Day Twenty-Four

Tova had her quick Chiropractor session today. She is such a good girl. She loves watching the other kids get their chiro stuff done too, she laughs and points and basically just acts delighted.

Today went super fast again. I did body attack in the morning. There is only just enough space in my room for it. It is fun.

While Tova was in her session I worked and watched the squirrels outside my window, they are so tiny and cute, not to mention fast. After hyperbarics Tova asked to ride the bike through the building and outside where she watched the squirrels too. I love that she loves animals.

Tova was a bit sad when she woke up, until she skyped aba (Dad/Yuval), that made her happy.

She isn't impressed that I'm not letting her crawl nor be carried anywhere. She complains about it but I try and make walking in the frame fun for her by telling her to run and how great she is.. She likes that stuff.

The chamber was long and boring today.. not really terribly different to any other day. Tova loves the owner Kevin and talks to him etc.. cute..

There was a thunder storm this morning that was beautiful. I have never heard thunder like that before, there was no break, it was continuous. Lovely to be next to Lake Ontario in the middle of nowhere listening to the storm pass by. Once it passed the sun came out and the day was actually really warm.

Tomorrow I have my individual session with Tova again at 11.30am. I wonder how much she will play up for me this time..

Storm near lake ontario
Picton Storm

Day Twenty-Three

Today was a good day. It went very fast. I had my session with Tova today in the class room. She did what I said mostly, she took ages to listen to me and wanted to do her own thing, but I was strong and just kept making her start again and do what she was supposed to.

Again, the therapists told me that Tova can walk unaided, she just needs to do it. .. Yuval and I need to keep practicing with her.

We didn't go outside today, however the sun seems to have appeared.. It is warmer tonight than it was last night.

I did body attack in the morning. I even found on youtube one track with my instructor from home, steph.. so that was nice.. familiar.

it is frightening to think that we are almost done here. It is bitter sweet. I feel we could get more out of it if we stayed longer. So, perhaps we will come back.. We shall see what we can find at home like this.

I have spent the day making Tova walk in the walking frame everywhere we need to go. She doesn't like it. She wants to crawl or be carried. I just said a heap of no. She has to practice and understand that she has to walk to get where she wants to go.

The chamber was as boring as ever, but time didn't go too slow. We did drawings and made a birthday card for a mum who's birthday is today. There has been no horrible hockey nor wiggles for ages, which is fantastic. BUT Tova isn't interested in anything that has been put on, so it has been 1.5 hours of writing letters and numbers and words and pictures etc..

Tova doesn't even ask for books before bed now, we are both so sick of the books we have with us that we just can't bring ourselves to read them. No complaints from me.

Other than that, I just spend my time working and eating. Tova has been learning and hopefully developing.

Day Twenty-Two

Week four already. I feel relief and sad about this. I would love for Tova to stay here for another 5 weeks of this program as I can see it would be very beneficial. But I am also happy that we get to leave in 2 weeks. I am so looking forward to Niagara.

This morning I found BODY ATTACK online, on youtube... it feels great to have done something normal. It was fun jumping around in my room. So I will probably do that each day now, so that my spirits are lifted a bit.

Tova is in class, probably having heaps of fun.

I've run out of nappies, which sucks as now I have to beg someone to take me to town.. *sigh*. I think I have 2 nappies and a couple of those trainer pull ups, which aren't good, but it should last me till tomorrow. I know I said I can handle not having a car, and I can, but I fell so annoying asking for a lift to town all the time. And then people feel bad if they say no because they aren't going today. It is all a bit awkward.
There are two mums here that take me to town and they are both absolutely lovely. One of them is having a birthday tomorrow, so hopefully I get to buy her a coffee or something.. yet again, if SHE drives ME! haha.

Time to work now. Tova is in class until about 12.45, then lunch then a small break then hyperbaric.

If I didn't have work to do I would go out of my mind.

I'm spending the rest of the day in pjs as what is the point in getting dressed exactly! I don't think the bears and coyotes mind what I am wearing.

