Honestly, it often feels like we have lost Maia and now have a different child. Even the "shell" seems different. There are moments when I get just a milli-second glimpse of the "before" Maia, but it's gone so quickly that I wonder if it just my imagination. So... how is Miss Maia doing?
Physically, she continues to get stronger. She is capable of standing and taking steps independently. Just lacks the self-confidence to do so. If Maia thinks we are holding on to her, she's fine. The minute she realizes that she is on her own, she plops herself down - lol! She's crawling around the house more and more. "Mean mom" is working on helping Maia to learn to crawl up the stairs again. Oh... let me tell you how much she
Cognitively, things are going much slower. Maia is definitely more alert than she was when she first came home. There is recognition for familiar faces and items. No verbal communication right now and actually, she was making more sounds earlier in her recovery than she is now. As I have shared before, I think that is one of the most difficult things for me. I miss hearing her sweet voice and even miss her crabby voice - lol!! There are times when she cries, but she's not always able to even give us any indication why she is crying. Yes, we are able to discern some of her cries, but there are some that just come out of nowhere. Depending on what's going on inside that beautiful head of hers, she may be very frustrated and scared about why she can't do the things she used to do.
On a positive note, Maia is nearly back to her pre-illness medication regimen. She's down to one seizure medication, instead of two. And we've seen nothing remotely concerning for seizure activity. Still taking melatonin to help with sleep at night, but that's a whole lot better than the anxiety and pain medications that she required when she came home from the hospital.
It's hard to think about how this has affected Matthew, too. Although in many ways, he doesn't seem that much different, Maia's illness has made an impact. As a mom, I struggle with some sense of guilt about the loss he's had over the past four months. Matthew, too, has had to endure more in his five years than some of us do over our whole lives. The world he was just starting to feel secure in was turned upside down. And he isn't able to just tell us what he thinks or how he feels. Some of those emotions come out in other ways. It can be a challenge. But, there are also moments when Matthew touches my heart with things he says and does.
Now... it feels like we are starting to develop a bit of a new "normal." That word feels wrong somehow, because how can this be considered normal? But there isn't a whole lot of choice in the matter. For as much as I would like to just crawl in bed and pull the covers over my head some days, that won't do much good. So, all of us get up, get dressed, go about our day and try to figure this different life out. We learn how to navigate in situations that we never anticipated. Some days, we do well. Others? Well... we make it through.
And I truly believe that the reason we are able to keep putting one foot in front of the other and can start to smile again at times is because God has sustained us over the past four months. Thankful that He is constant even when life as we know it changes in ways we didn't anticipate and that He promises to walk each step of the journey with us.