How's Garren doing? That's the question. We hear it all the time. It is a constant reminder that there are people all around the world who continue to keep Garren lifted up in prayer. And we are so thankful for that.
As you know, there are two areas that Garren is focusing on right now: walking and swallowing.
Walking - Garren continues to impress his therapists with his hard work and determination. They love working with him because he loves working hard. A couple of weeks ago, they decided to speed up his walking on the Locomat, the fancy million dollar treadmill at the rehab center. Normally they would have him walk at a speed of about 1.7 km/hr. But they decided to bump it up to 4 km.hr. Garren did great! After 3 days of that, they had him try walking with a walker, unassisted. Until that day he had been able to take about 9 steps with the walker. I watched him take 51 steps with the walker, unassisted. It was slow, but it was awesome!
Swallowing - Back in January/February we had moved to Charlotte Eye Ear Nose and Throat for some specialized swallowing therapy - the McNeil program. We finally got approval from Medicaid, and began therapy every day for several weeks. The lead therapist was not impressed. We got the feeling that she did not enjoy working with children, and she admitted that she did not like filling out the Medicaid paperwork every three weeks. Garren worked with two other therapist there, alternating between the three. After 5 or six weeks, we decided to take Garren back to the speech therapist at CMC-Union that he had been working with before. She has since taken the McNeil certification course, and agreed to start seeing Garren again. She said right away that she could already see improvement. That's always nice to hear.
When I was standing in Garren's room about a week ago, I watched him sleeping. I saw him swallow in his sleep 2 times. Two of his night nurses have said they see him swallow in his sleep sometimes. I asked Garren if he is noticing anything. He said at school the other day, he threw up in his mouth a little bit, and his body swallowed it back down (this may sound gross...but I don't care!) And this morning during his speech therapy, his therapist says she saw him reflexively swallow.
Good news. Garren continues to show signs of progress. It is so nice to have some changes to report. Thank you for all of your prayers. Prayer really does work!