....... It is a bit later in the evening now. Tova and I ended up having a pretty good day. After the hyperbarics we were walking back to our room and one of the mums came up to us and said "so, you wanna go to town?". She had been waiting for us to finish in the chamber so she could take us (she doesn't do hyperbarics). So about 30 seconds later Tova and I were ready to go. This was the first time Tova has left the camp since we got here. She loved it.
At first she was a bit scared in the car, but after a minute realised it was fun and got happy. Tova and I spent about an hour walking around the main street and then went to get Nappies. We ended up buy a heap of stuff and went to that tim coffee place to get a muffin and coffee. It came to a total of $2.75. Crazy. I wonder why it is so cheap.

After dinner and a bath we skyped the boys. Tova almost jumped out of her skin with happiness. The boys are a bit grumpy and tired, but we didn't care, we were just happy to see them.

We are both happy. Today has been a good day.

Body Attack on Youtube
Les Mills Body Attack

Day Twenty-One

Mothers day! Happy Mothers day to me and my mum.

Today was no different to any other weekend day here. I watched cars come and go. One car was full of one family, so no room for Tova and I to get a lift. The other mum who went to town doesn't do hyperbarics, so she goes when we are in the session. Bummer.

I could get a hire car, but really, I don't see the point. All I would do is spend heaps of money and time driving to town and back which means Tova would be stuck in the car seat, we would walk around town, with Tova in the pram and then go back. I may as well put Tova in the pram here, go for a walk up and down the very boring roads here and save time and money. Tova doesn't mind. So, I am going to change my mind set and be at peace with being almost completely stuck here while watching other families have freedom and fun.
We are here for one reason.. Tova.

Tova had a reasonable day. Lots of movies, two hyperbarics and a walk up to the winery and back. It was closed.
I thought maybe it would be open for mothers day and Tova and I could sit down in there.. but nope.
It is probably a good thing as I don't think they serve anything other than wine.

Tomorrow is therapy again. I hope Tova makes some massive gains.

Now I am just 'living' for Niagara Falls. Tova and I will go there for one of our last nights. We have booked a spectacular room overlooking the water falls, at least I hope it is spectacular.

I wonder what Tova will think about Niagara. I want to get T-shirts that say Niagara. I also am completely in love with the Canadian flag, I love the red, one of the grandmothers here got some socks with the flag, they are so cool. I will go on a mission to get some too.

The adult 'patient' and her mum went today. They were doing a 3 week program. It is different without them. I miss them actually, they were also trapped like me and it was nice to feel so not alone and to not be the only needy one here. Now it is just me needing a lift to get shopping and freedom.

That's it. I am looking forward to Tova having fun tomorrow. She loves therapy. Lucky.

Day Twenty

Little Tova slept in this morning, till about 8.55. Hyperbaric is at 9am so I figured she could eat breakfast in there while the hoods are off at the beginning. But the session was running late so Tova actually got to eat her breakfast first. Then right away into the tank. Tova was happy and bright as she usually is in the mornings. We did drawings and numbers and letters. There was a movie on in the background that no one watched. But at least it wasn't horrible music.

The time went pretty quickly actually.

Then we had a snack, attempted to do some of the therapy and rode the trike around the hallway. Back to the chamber at 12ish. Someone requested sesame street, which was a good idea. Tova just wanted me to draw and so forth which I did for a while but then gave up and lay down. She actually let me and she watched Sesame street for a while. Good girl.

After that Tova had a late lunch and now we are just doing nothing. There isn't anything to do inside nor outside, so she is watching the wiggles. I might take her outside in a min as it is a bit sickening to be inside for the entire day doing so very little. I wish I had a car, I would have gone straight into the town and wandered around with tova, gone to a cafe and wandered more, there is a library too, we would have gone there, if it was open. But nope, we are completely trapped in this place.

It is cold and raining mostly today too. Although some sun just shone through onto my desk. It must be outside time..

Tova is still in her pjs and it is something like 4pm.

I got a bit sad with Tova today, we went to the therapy room and I wanted her to practice walking with the canes. She has a game with them where she throws one to the floor and laughs, then pretend falls to the ground laughing too. It makes me sad as it is such a waste of time. The therapists said she would be walking if she could just practice more. I don't have the patience nor time for her cheeky behaviour.
And she is so cute when she does all this that I have to try so hard not to laugh. But actually today it made me quite sad at her.

