In youth one night this past semester, we had the kids doing a writing assignment of some kind. I don't even remember what it was now. Wanting to feel like he was a part of what they were doing, Jerry grabbed paper and a pencil and started writing. He wrote his name, he copied the title of the book we had been studying all year, and then he wrote Jesus. I didn't think anything of it until I read it all together later that evening. It looked like a letter from Jesus to Jerry. "Jerry Bertic, Do Hard Things. Jesus"
And so he has. With the end of the school year, I can finally share some achievements with everyone. Here is what Jerry's writing looked like at the start of this past school year:
Here is what it looked like at the end:
Here is his math from the beginning of this year. The wrinkles and rips are evidence of his frustration.
Here is his most recent math worksheet:
He also finished his interactive metronome therapy this past week and his final assessment showed a remarkable improvement since his initial assessment. During the IM therapy, the OT specialist worked on Jerry memorizing his phone number and his address. He did both, quite well too. He can tell you them from memory and put visuals of them in order when placed in front of him.
Behaviorally speaking, here are the stats of his days this past year compared to last:
Gold Silver Bronze
Last Year 73 31 48
This Year 109 17 15
We are so proud of all of the progress he made despite his health issues. He had an INCREDIBLE teacher, who loved him, challenged him, encouraged him, and believed in him. She made such a difference.
And it doesn't look like Jerry is done doing hard things either. We made goals in youth group several weeks back and here is what Jerry wants to accomplish:
You go little man, you go.
I know it has been a while since my last update, but not much has changed, which in our lives is a good thing! Ok, we have had some crazy behavior issues the last few weeks with the anticipation of summer, but what Florida teenager isn't bouncing off the walls and "over it' when it comes to getting up early and going to school everyday as it is so beautiful outside and Adventure Island is open?
Today we saw the GI doctor for the first time since his G-tube replacement surgery on April 14th. Been loving the new button tube by the way. Anyway, on April 14th, he weighed 70.6 pounds. At today's visit, he weighed 75.24 pounds! That's 4.64 pounds in just over one month! Yes, I did that math!
The new goal? 92 pounds! At 92 pounds, we can remove the tube altogether. At this rate of weight gain, that's in about 4-5 months. So he needs to eat 1,800 calories a day.
Of course, with every praise comes a prayer request. Jerry has a nasty granuloma growing around his port. Click here for more information on just what that is. Basically, his body is trying to close the hole it knows should not be there by growing extra skin. This is causing some irritation and making the site sensitive.
We are trying a steroid cream to shrink the tissue. If that doesn't work, the doctor will use Silver Nitrate to cauterize it. It's similar to removing a wart and involves a significant amount of stinging for a time afterwards. Hence, prayer request. Please pray that the steroid cream shrinks the tissue. Poor guy has had enough pain for a while. And said doctor talked about the stinging in front of him so I don't need to tell you how adamant he is that burning that skin off is NOT going to happen.
Also pray we, Jeremiah, his classmates, and his teachers/therapists survive the rest of this week...the last week of school! I will update everyone on how he ended this school year next week!
I am a Christian. I am a wife. I am a mom. I am an author. In that order.