Beyond Therapy is here! Yeah! You cannot even imagine what this feels like for me. Yesterday morning, we rose bright and early and made it down to Shepherd Center for Danny’s first day. We were met by friendly staff and a brand new gym area. After a few introductions, the BT team got down to business. The first matter of business was to do a complete evaluation of Danny and when I say complete, they were so thorough! Not only did they test his strength, flexibility and ability with him on his back, but on his left side, his stomach and his right side; in his chair and sitting on the side of the mat table. This consumed the majority of our time and thus gave the BT team exactly the information they need to customize a therapy plan for Danny.

During the evaluation, Danny joked with the therapists who happen to be all attractive women; let’s hope that serves as motivation. He had a positive attitude and tried very hard to do all that they asked him to do. He was able to accomplish more than I’ve seen him do in relation to movement, especially in the left arm. I have encouraged him now to begin using the left arm independently as much as possible instead of using his right arm to assist the left. I’m beginning to think he’s gotten used to assisting the left arm instead of trying to initiate movement each time. There were times when Danny was unable to move or lift or balance whatever the therapist asked of him, but then again there were times where her eyes got real big after seeing how strong some movements and limbs are. It was all very encouraging to me.

Following the evaluation, Beth, the therapist, put Danny on an electrical stimulation bike to see if he could tolerate it. The FES bike produces constant electrical stimulation in relation to how much effort the patient is able to give. Basically, if Danny isn’t contributing, the e-stim is 100% which can be uncomfortable. So, Danny is encouraged to work harder to keep the percentage of stimulation to a minimum. Beth had to reset the machine a few times to get the amps at a place that Danny could tolerate it, but after we had that set, Danny did great. He never let the percentage rise above 95% and was able to get it down to 54%. He rode about 20 minutes which at his set RPM was about 3 miles. Isn’t that great? Beth’s final comment to Danny was that he has “a lot of potential.” I’m thrilled! I just wish that had helped lift Danny’s spirits.

Danny left BT apologizing as usual for all that we have to do for him and also was back down in the dumps. I’m not sure what else I can say or do to help Danny not only understand, but also believe how well he is doing and to be hopeful. His attitude keeps him bound so much that he is unable to see the potential. He is unable to get past his limitations and boldly exclaim “I will” instead of “I can’t.” It is very frustrating to me and I make a huge effort to be patient with him and put myself in his shoes as much as I can. I certainly can imagine what it must be like for him, but I cannot understand. So, I take a deep breath and swallow hard before I say anything. At this point, I’ve kind of thrown my hands up in the air and prayed that that Lord would start telling him how great he is doing because Danny isn’t listening to me; perhaps he’ll finally get it from God.

As uplifting as all those moments were yesterday, my personal most precious moment came before we even left the house. On Danny’s Bible verse calendar, the verse was Hebrews 13:6 which reads “So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”.” And, on my calendar, I read the verse that was given to me back in November with tears in my eyes and a lump of thanksgiving in my throat, Song of Solomon 2: 11-12; “See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.” I claim that for my family the rain is gone; the winter has past and we’ve entered the season of new growth and new life.

This morning, I rushed to get Danny out the door and to therapy on time before I had to head off to work. Loida was taking him today and I’ve already heard from her that Danny was in good spirits and was working hard on stomach crunches. I hope they make him work so hard today that he can physically feel the effectiveness of this “boot camp” type therapy. It will serve as the reminder that it is working and there is possibility where Satan would have him believe there was none.

Danny finishes his first week on Friday with another 9am – 12 noon session and then we will go only two days next week due to the July 4Th holiday. It is unbelievable that we are blessed to have such an opportunity with Beyond Therapy. Of course I want Danny to recover quickly so we can begin again, but I also want to get him out of BT because I know there is another family like us that is just hoping, waiting for this opportunity of hope. Please pray for those that wait for their turn; it can be so unbearable.

Please pray for Corbin. In the past week he has fallen back into his early tendency for sleeping poorly. I’m not sure what he is experiencing, but only at night, he will not fall asleep in his own crib. I must rock him until he is so asleep that he will not wake when I put him in his crib. Even then, he is not sleeping through the night and then is waking at 6am; three hours earlier than normal. When I place him in his crib, he screams as if he is in pain or scared. I can be right in front of him, but he is still screaming. It is only when I hold him and rock him that he settles down. Not only is this difficult on him since he isn’t getting nearly enough sleep, but it is rough on me. So, please pray that whatever is tormenting Corbin’s sleep will leave him and give him peace.

Again, I beg, urge you to email Danny. I know some people would rather call him, but he forgets those calls and those conversations. If I have an email to show him, it is evidence that he cannot dispute. He needs you. He needs to know that there are people out there that care for him and his recovery; that there are people that believe in him and his success; that people are praying for him and believing with him for his miracle. I can only tell him so much before it has no effect, but you can make a difference with a simple stroke of the keyboard. Don’t address it to both of us or to me, but to Danny. Make him feel important because he feels worthless. I need you to do this for me because it breaks my heart to see him so discouraged. Please take a few minutes and write a thoughtful note of encouragement to him or a Bible verse that helps you through your own journey. Thank you!

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