WALK TOVA!

Day Nineteen

What? How on earth is it Friday already again? Wow, time goes so fast here, even when we aren't having any fun. Amazing.

Two more weeks to go. Come on Tova, start walking!

Tova is happy, I am much happier. I do still feel trapped, but, so what. We aren't here for me.

Tova doesn't like going to the Hyperbaric chamber, when we are leaving our room she starts saying 'Finished'. But, she is a good girl in there. We draw, and write numbers and letters. We haven't had to watch the Wiggles nor Hockey for a few days now, which is a relief.

I was looking through old emails about hyperbarics in Australia. For 40 hours it would be $7000. 40 hours here at Ability Camp is usually $3,800, there was a special on for this month, so we are paying even less. So it is actually cheaper to fly to Canada and do 40 hours here than to do it at home.

Today when we all went into feed the children lunch, the therapists said to leave the food outside and come in first. When we went in the kids were all sitting around the table with mothers day cards and a plant for each parent. How lovely. The therapists here are really lovely. I had tears in my eyes and couldn't read the card properly in case I cried in front of everyone, because I am a wuss.

Another lovely thing about the therapists here is that they all seem to really genuinely love the kids. They walk past them and kiss the tops of their heads and always are compassionate and caring. It is really nice to see people love their jobs so much. Great people!

I wonder how my little man is going at home, it is Saturday morning for them, he will be going to shull with Savta Viva. Yuval and Nisism slept at Yuvies mum's last night. Cute. I have been picturing them sleeping in the bed together all day as it is their all night..

So, it is the weekend again tomorrow. gawd.. what to do between hyperbarics.... hmmm. The weather has been miserable today, raining and freezing. I hope the weekend is better. I guess we will bike ride as there isn't anything else to do with no car and no way to get anywhere.

Day Eighteen

Still feeling crappy. Everything is making me mad. Someone turned the fridge to warm, so everything in there is pretty much ruined. I don't actually have any food really, so I don't' care about that, but I do have all Tova's growth hormone in there.. I do care about that. Not sure why someone would change the setting on the fridge. So inconsiderate.

On a happy note. One of the mums (the one that hugged me  yesterday) took me into town first thing this morning we were there at about 9 am and got back about 11.30am. So that was good. I walked up and down the main street. It is very much like Mullumbimby or Dalesford.. Not much there, but enough. The health food store had coconut  yogurt, so I got that for Tova. She is going to be so happy!

I got food, shampoo and everything in between. I feel better now. We had nothing, and no car to get anything. I gave the mum some money for petrol, which made me feel better about wasting her morning. I now have a massive bunch of grapes next to me for snacking.. yum..

I went to the op shop and got 5 VHS movies for the chamber. Mostly they are nursery rhymes. One of the other girls here loves nursery rhymes, so hopefully it will make her happy.   I also got textas and a little whiteboard for Tova to draw on in there. And some stickers.

Because I was in town, I missed the Tova/ima time in the class today.. thank goodness. I hate it. I really needed the time out, a mental health day. I am feeling better than I was yesterday and now I have comfort food to help me out too!

kwalker and Tova
Tova Kay Walker

Day Seventeen

I am absolutely, completely and utterly home sick today! What a sad sack I am.. Hiding in my room 'working' listening VERY LOUDLY (on headphones) to skrillex.. Thinking about having a car (freedom) and husband and son.

There are quite a few small things here that just make it that much harder to cope. For example, we the families staying here have to take the rubbish out every evening, even though there is a cleaner (a big strong dude) here every day. We also have to PAY to do our laundry and even take it in turns to wash the tea towels etc.. Just little things, but crazy things. Ok, so we have to wash our own bedding while we are here, but I have heard that we also have to wash them before we leave.. Not sure how that can happen if I am leaving early in the morning..

