Tuesday, March 25, 2014

If I write it down, it will be easier

This week has been kind of the pits.  And it is only Tuesday.

As you know, Arlington had broken her foot.  Well Monday, I got a call from the school nurse that she had slipped and fell - again - and she hurt her knee.  She wouldn't move it and couldn't stand.  It was on the SAME SIDE as the broken foot.  Sigh.  They were worried, so they wanted her checked out.  I was subbing - my one day a month - so Mat offered to go and get her.  I called the orthopedic doctor and they wanted to check it out.  We took her in and thankfully it wasn't broken.  She has a very deep bruise in her bone and in her cartilage and fluid on her knee, but the ortho doctor is hoping it will heal within a few weeks.

This morning she was still in a lot of pain and the swelling was worse.  So I didn't make her go to school.  I called the doctor and he agreed to crutches to get her up and moving again.  Took us the whole day to get that taken care of, but by 3pm this afternoon, she was learning how to use them and trying hard not to break anything else.

Fun times.

Today Finley had her annual vision field test.  This test tells us how she sees and where her "dark spots" are in her vision.  The vision field specialist will also give a report to the school on their recommendations for services and accommodations that Finley will need.  This appointment lasted nearly 3 hours - always does - but Finley was a trooper.  She has lost a little more vision, but it wasn't terrible.  We are definitely in the "slow progression" when it comes to her loss.  Which we are very grateful for.  She lost a little more central vision, and a little more peripheral vision.  But very minor.  What changed the most is her vision in her left eye.  It is twice as worse as it was last year.  We knew it was because Finley will actually call it her "bad eye" - and will actually close it sometimes to see things.  We have also noticed that eye "wandering" - she has lost control of it because it has become pretty useless to her.  Even with her glasses on - that eye just is so very weak.  It does look like she has lost some vision in her upper left field - she is showing that in her school work.  The doctor was fascinated by this and wanted to think on its exact cause a little more before she reports on it.  So we will see what she comes up with.  They want Finley to get more vision services at school - so we will see what can be done about that.  (meaning from her teacher from the vision impaired).  They also want her to have a low vision visit where they will do some tests on her to determine what accommodations are the best for her.  We are going to try to do that one near the end of the summer so that it gives us a good start to next year.

This appointment always makes me apprehensive.  I don't like to watch when Finley sits in the big machine and has to hit a buzzer every time she sees the light flash in her field of vision.  The doctor started seeing Finley since she was three, and we just adore her.  She is never allowed to retire.  She is so loving and patient with Finley and she is very nice with me when she has to give me bad news.  So we always leave there feeling okay even when the news isn't good.  We know the disease is progressive.  We know she will go blind.  But knowing that someone is there to help us figure out what she sees and what will work for her to help her see better, is great.

This week we also made a tough decision regarding Finley and school.  Last week we had her IEP meeting, and the team recommended retention for Finley.  Meaning, they would like to see her repeat the second grade.  Before this year, we have always felt this was not the way to go with Finley.  But this year, we have felt otherwise.  We see her struggling academically, emotionally, socially.  It is a bad combination.  She doesn't like school.  She begs not to go every day.  She will tell us it is too hard and that she can't see it.  We have her in counseling to work through her emotions, but it isn't enough.  She is very anxious about what is happening to her vision, and has really started to express how she feels about it.  And what she is worried about.  Which is good!  But it is getting in the way of her learning.  She spends a lot of time worrying, so then she struggles.

So - we were given a few weeks to think on the situation before our next meeting in mid-April.  This past Sunday, Mat and I were sitting around and I asked him what we were waiting for to make the decision.  He said "divine intervention".  So.....since that isn't going to happen, we decided to do it.  We are going to retain Finley in the 2nd grade.  We have not come to this decision lightly, and I wish every minute of every day that I didn't have to make it.

We have talked to Finley about it, and she is pretty upset with us.  Today she and I talked about it and how the decision has been made, and that it was okay to be sad, but that we are doing it anyway.  She made me feel terrible because she just looked out the window and her little lip was quivering.  I about died and took it all back right there.  But I held strong.  She told me she is going to miss her friends.  And she is.  But she will make new ones.  And we will work really hard to keep her with the old ones.

I am trying to look to the future.  She is a girl who is going to need more confidence than all of her friends combined.  That in order for Finley to be independent in the community, she is going to have to feel it.  She is going to have to be strong.  And I think if we keep pushing her into situations she isn't ready to handle because she gives us the "sad eyes" she is going to fail.

Will this fix everything?  No it won't.  There is a chance it won't make a bit of difference.  Heck, there is a chance we can make it worse.  We can't see the future.  All we can do is take the information that the team has given us, and what we see ourselves, and hope we are making the right decision.

Please pray for Finley's little heart while she goes through this.


Anonymous said...

Losing vision would be the hardest thing for me to handle in my entire life, and I am 24. This is for beautiful, cheerful, playful, sweet hearted Princess Finley---yes Finley you are!

I am so proud of you for being so brave to face this! Jesus is right there beside you little one, HE is listening he knows your fears and troubles..he knows you inside and out. Let me tell you Sweetheart: inside your have such a tender heart and it regesters the best of your emotions...I beleive there is so much more good feelings then sad ones. In order to move mountains you must use them to bring out the very best in you! Feel what's inside you and let it flow out of you like a soft breeze.

Anonymous said...


I believe God gives us hard situations in life to guide us in being closer to him. You have such a wonderful life ahead of you! I can tell. Love life, love yourself, love your family...love the impossible. Do you want to know what that means?

Nothing is impossible, for the word itself means "possible" anything is possible with God!

I will be praying for you Finley--I will ask God to send his angles to watch you through each day and kiss you on the eye lids for sweet dreams :)

God bless you Pletcher family!

Feel better Arlington :)

Anonymous said...


Do you know why I say that about the angels? Because you are brave and they will keep you that way! If I could come down to visit, I would hug you because...well...I care about you!

You can do anything sweet girl!

Your Friend, Shayla

Shayla McCartney said...

If I could post a picture of what I look like I would :)