"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
   Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Deuteronomy 31:8

Friday, May 30, 2014

This Girl Can Swim!!

The story behind all of this began almost two weeks ago on Monday May 19th. I had signed Luella's siblings - Burke, Ashlyn and Ryker - up for two weeks of swimming lessons. I thought I had prepared Luella well enough in advance to know that SHE was NOT going to be swimming - that we were there just to watch the others do their swimming lessons. I was wrong. She was not prepared. The second we walked into the aquatics center she was crying that she wanted to swim. And she didn't quit crying. I thought we would have to leave. Thankfully I had my tablet along and she was somewhat distracted by playing a few games but would often pause to watch the pool and cry that she wanted to swim too.

I knew it would probably be hard for her. She LOVES to swim. I had thought about doing the parent / tot lessons with her but they weren't offered during the time the other kids had their lessons. And really, I was nervous to let her in the water. She usually has a seizure when she swims in our indoor pool... and well, really in any pool. Last summer was a little better and she was able to swim in a baby pool in our backyard a few times but a visit to any bigger pool usually resulted in a seizure. I figured I would try to leave Luella home with Jim so I could watch the kids the rest of the week and then the 2nd week of lessons I would just have to miss out on watching since Jim would be gone for work.

On day two of lessons Luella was going to stay home with daddy but she just clung to me begging to go. I was very strict in telling her that she wasn't going to swim and that we would only be watching and if she cried I would have to bring her home. She agreed, so I took her along.  She did better. Not many tears but also not happy. She often asked me if she could swim too. During the lessons on that second day, one of the pool supervisors came in and offered up one of her student lifeguards to do some private lessons with Luella! It was such a amazing and kind offer!! I was really nervous about Luella having a seizure but I told her I would think about it. Jim stopped by the pool to watch the kids for a few minutes and I told him about the offer. He thought we should try it. Before we left I told them that we would give it a try!!

Ready to SWIM!!
I told Luella that she would get to swim the next day and she was SO EXCITED!! When she got up on Wednesday morning the first thing she said was "I go swimming lessons!!" Lesson time came and she was READY! I visited with the lifeguard and explained what Luella's seizures can look like. They were in the baby pool and I was right there watching and had towels, Luella's rescue meds and everything there with me.

Luella was having the best time!! She isn't scared of the water at all and she wasn't exactly "teachable" but getting to have more time in the water was great for her. She did great for about 20 minutes and then she HAD A SEIZURE. :-( I was so heartbroken for her. This is something that she absolutely LOVES and she just couldn't do it! Thankfully Jim was there again to see how things were going and was able to help me. We did have to give one dose of her rescue med and then it stopped. We got her changed into dry clothes and I waited a few more minutes for the other kids to be done with lessons. When we left the pool and I buckled her into her car seat she woke up a little bit. She was so groggy and could barely talk but I understood what she was saying..... "I want to swim." Poor babe!!

I talked to the staff at the pool and the lifeguard and she was willing to give it another try if I wanted. We decided to try one more day. If she had another seizure - we were done. Thursday morning came and Luella was as ready as ever to go swimming!  She couldn't wait to get in the water!! And it was TERRIFIC!! She swam for 45 minutes and didn't have a seizure!! Hooray!! The third day (Friday) was also great!! Luella was SWIMMING and NOT HAVING A SEIZURE!!

The next week lessons started on Tuesday because of Memorial Day. The student lifeguard was finished so the staff at the pool allowed me to take Luella into the baby pool myself! I was a little nervous. We had a break from swimming for a few days... would she have a seizure? Jim was also out of town for work and that had me a little more nervous too. But Luella was determined to swim and she did it!!! ALL WEEK LONG!! Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday! NO seizures at the pool! She did have a seizure Wednesday evening at home while playing outside.... but it had been one week since the last seizure - I guess she is consistent with her once-a-week seizures! But thankfully no seizures at the pool!! She even did "learn" a few things.... she can now plug her nose and go completely under the water to pick up rings. She could also lay on her back to back float with some help! I think on Friday she spent more time under the water then out of the water!!

I think her seizure the first day may have been because she was SO EXCITED to go swimming. It had been several months since she had tried swimming  (the last time having a seizure also). The other days... I think the newness had worn off some and maybe she was more relaxed in the water? Hard to know for certain, but I DO know that I probably would not have attempted to have her swim again the very next day had the staff not offered her "lessons" and she would not have had the fun she has had these last two weeks!! We have a terrific aquatics center here and I can not thank them enough for letting Luella experience "swimming lessons" too!!

We are praying for lots more swimming fun this summer!!

I'll leave you with a few more pictures....

Ashlyn, Luella, Burke and Ryker ready for swimming lessons!

A happy girl!

Luella was excited to find a "princess ball" and it matched her swimming suit!!

Having some fun with Ashlyn during Ashlyn's free time.

Head under water finding rings!!!

1 comment:

  1. This is so great Heather! I'm so glad she had so many good days in the water.
    Ben is a water bug too but we rarely take him to the pool although I don't think he's ever had a seizure in the pool...it's just so much work.