We are very far from any shops and I need everything. Food, toys, shampoo etc.. I hate relying on other people, I don't like letting people down and I don't like to make people feel like they are obligated to help me out. But, but. I need help to get to the shops. I suppose I could take a taxi. Stupid cars.. stupid money.

I wonder how Tova is feeling. I know that when she sees Yuval on the ipad most mornings she almost jumps out of her skin with excitement. I hope she is happy. My little princess.

I also know that homesickness passes quite quickly.. So I am happy about that.

Tova better start walking, talking or anything from being here so far from home, far from anything normal.

Apparently CPEC has Conductive therapy programs too. So I will investigate that when I get back. They have never been any good at getting back to me or being helpful. I have been trying to get Tova into CPEC since she was about 1.5 years old. They never reply to mail, phone calls and don't get back to me nor have time for me when I go in there in person. So that is annoying me thinking about that today too. I wonder how far along Tova would be with her walking if she had attended CPEC years ago. It really bugs me to think all they had to do was answer me or give me 5 mins of their time at some stage.

And I am so sick of cooking crap food. And eating crap food. It is hard to get it together here with wabbly broken and old pots and pans in an old shared kitchen.

I did get a hug from another mum today, she could see I was stressed.

Shite happens.

BUT I am pretty sure that the point of being here.. Tova.... is working and worth it. I think she is getting stronger. So, I can handle anything for her. 

End rant. 

Tova Cubby House

Day Sixteen

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I go into Tova's class room for an amount of time that feels like an eternity, it may be an hour. I get to do some of the therapy with Tova so I know what is going on. Tova just plays up for me. She is cheeky. She tries to do things like pretend fall and climb over ropes when she is supposed to walk between them etc.. she has a good laugh and gets in trouble with the therapists.

I went for a jog this morning down to the lake and back. That is it for my exercise. My clothes are shrinking.. oh well. It is really hard to eat well and exercise here, in the middle of no where with no car and no husband/son. I'm so over food and I am so over being over food! There is nothing else to do here. I have to go to town soon and get some carrots or something healthy to snack on..

I have managed to get Tova to sleep by 8pm tonight. I started at 6.30. So, that is good!

She is on her third night of the big girl bed... we will have to get her a big girl bed when we get back. She is ready. She doesn't even get out of the bed when I leave the room for an hour and come back to check.

The chamber was ok today, we all talked about those poor girls that were found this morning after 10 years of being kidnapped.. and we had fantasia on in the background. Tova and I did drawings.

Tova and her little friends played on the play equipment for a bit after the hyperbaric chamber. We couldn't stay out for too long as the sun was beaming and no one wanted to get burned.

The weather is spectacular.. The people are lovely..

Tova swing
Tova on Swing Canada

Day Fifteen

Yay for Monday and therapy..

I'm not sure why they run late, but they were 15 mins late to start today. That is a bit frustrating as I have so much work to do.

Today is another spectacularly beautiful day with the sun shining and blue sky making everyone feel happy.

It seems that Tova had a good day. One of the therapists said to me today that Tova should be walking with the sticks, she just has to practice and get used to using them, but once she gets the hang of how they work, there is no reason why she wouldn't use them. Yay for that! Crazy. It would be amazing if she would walk with the stick things. The walking frame is great too, but sticks!!

The hyperbaric chamber is really, really boring. Tova doesn't like it at all. She wouldn't mind if she could suck her thumb for the entire time, but she can't because of the hood. We 'watched' peter pan today, a much better sound track to have in the background. I am going to try and get to town to buy some textas and paper for her. Apparently there is a $1 shop, I will go there and get some supplies.

Tova has grabbed the spoon from my hand a few times, to feed herself. She is VERY good at it! I can see a light.. sort of.. almost.. at the end of the tunnel. I can imagine a walking & self feeding Tova.

A tiny squirrel played in the lawn and tree outside my window this morning that was nice. I haven't really seen much if any wild life here, which is strange because we are in the 'bush'.

Well, I am so happy to be in the sunshine and that my long cold Australian winter will now be a touch shorter as I am missing a bit of it.

I have booked a train to Niagara Falls and hotel over looking the waterfall for one of our last days. Fun.. hopefully.

