Thursday, April 05, 2012

What Hard Work Looks Like


Do you see what she's doing in this picture?  She's holding a block with both arms (and trying to stack it on top of the other block).  This seemingly small accomplishment has taken more than a year to achieve.  When she got her prosthetic arm at 8 months old, I thought it would be a matter of days, possibly weeks before she would be able to use both arms to grab and pick up objects.   I would place my hands over hers and assist her in grabbing a ball or something else big yet lightweight, then let go expecting her hands to stay in position and hold the objects on her own, only to see her let go every time.  For a long time I didn't understand why she didn't just do it?  Didn't she understand doing this would allow her to grab and hold an object on her own?  Eventually I just had to let go of this expectation and not worry about it.  

It's only been in the past couple weeks at therapy that her OT has gotten her to accomplish this task and what I realize now of course is just how hard this task is for her to do.  The muscle development needed to hold her arm up in front of her, as opposed to holding it out to the side is big part of the equation.  Also, the lack of sensory input, ie she can't feel the block with her prosthetic arm is another hurdle she's had to overcome.  Additionally, while her prosthetic arm is a great first arm, and allows her to do a lot of things, the lack of an elbow makes grabbing rather difficult.  You never think of the benefits of having elbows until you know someone who doesn't have them... do me a favor and give a prayer of thanks for your elbows today.  It's all these little things together that make grabbing and holding so easy and natural for the rest of us, and that make it so hard for my baby to do the same.  But she's doing it.  And thats not even the whole of it, never mind the effort it took just to get her to the point that she trusted and liked going to her therapy appointments.  

When I look at this picture I see so much more than just my beautiful big girl finally holding a block.  I see determination, persistence, hard work, patience, resilience, trust, strength and love.  When was the last time I did something half as difficult?  It's hard not to be in awe of her sometimes.  


I linked to it a couple days ago, but didn't really say much about it.  Ronald A. Rasband's talk from General Conference entitled Special Lessons in which he highlights his grandson born with special needs, was a wonderful and timely talk for our family.  Like Elder Rasband, it's easy for me to see how the works of God are made manifest in my children.  
Read the talk here.   

19 comments:

  1. dear lamp:

    rock on.



    p.s. the photograph is awesome.

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  2. Linda P.10:08 AM

    I am so proud of Lamp, too, and so thrilled for you, Miggy, that you are seeing your little sweetie accomplish great things!

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  3. She is doing great.
    Do you know of a blog called "Riley Grace Waldrum". They have a newborn that has some challenges ahead. Just thought maybe you could give her some encouragement.

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  4. i love your last paragraph.

    what a huge accomplishment!

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  5. Such an incredible girl! I have been reading your blog since you were pregnant and when I saw this I started tearing up right away. You must be so proud.

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  6. Your words, "determination, persistence, hard work, patience, resilience, trust, strength and love..." More than anything, THAT is what makes this girl so special. Thanks for sharing and making my day!

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  7. What an achievement!!! Lamp is amazing and looking adorable while she's at it.

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  8. Thanks everyone for loving on my baby.

    And Debby--thank you for sending that family my way. Will reach out to them for sure.

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  9. What an inspiration.

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  10. This made me feel like cheering out loud! I am in awe.

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  11. Go Lampy Go!!! I love you. You are awesome little girl!!!!

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  12. That is so wonderful. It's heartbreaking sometimes to see our little ones work harder than most adults sometimes, but it is refining their character and making them strong and beautiful inside and out. So amazing!

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  13. w.o.w!
    now that is inspiring.

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  14. I LOVE this! I am so proud of her! Love love love all the milestones in this little girlie's life!

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  15. Anonymous1:05 AM

    Oh my! How awesome. I can't imagine how hard it has to be for Lamp. I think that the hardest thing would be the depth aspect of it all. To judge how far you need to be from the object if you can not bend your arm. And definitely the strength to hold the arm out and the object.
    Also, I just hoped over to see Andrew. What a blessing for Andrew's parents to have you advise. Have somebody you have been there and have done that. All the blessings to them!

    Alexandra

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  16. Now that I think about it, it would be difficult not to have elbows. Lamp truly reached a milestone. Yay!

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  17. I love the way her little toe is curled. It really shows how hard she is working! She is incredible.

    Thanks so much for sharing your life with us. I found your blog several weeks ago and it is the only one I come to read everyday.

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  18. Your girl is awesome! What a lesson to us all. I'm so proud of her. :)

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  19. I just happened upon your site looking for potato stamp stuff and am so touched to find your section on Lamp! My daughter was born with amniotic bad syndrome, leaving her with a little foot and it can be such a hectic scene just doing normal things like shoe shopping. While we've always felt blessed that she's almost completely unincumbered by her limb difference, as she gets older and her peers are doing more and more, the difference is starting to feel more and more highlighted. Didn't see that coming. So I love this post about the little, seemingly simple things that become triumphant acts when someone super special like our girls do them. Thanks!

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