Thursday, May 16, 2013

In With the New

Sadie on her birthday.
Before her first day of school.
It's been a whirlwind of a month for Sadie - turning three, starting school, a birthday party, new swingset, new bed. Lots of changes. I can adjust to change pretty well, but tend to get a little anxious when everything changes at the same time. That's exactly what has happened over the past month.

Sadie exhausted after her
first day of school.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, at the age of three, children with special needs stop receiving therapy through the Illinois Early Intervention program, and are eligible to start receiving therapy services in school. It doesn't really matter when the third birthday is, if it's the last week of school or the first week - they can start right away. Because we didn't want there to be a gap in Sadie's therapy, school started right on her third birthday, Monday, April 29th. 

Our school district gave us the choice between two out-of-district special needs schools for Sadie. After visiting both schools, we decided on a public school about 20 minutes from our home. We really liked the staff and the way they worked with each child's individual strengths.

Enjoying pool time at school!
Sadie has a nurse specifically assigned to care for her during the school day. The nurse takes care of monitoring seizures, oxygen, feeding, administering medicines and cathing for urine as needed. But she also plays with Sadie throughout the day - attending all of her therapies and even going in the pool with her during swimming time! Sadie is now two weeks in, and I can't say enough good things about Sadie's school, her classroom, and all the nurses, teachers, therapists and aides she works with.  Between circle time, music therapy, PT and OT, art projects, and weekly field trips - Sadie is one busy girl!

Sadie's birthday cake
We had a wonderful time celebrating Sadie's third birthday with her friends and family. She got to eat her special ketogenic cupcake, open lots of gifts, and play with all her friends and family. She has also been enjoying her new swingset. The picture below shows her on her new JennSwing, a special needs swing. Sadie's uncle Colin helped set it up in our backyard. Every day, when the weather is warm (which can be hit or miss in Chicago), we take Sadie out on her swing. She really enjoys it, and generally enjoys being outside as well.

Sadie enjoying her
new swing.
Thanks to two very generous organizations and some special people, we have ramps in and out of our house now too. One out to the backyard, and the other out to the garage - making it easier to get Sadie outside on these beautiful days! Once we are able to purchase Sadie's wheelchair-accessible van, we will no longer have to lift her in and out of the car. Saving her discomfort, and our backs!

This month, Sadie also transitioned out of her crib and into her big girl bed! Insurance approved a SleepSafe bed for Sadie. Which is, essentially, a hospital bed that doesn't look like a hospital bed. The head and foot of the bed articulate, it has full side rails, and the entire mattress raises and lowers. It will be great for Sadie long-term.

Sadie's new SleepSafe bed.
So it's taken some time to get adjusted to everything  new happening in our lives. And, in the midst of all this "new-ness," Sadie suddenly got very sick. She began breathing heavily, needing oxygen at home, and her heart rate skyrocketed. We took her to the ER on Saturday afternoon and as of today, she is still here. She is being treated for pneumonia in the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) at Lurie Children's Hospital. I have been posting periodic updates on her Facebook page. But, things are looking up and we hope to have her out by Friday and back to school on Monday. Keep your fingers crossed and say some prayers that she continues on this positive path!

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