Oh and Tova slept in her big girl bed all night and was still asleep when I got up at 7am. Probably because she went to sleep after 9pm.

Freddy Kruger School bus
Yellow american school bus

Day Fourteen

Sunday... The end of week two... The dates on my blog aren't correct exactly because I haven't changed the time zone on my computer, so it thinks it is Monday, because it actually is in Australia.

Tova slept in a bit, I think because she didn't sleep so well in that portacot. Tonight I am going to try her in the single bed and see what happens. I have a bed rail on the side. I just hope she doesn't climb over it and fall even further. I think she will be more comfortable in the bed. It is bigger and softer. It will also be vaguely cute if she climbs into my bed in the morning without me having to get up to get her.

Apparently Nissim is missing Tova and I. I get lovely emails from my amazing husband. The one I read this morning told me that Nissim is having a hard time at the moment, emotional... my poor little boy. I miss him. I often imagine him here and how helpful and fun he would be, but also how bored he would get.

After the first Hyperbaric session this morning Tova and I went for a bike ride. We did a big blocky (Tasmanian word for driving around the block). It took us about an hour. We got lost a couple of times and had to stop at farms to ask for directions. I also kept getting confused about which side of the road to ride on. ALSO, I got some colour, not burn.. It is an absolutely beautifully stunning day. I am even in shorts! I love summer weather! It is sad to imagine that I will be going home to winter weather.

I'm not sure about what to do with the rest of today. Some of the other mummas set up a kiddie pool for the kids to play in. So, perhaps Tova will join them in there at some stage.

The hyperbaric chamber is driving us all a little insane. Tova most certainly doesn't like watching Hockey (she was interested yesterday, but not today). The music is just terrible on the dvd too, and so loud. And the wiggles, omg, I just can't handle watching that for even one more second. So for the second session we watched Grease. The kids didn't like it. But I found that the time went a little faster for me. Poor kids, it really is boring in there. I have read Tova every book we have with us about 20 times.. I also just can't read another 'In The Night Garden' book, like ever!

The next time we go into town I will go back to the op shop and see what else there is to watch. Or even try and find a store that sells dvds. I wish our Australian DVD's would play here on their DVD player.

So, Tova is dancing to some different wiggles music on my bed. I am taking some time out, then dinner, bath, books, bed. Thank goodness it is Monday tomorrow so Tova has something to do for most of the day. I am so boring as I have so much work to do. 

..

It is about 9pm now. Tova finally asleep in her big girl bed. I hope she stays in there tonight. I put her in there at bed time and checked on her every now and then. She stayed in the bed the entire time (as far as I am aware). So that is a good start.

Tova Big Girl Bed
Tired Tova in a big girl bed

Day Thirteen

Saturday. Nothing much day. Two Hyperbaric sessions. First one we watched hockey. Tova liked it and watch it almost the entire time. I didn't watch but suffered through the terrible music.. mostly because of the audio/speakers in there are not fantastic. The second session I suffered through the same wiggles episode. Gawd. Tova loved the wiggles.

I worked most of the day letting Tova watch a heap too much tv and ipad. We went for a bike ride and played out side on the swings n stuff to break it up a bit through out the day. And it is a beautiful day. Lovely and warm. It is nice in my room looking out the window at the blue sky and little sparrows fluttering around.

Things I would love to have here: Husband, son and a car! Or to not need to be here at all! I'm busy, Tova is busy, so we aren't homesick.. but home is where we would rather be. Everything is so much easier at home. Tova better start walking, talking and or eating soon to make being across the world worth while. Although I must say it is a beautiful part of the world with beautiful people.

Oh and yesterday I found ryvitas in the supermarket and they are better than at home!

Tova ate well today. So, not sure why she didn't want dinner last night. Don't care... I never thought I would say that.. I love how relaxed eating has become.. well, at least I love being relaxed about Tova not eating..

Now it is almost bath time for Tova, then books and bed. we are sitting in our room listening to stilux first..

I was warned that weekends sucked here.. Yes.. they absolutely do!

