Wednesday, July 7: Update

Claire made her return to the pool today. It wasn’t a triumphant return. It was more of a leisurely stroll. Her audience had no outbursts as well which made for a more controlled environment. There was an intensity in everyone’s eyes as we watched her work with the therapists. Tiffany and I both braced for the phobia related stress we expected for the first time. It didn’t come. We were instead struck with regret and dismay as we watched Claire be carried around the pool with three adults on all sides: it was heartbreaking to think that she was learning to swim and playing in the water just over a month ago. We were reduced to tears again, reminded of how Claire was.

From a therapeutic standpoint, however, Claire did very well. She was relaxed and comfortable. The therapists remarked that they could feel some muscular effort around her trunk while she was in the water. We’re happy to hear she’s trying to use her core muscles more. Claire got to exercise those muscles first on a foam mat, followed by an inflatable neck ring and waist device. Claire was relaxed for a solid two hours following the pool therapy and she needed that relief.

Claire didn’t get good rest last night. Our two night streak was broken. Claire didn’t fall asleep until midnight and had fitful sleep until 4:30 AM. She finally slipped into slumber then until 9:00 AM. While Claire was able to collect bits and pieces of sleep, Tiffany didn’t fare so well. The physical distress led to emotional duress and the pulling of hair ensued. For those concerned, I’ll point out that Tiffany was pulling her own hair, not Claire’s (though if she was, we’d understand why Claire wasn’t sleeping well). Remarkably, Claire was alert for most of the day. Tiffany not so much. Claire’s eyes were open and searching. She was responding to people entering her gaze, especially when they were less than 12 inches from her face.

But her energy was bound to give out. After exercising her for over an hour and giving her a bath, Claire only had enough energy left to protest while Tiffany did her hair. She made a mad dash for the finish line and resigned herself to a more calm state thereafter. She’s made virtually no noise since and is now sleeping soundly.

Today was an emotionally draining day for Tiffany and me. We continue to deal with some of the fallout without knowing how. So we just hope and pray that we’re given the necessary information when the time is right and we rely on the professionals around us to make a wise decision. Please keep us in mind as some other aspects of this ordeal transpire these next few weeks. The state is obligated to investigate events like this. Our investigation has started. I won’t provide details except to say that it is unnerving for me. The process is foreign and adds to the strain. Your prayers and support are welcome and appreciated.