Armand started his first official speech therapy session today.  We’re not only working on his actual speech, having him do word associations, etc., but also working on using American Sign Language.  His speech therapist said that not only will it help him learn to read and make associations faster, but should things progress with his disease and he loses what ability he has to communicate, he still will be able to sign. So now I’m trying to get him to say “da-da” or “daddy” in two languages. I’d try “padre”, but we’re Yankee fans.

We still have not heard anything official back from the doctors in Minnesota – Lindy had emailed them to let them know that we had interest in both procedures if a) insurance would cover, and b) if they felt he was a good candidate.  Dr. Orchard did email Lindy back to say he had been out of the office for quite a bit and asked when would be a good time to call to talk things over.

I’m so proud of how he has handled everything.  To him, maybe he thinks that this is how things are, that people get hearing aids and go to therapy and fall down a lot.  He is aware of things, he has his “headphones” and his “boots” as part of his routine now, even to the point of helping to put everything on (or as I call it, “putting him together” or “suiting up”).  He’s been sick lately, a little congestion (along with some pink eye and ear infection), and I put Vick’s rub on his chest, and now he even helps with that as well, rubbing a little on his tummy and smiling.  He’s fantastic with both of his therapists, and he’s extremely easy going with all of his nurses — until he thinks he’s going to get stuck with a needle.  His only real medical aversion at the moment (aside from needles) is medicine, which he fights with the cutest little “I’m not going to drink that” face, refusing to open his mouth.

I’ve been a little excited lately with the fundraising we’re doing.  Not only have there been good friends new and old offering financial help, but volunteering to donate time, effort, and ideas.  Even strangers who don’t know me, Lindy, or Armand have opened up for us.  The fundraising site we set up has done more than I even initially thought, financial goal aside (and, really, I can’t thank any of you enough); and that’s not to mention the terrific direct donations that don’t even appear on the site.  Even local businesses, including Term Quote have come out of nowhere to help us out.

We’re working on setting up a concert here in Dayton, along with the club night benefit that we have scheduled for May.  Lindy has been up in her hometown of Bay City, Michigan, where her family has been setting up dinners, concerts, and other methods for the future.  We may attempt to work with some more local businesses on fundraising, and maybe do some raffles, auctions, or put together a 5K run for next year. Really, the amount of people who have given time, money, effort — I’m so numb to the worry and pain and fear that it’s the good that people have shown that makes me emotional these days. And that’s where the “Ari’s Army” idea came from — the virtual army of people who have in some way or another stood at our side, as if appearing like magic.

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