---OMG- I just heard a Coyote howling.. (yes, it could have been a dog.. but there are no neighbours around here, so I am going with Coyote)... cool!

ice hockey
canada sport

Day Twelve

I went to Picton (the closest town) today for about an hour while Tova was in class. I went to the local op shop to see if there were any Wiggles Dvds as we are going a bit insane in the hyperbaric chamber with the kids requesting Wiggles every time and there being only one Wiggles dvd in the centre.

I did find a Wiggles VHS, but when I opened the cover, it was something else. So... I guess we suffer tomorrow as we have two chamber sessions each day over the weekend.. quack quack quack, cock a doodle doo... la la la...

Tova asked to go outside to play on the play equipment after hyperbarics today. So we did that. I didn't feel like bike riding as I have a mountain of work to do.

Tova didn't eat much dinner tonight (FRESH SALMON!! YUM!).. So hopefully it is just one of those things and she isn't getting sick. It is unusual for Tova not to eat.  She seems well and most definitely happy.

Nissim and Tova skyped this evening. They are both so happy to see each other.

I'm not sure what we are going to do over the weekend. I really have to work, but also have to ensure that Tova has an active and good day. I need Yuval or Taylah here. I was imagining Taylah here today. It would be fantastic if she was here. If we come back again (which I hope we do) I most certainly am going to save up to bring Taylah next time.. if she want's to come of course.

Tova has been going to sleep late the past two nights. I'm not sure what is up with that. I think her little portacot is a bit uncomfortable for her as she is probably a bit big for it.. and it isn't very soft. So when I let her fall asleep in my bed she gets all excited and it probably feels strange to her too. I can't sleep with her as she moves way too much during the night and takes the entire bed, so I put her back in her cot when I go to bed.

Picton
Picton Canada

Day Eleven

What is going on? How is time going this fast? Friday tomorrow already. Crazy.

Tova and I went for a bike ride to the lake down the dirt track road today. There were so many bugs (little flys) that we only stayed there for about 2 mins. It is stunning down there, the water is crystal clear.
Today was warm. 20something..

I think Tova is getting stronger already. It is hard to say. But I have noticed her walking better in her 'round the wrong way' walking frame.

At the moment it is about 9.30pm. Tova is still awake. This is very unusual for her. I hope it is just one of those things. She is a bit sad but doesn't want to be held. So, she is in her little bed trying to sleep. She is so cute..

We skyped Yuval in the morning. Nissim was at my mums. Tova asks to Skype Nissim sometimes, lovely. I love that they are friends.

Tova looking at Lake Ontario
Lake Ontario and Tova

Day Ten

Yep, today was again very similar. The difference being that it was warm outside (20 something) and someone spotted a bear up the road today.

After class, lunch and hyperbaric today Tova and I went for a bike ride - see pic below.

Oh, at lunch today Tova started feeding herself. She did it perfectly! So, I am going to encourage that. I tried not to make a big fus, as eating is normal not something to celebrate.. It was hard.. I was so proud!

The teachers commented about Tova in general having 'so much potential'. So there is that.

Walk unaided Tova! She wants to.

I'm happy that the sun has started to shine.

Some of the other mums and I were going to go for a jog this evening, but we are all afraid of the bear. So we stayed in.

A visiting family delivered this coffee to us all today.. umm.. omg....

coffee death bag goon

Day Nine

Last night Tova was having troubles falling asleep. She ended up sharing my bed with me. Which means I didn't get much sleep. She is horrible to sleep with. It is such a lovely idea, but she moves so much and takes up so much of the bed.

This morning Tova went to class and I worked. I ended up going for a jog to the Lake and back. I put my hand in the water. It is strange to think that it is the same lake that feeds into Niagra falls so many k's away.

One of the adults finished her program here and has gone home. I think there are about 12 of us here now. Half parents. Something like that.

In the Hyperbaric chamber Tova was a bit sad and asked to be finished the second the hood went on. She was fine once the Wiggles was put on. There is only one Wiggles movie here, so I will have to do something about that or we will all go insane in there listening/watching the same one for the next 4 weeks.

