Happy Thanksgiving! We had beautiful weather here, and we tried our best to enjoy the outdoors. The colours in this part of Ontario are amazing!
Last week, Rachel and I took the GO train and the TTC subway to SickKids in Toronto. Rachel loved the experience, and I became familiar once again with the limitations for people who rely on chairs to go places. Looking for a working elevator in Union Station because the "accessible" section of the building was closed for construction was a bit of an adventure. I am thankful that I could push Rachel around, but I wondered how someone would make this work if they are operating their chair on their own. I was also intrigued by the people who helped me (a fancy businessman) and the people who just looked at us and walked on (a group of folks who commented loudly on how frustrating it must be to rely on elevators but oddly enough, they didn't help us). Consider how you can help out someone in your travels today.
waiting on the GO platform for the train
in the subway - lots of faces and lots of noise
quick visit with Aunt Rhoda near Queens Park!
On our way home - so much easier to change bibs and operate a feed pump when you are not driving
The result of the appointment? We were evaluating Rachel's sleep issues related to her respiratory system and her drooling. We no longer need to see the folks at SickKids for these issues, but we can follow up with our ENT team at Mac. The doctor at SickKids had a few suggestions for managing her drool, but nothing that will be changed at this time.
I had some interesting conversations on the GO train. Many people were kind and asked questions. One woman thought I was giving Rachel oxygen when she was looking at her feed pump and tubing. I laughed - and then I realized she was serious, so I told her that oxygen is administered through the nose and mouth - not the belly. I was also asked if Rachel would "grow out of that" - I thought she was referring to the wheelchair stroller, but I realized she was referring to the global developmental delay. Again, another interesting conversation. I didn't mind. I prefer honest words/questions to the furtive or sneaking glances. Overall, a great day with my girl.
Last week, we also visited with our SK friends at Beacon. Our first visit a few weeks ago was a quiet one; the students seemed a bit shy to see Rachel again. This time, the students were so excited to see her, wiping her face when she drooled and showing her all the things they were doing. They especially loved sticking all the magnetic toys to her chair.
Recently, one of the cats from our neighbourhood has been meowing at the door, asking to be let in. I am not really a cat type, but I had to admit the little visit we had on Saturday was cute. I sat Rachel and Janneke down at the door, and Em and Soph sat with them - preventing the girls from falling back and also making the cat dance on the glass of the door by teasing him with their fingers.
We are still in the planning process with our van, and we borrowed the Prins Grow Sprinter for a test drive the other night. Ralph specifically wanted me to practice parking it at stores. Yikes.
I could handle the roads okay, but parking proved to be challenging. I think I need cameras and mirrors all over our van - as well as someone with parking pointers like the ones airplane terminal folks use.
We are determining which size of Sprinter to buy, but, as seen in the photo, either size will be a significant difference from our current situation. (Both vans' front ends are lined up for this photo!)
We finished our test drive with a visit at the Prins home, and Janneke took a liking to their pet hamster in its exercise ball. She actually leaned forward to touch it and bring it close. Not sure how the hamster liked it, but we thought it was pretty cool.
We enjoyed this Thanksgiving weekend, although we have to admit, we miss the nursing help when we have three days in a row without extra care. We were able to spend some time with extended family, and we also took in a hike with our little family of six at Short Hills Provincial Park where there is an accessible trail in the woods!
What better to celebrate Thanksgiving than to climb a tree with your birthday buddy uncle- right, Soph? (She and Harvey share October 14.)
This weekend, we did spend time talking about our reasons to be thankful. Sometimes, our current circumstance or mood can cloud our ability to be thankful, but we know that in listing our reasons for thanksgiving (large or small), we begin to see the ways that we have been blessed. I was particularly thankful for our church community on Sunday. As the greeters welcomed us to the building, they also greeted our girls, nonchalantly wiping Rachel's drool while chatting with her and with me. I am very thankful for that level of comfort and care.
Peace for your week.