Saturday, December 31, 2011

Home for 16 months...What has God been up to?

Gabriella came home from Guangxi, China on July 31, 2010.

Over these last 16 months, we have been to multiple doctors and therapists to help her some day walk and talk like a normally-developing child.

Her SN (Special Need) was diagnosed as "Severe Cerebellar Atrophy." In simple terms, this means her cerebellum is atrophying. This of course, is not the case.

Her cerebellum is under-developed. It affects her ability for her eyes to align, her communication (both hearing and speaking), and her ability to balance/walk.

When we got her at 3 1/2 years old, she could say "Mama, Baba, Jie Jie, Gu Gu, Now Now (pee pee), Boula (full), and xie xie (thank you)". She seemed to understand what people said.

Her movements were very shaky, she would fall as she attempted to crawl on the ground, she could only stand for short periods of time while holding on to the table (a couple seconds), and could not stand unassisted nor walk.

After seeing the pediatric neurologist, I went on a quest to help Gabriella. She saw a physical therapist once a week in school and out of school, she had speech therapy at school for 30 min./week by herself and 45 min./week with a group of kids, she is on Pro EFA and Pro EPA fish oils twice a day, she takes Univera's 3oz. Essentials once a day, ZRII's Nutriveda once a day (I wish she could drink more), eats organic food, with little wheat, no corn, and dairy only in her daily cheese stick and yogurt.

She saw an accupuncturist 5 days/week for 1 1/2 months, but there wasn't enough change to warrant continuing. She saw a chiropractor for a couple months twice a week. We were grateful for that. She then went to see a NUCCA chiropractor in which we saw substantial immediate changes. She has seen a naturopath, neurologist, and a bunch of specialists (bio-chemist and geneticist types)looking at her genes via the multiple blood draws, to help rule things out or see if there is anything they can do to help her improve.

Honestly, in all of this, her greatest improvement was when I made a decision in February 2010 to fast and pray for her for 21 days. Within days, she went from having ZERO balance to standing 4-6 seconds. Over the course of the fast, she stood a handful of times for 12-15 seconds and one time for 18 seconds. God was giving me a glimpse of what would come.

Fast forward to the end of the year. Gabriella can stand for 12-15 seconds many times during the day. There are still times, if she isn't ready, that I will ask her to stand and she will still immediately fall over. But, I know God is healing her.

She use to need to wear a helmet because she would crawl and fall or sit and fall, multiple times a day... and, that just broke my heart when I couldn't catch her and protect her. She no longer wears her helmet.

She use to bathe in a bathing chair that she was fastened to, to protect her from water injuiries. She no longer needs this.

She use to sit on a toddler toilet seat on top of the regular seat but this week we have even graduated from that to help her build her muscles even more.

She went from not being able to get on her little ride on toy, and falling off once she did get on after multiple tries... to riding a 16" bike with training wheels a mile per SUNNY day.

She went from not speaking English, to knowing her letters and sounds just 3 weeks home from China. Within 3 months home from China, she was blending two and three letter sounds.

She now can read simple Bob books with three or four words per page.

I use to help her drink from a sippee cup. Now she can drink out of any cup.

There is so much more, but I at least wanted to blog what she has been up to until now.