It cannot possibly be that time of year once more, but the calendar never lies. 2012 is coming to a close and it has been quite the roller coaster this year at Chez Lenaburg. It’s been an “interesting” year for us…or as we like to say..”oh, God, oh God, we’re all going to die!”
Ok, that’s really just my favorite line from the movie Serenity, but you get my point–after all we did survive the Mayan apocalypse… and the end of the Twinkie.
As usual, Courtney experienced the most change this year.
Shocking I know! She has been struggling with her weight for the last two years and in January her liver and kidneys began to show distress because her blood ammonia levels began to rise. This began a new battle to keep things “moving” as they say, which is the only way to lower the ammonia levels. Yes, we are all about the poop here…in fact we have become regular poop CSIs…all we need is a mass spectrometer, which just sounds so wrong…unfortunately, her seizures continue to be a daily event.
Easter weekend provided more excitement with a three day stay in the PICU at Georgetown University Hospital in DC. As you know, I HATE hospitals, to the point where the floor nurse asked Mary-“can you find some errands for your husband to do–say, outside the hospital…he’s annoying the nurses with his scowling”. Apparently I am told I have a scary “Stalin face” which frightens children, small dogs, and tardy nurses. Harrumph.
Once we returned home we had some tough choices to make. Her liver and kidneys were still showing stress and her immune system was incredibly compromised, so we decided it was time for her to be home full-time. Since Courtney is now 20 years old (insane I know), she was allowed to graduate from Kilmer Center two years early which we celebrated with friends and family in June.
She is now home with Mary and there is never a dull day. The two of them spend their days attending physical therapy appointments, working on Courtney’s hand dexterity, and snuggling on the couch for story time. For now she is holding her own. Her weight has stabilized and her liver and kidneys are no longer under as much stress. She smiles and laughs everyday, taking all the love we can give her and giving it back in spades. We learn something new everyday from this beautiful young lady.
Jonathan is now 23…argh that is painful to write. Almost makes me feel old…not mature, mind you but old. He finished his Associate of Arts degree and is living at home while working full-time saving up to go back and finish his four-year degree. Computers are a big interest as is the fascinating world of Dr. Who. He is a HUGE help with his sister Courtney and still has the best pirate voice in the family when it comes to story-time.
Mary’s days are filled with care of her sidekick, doing a little writing, baking a new recipe or stitching something. She still blogs most days at Passionate Perseverance and have even done some public speaking about being a special needs mom.
I am still working at Northrop Grumman Corporation and teaching history to some local homeschool students. This year was my 25th reunion at the Naval Academy. Yes, that’s right…my class has become the old, bald farts sitting around telling “when I was a midshipman” stories that we used to make fun of…many, years ago…before Gameboys…which my son pretty much considers the Paleolithic era….”Dad, HOW did your survive?” “Beer, son…lots of beer”. Oh, and there might have been some singing of Red Solo Cup as Mary drove home from Annapolis, but I can neither confirm nor deny that.
We hope your family has a fantastafabulous 2013 – (yes, Mary made that word up, she’s so proud) .
Blessings in 2013 ~
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