Miss M and Posey Pie took Trooper to St. Louis. There he received a much anticipated evaluation at the Cerebral Palsy Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. I think it is safe to say that it was one of the most pivotal appointments he’s ever had. If ever there was a place where he was understood completely, it seems like it was this office (and at his neurologist and his speech therapist, too, don’t get me wrong, but the doctor in St. Louis caught things and watched things and explained things that the local neurologist and gastroenterologist didn’t believe or totally ignored when we told them. Local neurologist is not the one he’s currently seeing, by the way. Long story. Suffice to say we believe in taking Trooper to see doctors who treat him as a person. The local guy wasn’t one of these.). We came to St. Louis knowing we’d be seeing a barrage of therapists and the head doctor with Trooper. We didn’t know what to expect. We feared all sorts of things. Instead we left with the first official diagnosis since he left early intervention (there his diagnosis appeared to be simply ‘developmental delays.’ Now we can say with full assurance that he has diplegic Cerebral Palsy and autism), a game plan for the next four months, and clarity of vision. Having all of these gives us such peace of mind and firmness of purpose which, when raising a Trooper, is such a relief. Because we want to give him every opportunity that he could have, every chance to live his own dreams like his brothers and sisters have, and now I think we’ve found the perfect group to add to our “team” to help us achieve this.
On a side note, it was the current neurologist that recommended the Cerebral Palsy Center to us, and in fact, is the one who got us on the list to be seen there. He brought this up to us on our first visit to him, and as I told the doctor in St. Louis, that neurologist was the first person to mention CP to us since Trooper was six months old. I hadn’t heard it from anyone else. “Of course,” she laughed. “I trained [the neurologist].” Case closed. We have an awesome lineup helping this kid.
Who is every bit worth it.
Before the evaluation we stopped in the Old Cathedral just beside the Arch (Pretty). We loved that it is an active church, not just a sightseeing stop. We all prayed for a good evaluation and thanked God for the chance to be here. Then we looked around and recalling my brother-in-law and sister’s recounting of the beautiful mosaics inside the basilica, wondered just where these mosaics could be. The Old Cathedral is also called the Basilica of St. Louis, you see. As we left I commented on the beauty of this church, then mentioned that I thought it was rather small for a basilica. Turns out that my sister and I saw two totally different basilicas on our totally different trips to St. Louis. Oh well! We definitely recommend a visit to the Old Cathedral anyway.
Happy & Pretty
We went to the Arch but didn’t have time to go up inside of it (it’s on our list of things to do when we go back later this summer). The weather totally cooperated for us that morning and we had a splendid walk in the park. And no, Posey isn’t being smothered by that blanket.
Funny/Real or Real Funny?
My sister had a brilliant idea that we all pitch in on a family membership for the Indianapolis Zoo, giving us another place to visit besides the Children’s Museum when we go north (as well as numerous trips for her family as well). So we did, and before heading South we all went to the zoo together. What fun!
Princess and her cousin hamming it up next to a butterfly that they think landed on a bench to talk to them. I’m not sure that the person before us in the exhibit hadn’t accidentally killed it.
Dino shows off
Miss M, who thinks she’s 6, decided to leave Grandpa with the stroller and set off like the big kids.
The Budgie, parakeet, and lorikeet exhibit was a hit. Haus Meister tried to get one to come closer, as some were doing, but Miss M had been there first and pretty much traumatized the birdies.
I realize I have few pictures of any large animals. Some were asleep (thanks a lot, tigers, lions, and brown bears). And with some we were too busy enjoying them to take pictures. Trooper loved the sea lions and we all enjoyed watching the baby walrus we’d read about on zooborns. The dolphins were also very big with the kids. When we got home, Rascal informed me that a stuffed dolphin toy would be essential in his room, and last night he directed me in sewing one out of fabric. It was nice to have a quick project to do together. I drew a basic dolphinesque shape onto some dark gray scrap fabric and Rascal added the stuffing. Maybe I’ll get a picture of it, we’ll see.