A year ago we were in New York where Brooke was recovering from brain surgery. I am so thankful for the journey our family has been on over this past year. This may seem like a strange comment, but we have grown so much as a family. Last year we believed her brain surgery was all we could handle...and yet this has probably been one of the hardest years we have faced. Brooke had many ups and downs after her surgery as did our family. With Brooke's surgery came great debt. My heart goes out to families who have multiple children with Chiari. I am not even sure how you manage. But then I guess you just keep going.
Brooke made great strides, and many looked and saw a perfectly normal girl. But many of Brooke's symptoms stayed the same. Our amazing Dr.B listened and encouraged us to proceed with a 2nd surgery on her spine in April. So 6 months after my baby got through brain surgery...this brave bug was back in surgery again. And for the 2nd time she made great strides. But we still have many battles to fight. Brooke still has slight instability in her neck which probably lead to spinal fusion as a teen. She still has a severe bladder and bowel issue that will lead to surgery in a few years. And every time she says, "Mama why can't I ride a bike?" my heart drops a little. I know this is something small, but it brings joy to a little child!
2010-2011 has been a roller coaster ride for us all. Between the surgeries, financial crisis, job loss, and now moving, I feel like I have not rested in a very long time. I am so very thankful for the people who have helped with benefits, and helping us to stay in our home! I am thankful for all the prayers that have sustained us. We know this new job for Tim is a true blessing, and we are thrilled to have it! It was an answer to pray as now I can stay home with the kids. So when Brooke is having an off day, we can just hang out.
I want to write more about our move and will. Tonight I just want to be thankful that we survived this year. We have grown as a fam...and life is continuing on.