Tonight I cooked food for the next 2 days. I have been doing that, cooking in the evening - enough to last for two days. The kitchen here is old and not much bench space, so it is easier to cook once everyone is finished in there.

We skyped the boys this evening, which is their morning. Tova was asking to Skype Nissim earlier today, so she was happy when they came online. We have seen the boys almost every day, even Zev and Bosun (cats) have skyped.

 

Day Eight

Today was back to class. Tova is learning to Walk, Talk, Eat and other educational things such as Left and Right. She loves it.

Tova is an expert walker in her walking frame. The second we got here she was put in the same frame that she uses at home, but round the other way. She was confused about this at first, but it didn't take long for her to understand.

It is harder to walk with the walker around the other way, but better for their posture and the philosophy here is if the kids get good at something, make it harder.. So that is exactly what happened. The next step is using quad stick or what ever they are called. I just call them sticks. That would be so cool!

Tova had a good day in there I think. I don't know really as I run as fast as I can the other way when she enters the room at 8.30am. I have so much work to do.

Today Tova didn't go into the Hyper chamber with the kids as there are a few coughs in there. We went in the next session with the adults. They had to watch the Wiggles. It was fun. They are all so lovely to Tova. It was great to see that Tova was the boss of the TV. Very cute.

It has been cold and raining all day. So no exercise for me. I feel disgusting. But I will try and embrace this time doing nothing.. somehow. I do exercise when I get out of bed and walk to the kitchen.. and chewing exercises my jaw.. *sigh*.

The main thing is Tova is happy.

Ability Camp Bikes
Ability Camp Bikes

Day Seven

Sunday. Not quite a lazy Sunday, but close enough.

Two hyperbaric sessions, the second one with the Wiggles playing..... Tova was mesmerised. It was the first time she paid attention to the tv in there (not that it is actually in the chamber, it is on the outside of one of the windows). It was good, easy.

After the first session this morning Tova and I found a bike with a child thingy on the back. I can't remember what they are called, but it has wheels and the child gets to sit inside a comfy carriage. So we went for a ride. It was great fun. This area is rural lots of vineyards, trees and fields. There are loads of Eagles flying around, they are so big and beautiful. It is a warmish day, the sun is shining and everything is sweet. Except for this crazy ginger beer I am drinking, it isn't sweet at all, it is so gingery. Yum.. But I have to drink it slowly as it almost burns me. Canadians must be tough.

One of the dads left yesterday and the other today. It is mostly women and kids here now.

I am missing my boys and how helpful they are. Nissim would be the ring leader if he was here. He is such a little dude. And I miss how much Yuval cooks. I hate cooking so much. The other day I cooked two days worth of meals just so I wouldn't have to cook over the weekend.

Week one done. If all the weeks go this fast it is going to fly by.

hbot
hyperbaric o2

Day Six

Today we slept in a bit, had breakfast and went to the chamber at 9am.

Tova and I did laundry and she rode around the building on a bike (inside the building). I am not sure how that filled in the morning but it did. Then lunch.

After lunch one of the other mums offered to take Tova into the chamber so that I would get a break. Her fiance is here (leaving tomorrow) so he went in with their son. I said YES before she had a chance to finishing asking me.. I left the final decision up to Tova, she was more than happy to go in without me. I felt very comfortable about it all, perhaps a little nervous about the start when the pressure changes in there and ears can hurt. But I was watching through the window for those first minutes and Tova was as happy as can be (being read to) and the mum looking after her was fantastic, offering Tova drinks and telling her to suck her thumb.. Then I went off for the hour (which went so very fast).

Tova and I went for a walk and play in the play equipment out the back during the afternoon.

Not much else happened.

Tova and I skyped Yuval and Nissim after dinner (their breakfast). That was fun. Tova loved it. Nissim loved it. Nissim loves entertaining her.

Tomorrow two hyper chambers again.. Then week one done!

hyperbaric o2 canada

I took this photo from outside looking in just before their session finished. It was nice to not have to go in twice today.

Tova doing Hbot
Hbot in Canada. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Day Five

Last night Tova and I didn't sleep well. I am not sure why she was stirring so much, perhaps because this room gets too hot. I do have to open the window during the night to cool the room down - outside is something like 1 degree. I didn't sleep because I was so worried about Tova getting sick and what I would do if she does get sick and everything else that goes with that.. It was making me crazy.

