Sea turtles, life changes and positive psychology.

So Charley and I got upset after reading about a  sea turtle who is missing three flippers.  I guess there was this turtle who was hurt badly, and, whereas they normally  would call this  a lost cause, an intern “begged for a chance” to care for it. Now they are making the first ever prosthetic flipper. They’re working hard and putting lots of energy into this project. It’s even gotten some media attention.

So my question is: Where can I find an intern who cares about people  and is willing to put work into making a gadget to  help my daughter  become ambulatory?  We need braces with a bar for Laelie’s club feet that also have  KFO-like knee straightening deals for her legs. The dumb turtles of the world can take a back seat!

Gee, am I in a mood or what? :)

But seriously, it’s a turtle.  There are actual  “quality of life” concerns for this turtle, which is  great for the turtle,  but come on. After reading about the work going into this, I just feel a little jealous.

Even though I complain, I have this feeling that Laelia is going to be one of those kids who would want mommy to help the turtle. She loves turtles as you can see. :)


You know, one thing that amazes me is how the whole universe turned upside-down to make room for  Laelia’s bright soul. I met a lady  the other day  who was helping with the paperwork side of Lady Laelie’s care. She asked how old my baby was, and, after I told her, she asked if they had caught Laelie’s condition in an ultrasound.  We did have a lot of ultrasounds, but we didn’t know to look for something this rare. Since everything  else  came out normal on the ultrasound, we didn’t find out she had AMC until she popped out on October 3rd. We got her official diagnosis on the 4th in the morning by our geneticist. “Wow,” the lady said, “So your whole life changed just a few short months ago!”

Wow. I guess it has.  It’s hard to believe that a few months ago our lives  were totally different–and less complete, but of course we  didn’t know it yet.  It feels like it’s been years and years. And in that time I became an expert on AMC–the amyoplasia version of it anyway–or I guess I should say the Laelia version of it.  How weird that it’s only been a few months!  I feel like we’re finally getting a handle on  getting over the grief and heartache of her diagnosis. We’re learning not to ask the “What if she never…” questions or limit her in our minds or words or actions. Of course we relapse sometimes, but we’re getting better all the time.

Once upon a time in one psychology class or another, I heard that a person’s overall emotional state after extreme stimulus, good or bad, will revert back to “normal,” given time. So if you win the lotto and your happiness spikes, or someone close to you dies and your happiness tanks, given enough processing time, your overall happiness will level out again. I think I’m nearing that stage where everything levels out again. Sometimes I’ll get some downward trends, but overall, things are becoming the Wesley family’s version of normal. :) “Normal” for us includes  quite a few more hospital visits than the typical family, but I think  a few  more joyous discoveries than the typical family too. Expected physical milestones  for babies  are not something that apply to us.  We don’t expect anything to come easily for our daughter, yet every new movement she discovers is celebrated.  And every new suprise  makes for an interesting and exciting life. There are things she can do right now that I honestly thought she never would. (Like have enough passive range of motion in her arm to  touch her own face!)

So even though some doctors or insurance people or, sadly, turtles get me down, :) I know I have a wonderful, intelligent, happy daughter who is full of life and promise. She has a great attitude and loving personality. She already  puts me to shame and she’s only five months old.

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