Today we had several therapy evaluations for Rachel. It was very informative. They were able to explain what had happened to her nerves and what is going on in her body to cause the weakness.
The nerves that are affected are the peripheral nerves. These nerves have a coating that encases the nerve allowing the impulses to get to the brain quickly. What has happened is the casing has been damaged by the immune system mistaking the nerves as a virus and attacking the nerves as if it was an invading virus. Because of this attack the casing (myelin) that surrounds the nerves is damaged. This is causing the nerve impulses to get crossed and not make it to the brain like it normally would.
Right now we are dealing with the effects of the damaged nerves. We have quite a bit of therapy to go through to get things back the way they should be. For example, the nerves from her eyes to her brain have been affected. This is causing her to not be able to read and comprehend. She is able to read short things that have their meaning in one phrase ( IE text messages); but unable to take a book and read through a paragraph and be able to understand what she read in a paragraph.
Perhaps the hardest part today was when they had her write her name. She was able to print her name - although it took about 2 minutes for this to happen. When she finished it looked like something Zak would have written. (This was the part in the evaluation where I started to cry!) So, we are starting from the beginning at getting these skills down. There was a part of me that said, "Well, I taught her to write once - I can do it again!" Then there was another part of me that was absolutely devastated to find ourselves here. So many emotions.
We are having to relearn basic things like how to tie a shoe and button a shirt. Simple things like washing the dishes takes much time as she works through skills that she has lost.
We have to be honest to say that the fact that school starts in 5 weeks is never far from our minds. When she is sitting there trying her hardest to write her name - only to find that it is virtually impossible - the questions start to come. "Will this be better in time for school?" "How will we be able to help her get through school if this all is not back yet?" Unfortunately, there are no answers. We are just on a wait and see basis. So we will wait and see - and work and see how fast we are able to regain these skills. There is comfort in knowing that God knew this was going to happen a long time ago. He knows what the school year will bring and Rachel is in the center of where He wants her to be. God knows - and we will rest in that.
Thanks so much for your prayers. They mean so much to us.