Friday, January 16, 2009

Busy, busy

Blogging may be slowing down as we received Wilmer, the delightful young man from Honduras, on Thursday. We spent 4 hours at Shriners' so that he could be evaluated. It is a wonderful place & Wilmer was a happy patient who was quite cooperative. He got lots of attention including a few x-rays & a neat motion study where he was wired up & videoed to assess his gait.

He is 12 years old & fascinated with electronics so when I buckled him in the car & went to load his wheelchair, he checked out buttons & knobs on the dashboard. Fortunately, I had the car keys in my pocket. It was a brisk 40 degrees but he insisted on putting the window up & down until I managed to catch him off guard while the window was up & hit the safety lock. He was puzzled that the window would not go down as we were zipping down the interstate but was soon too busy looking at passing traffic to care.

He is bilingual so we had a good time on the way home as he helped me brush up on my high school Spanish. He properly pronounced and spelled the names of all of the colors until I got them right.

When I opened his car door at the house, three of the dogs stuck their heads in to greet him. Lila is a huge Anatolian Shepherd, Tootsie is our midsized abandoned black mutt & Madison is the howling beagle. Wilmer grinned from ear to ear & buried his face in Lila's neck. I was surprised simply because when we kept Marcdaile, the beautiful little 3 year old from Haiti, she was initially scared of the dogs & eventually only got to where she wanted one at a time around on her terms. But Wilmer was right at home.

The boys were still cleaning up brush from the power company's trimming so had a fire going in the front pasture. Wilmer was interested in what they were doing but also anxious to see the house. Glen, our oldest, carried him in & set him in the living room. He was quickly at the phone, television tuner & everything with buttons to push. He did not seem to mind when I asked him to stop, simply returning to cuddle the dogs who had followed us into the house.

After a few minutes in the house, Wilmer informed me that he wanted to see the boys. I put his coat back on, told him to wait at the door & went to get his wheelchair from the car. I was hoisting the chair out of the back of the car when Glen called out that Wilmer was coming. He had pushed the door open & was shuffling over the door sill & down the front step. I called for him to wait & he stopped. I quickly dragged the wheelchair across the front lawn & to the steps to load him in. I pushed him as far as the concrete drive & then he happily wheeled up & down while watching Glen & Eric toss brush on the fire. He spoke & waved, they spoke & waved, he listened to his CD player for a bit & then spoke & waved some more. Each time the boys would drop what they were doing, call him by name & wave. After ten minutes he decided he was cold so I brought his wheelchair to the door, toted him back in & let him play.

This "going out to see the boys" went on about three more times. On one of the trips into the house, Wilmer spotted an old baseball by a door & asked for it. He had already demonstrated at Shriners' that he has quite an arm on him. He spent one of our waiting periods pitching a stuffed duck at the three of us who'd accompanied him to the hospital. I knew based on his strength & enthusiasm that he had no business with a baseball in the house so promised we would buy him a ball later.

Now I am rushing to finish the blog as I hear him stirring. Dinner was good & he is a great eater. We did go in to town to buy him a soft soccer ball, a few other balls & a big bin to store his things in just so the cats don't sleep in them or the dogs don't nose through them. He wanted a red bin & was ecstatic that it was his. Mr. Potter pushed the wheelchair in the store & I pushed the cart. Wilmer kept reaching back to cling to Al's arm, cheerfully shouting at us as mommy & daddy. When we got home, we put his red bin by his bed, packed his things in it & he was content.

Before bed, Wilmer & Eric, our 21 year old, shut all the doors down the hall & spent a lot of time batting the soccer ball up & down the hall. Finally Wilmer admitted he was tired, brushed his teeth & went to bed at about 9:00. We put his bed in the dining room so that he does not have to go up & down stairs to use the bathroom. I closed the shades, left a small light on for him in the kitchen & never heard another peep until I heard him take himself to the bathroom at about 5 a.m. & then shuffle back to bed.

So, based on yesterday's activity level, I'm imagining I will have little time to sit at the computer, having to devote my occasional moments of calm to regular farm chores. But it is all good & it looks like Wilmer will be quite a blessing to us.

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