Daddy, Amelia & big bro, Spike
We'll be enjoying the Junebugs from the Ronald McDonald House on Long Island this year. We're very excited.
Last Thursday, we took Amelia to the facility on Long Island where she will be receiving her intensive 4hr. PT/OT 5x's weekly and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) 1hr. 2x's daily to be evaluated for the program. We'll be starting on June 2nd for 4 weeks total. Our day will be as follows:
6:30-8AM first HBOT dive of the day (they call the sessions "dives")
1-2:30PM second HBOT dive
2:30-> rest and play at the Ronald McDonald House until the next day
The facility (www.therapies4kids.com) is incredible. They have therasuits and a spider cage for the kids. The PT there, Amy, is really terrific and seemed very competent while working with Amelia that day. Amy manipulated Amelia to get a sense of where she is and at the end had surmised that Amelia is a very good candidate for the program with lots of potential (YAY!).
The hyperbaric facility was also very cool. We actually put Amelia in a chamber (picture a tanning bed that encloses completely and is clear glass) by herself (without the oxygen) to see how she would do. She actually did great. Just laid there watching cartoons and eating her fingers but I'm going to do the dives with her. They told us that after the chamber is sealed and the pressure is stabilized the fastest they could get it open in an emergency is 3 minutes. Well, Amelia could easily choke and die in that time on her secretions if she coughed or sneezed -- as she often does in the morning. Some of the girls from the office came in and were teasing that they give me 2 dives before I decide that she can go in alone. I laughed too!
Yesterday we took her to the Pediatrician to get a clearance from her and to get hip and chest x-rays for Amelia and a chest x-ray for Mommy. Hopefully we pass with flying colors. And pretty much we're set to go!
By the way, the Ronald McDonald House is really amazing! We walked in and it's like Disneyland!!!! I feel like this is going to be a nice getaway for us too. The House has 42 rooms, each with 2 full size sleep comfort beds, a private bathroom, TV and toys for the child (which you are asked to take home with you!). The lobby is a huge room with overstuffed sofas and big stuffed animals on the floor for the kids to play on. There's a 2 story dollhouse for the kids to play in, along with a beautiful library, flat screen TV room (decorated for the Mets) and gardens and BBQ's in the backyard. There is a huge kitchen with 5 stations -- each family is assigned a station with cupboards and fridge space. The dining room is full of country kitchen tables and there's a solarium in the kitchen with a play area for the children. We were also told that a dinner is brought in every night at 6PM for everyone in the house if you wish to partake.
So that's our latest and greatest. This weekend we're off to Baltimore to celebrate my parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary. Wow. That's a long time. My brother and his kids are coming in from Albuquerque and my Aunt Andi and Uncle Neil are the gracious hosts of the beautiful house where we are throwing this big shin-dig. It should be lots of fun!
Also, I neglected to mention that a couple weeks ago Nestor and I attended a big event given by UCP called the "Women Who Care Luncheon." It was given at Cipriani's on 42nd St. (used to be a big old beautiful bank...still has the antique teller windows) and Nestor gave out the big award at the end of the ceremony. It really was such an important and touching event. We posed for some publicity photos, which we've done in the past -- no big deal, but this time was with Dan Rather and that was really cool for me. I mean, he's been in my house almost every night since I was a tot! Strange. I've met lots of people, and I'm not usually starstruck -- but every now and then I meet someone who makes me speechless. This was one of those duh moments (Dustin Hoffman and Tom Hanks are the other two!). Nestor and I have been named Journal Co-chairs for the UCP Celebrity Golf Tournament, which I believe means that they will be using Amelia's story in their magazine for the fundraiser. It's an honor and we are so happy to share our girl and her incredible journey thus far.
And lastly, Spike has made it to Shanghai safely and actually called Nestor this morning. He gives it a 9.5 out of 10 which is amazing. Just so you know -- he's NEVER given anything a 10, he's saving that...so 9.5 is tops! He and his girlfriend, Christine are exploring the city and having a terrific time. What an adventure for him!
So that's it for now. I hope everyone has a fun, relaxing, traffic-free, family full Memorial day.