Yep, the day was very similar. Tova was woken up by Yuval on Skype. That seems to make a great start to her day and end to his.

Tova went to class at 8.30, I went to the shops with the dads, while some of the other mums did 'Insanity' (Like body attack but harder). I got baby panadol, electrolytes and looked around for soy yogurt. Soy yogurt doens't exist here. Poor T, it is her favorite. I also went to the local cheese factory and got some Maple Cheese, it is good. And some real maple syrup to take home.

At 11.30 all the parents went in to talk to the therapists about the kiddies individual progress and programs. I was quite taken aback by the very strange fact that first of all there was a therapist sick at work, and that therapist was the one working with Tova. I couldn't concentrate on anything she was saying to me, all I was thinking was how strange it was that I didn't want to offend her by telling her not to work with Tova while she was sick, and how stupid it is that I am worried about offending her when quite possibly she could get Tova sick and in hospital.. So, I really can't say much about what the therapist was telling me. I was in shock.

So, I have talked to the owner and asked him to politely ensure that Tova isn't ever working with someone sick. Not sure why they were at work to begin with. There is actually a policy here that when the kids are sick they aren't to attend class, so why do the therapists? Very strange. I am on edge. I'm not angry or upset with anyone, I know the world doesn't' revolve around us, but I am scared.

There aren't classes over the weekend, but there are 2 Hyper sessions a day. Not fun. I actually fell asleep for 30 seconds in there today, woken by Tova scratching my face with her long nails.. thanks for that. The kids get bored in there too, it is hard to entertain them for the entire time. I read Tova a few books, we lay down and looked at the light on the ceiling and we glanced at the movie playing.

ability-camp-canada

didn't sleep well
We didn't sleep well

Day Four

Same same today. The only real difference being that I jogged to the lake and back. Nice and cold out there even though the sky is blue and the sun is shinning.

The lake is massive, it looks like an ocean.

I didn't meet any bears, raccoons nor coyotes.

Tova had a good day, I think. She was happy when I went in to give her lunch and happy to come into the 02 chamber. We are all pretty over being in there. I am starting to feel claustrophobic at times in there. That isn't a nice feeling.

We aren't lonly. We are very busy. The days go very fast. There are always people are ound to talk to, of all ages and descriptions.

Today one of the adults had a big cake to celebrate life as it was today 3 years ago that she had the accident that gave her a brain injury. She is gorgeous and funny. It really is a nice bunch of people here.

Tova is actually tired by the end of the day, which is unusual for her, even after school days she isn't this tired. They must work her hard.

Tomorrow after Hyper, if it is a nice day I will take Tova for a walk. She didn't go outside today. There simply isn't enough time in the day.

jogging to the lake

Day Three

Day three. Pretty similar to day two. I imagine most days are going to be quite similar.

Skype with aba in the morning, that made Tova's day.

Breakfast, dressed and handed Tova over to the class room. They must be nice to her in there because she is happy to go in. I do feel a bit worried about the hands but I have seen them carry the bucket with a jug and water for hand washing, so at least there is that.

Two kids are sick today. I have forbidden Tova to get sick. One has a temp and one was vomiting in the morning (no fever or anything, so it was probably just one of those things). The poor parents had to spend the day in their room. Poor kiddies. Everyone is hoping that no one else gets sick. There is nothing we can do now.. Just wait and see. This is the life of communal living. I am worried but am not going to stress too much about it as it won't achieve anything. Anyway, Tova won't get sick.  I have some pred with me in case.

At lunch time a chiropractor visited the camp. He comes every Wednesday. Tova and I had a session, it costs extra but is only $18 for Tova and a bit more for me.

I worked during the 4.5ish hours that Tova was in her therapy. I am also doing heaps of eating.. not much else to do while trapped in the middle of nowhere in cold Canada. It started raining today, it looks and smells absolutely beautiful outside. We are in the 'bush' so everything smells so fresh out there. And it is all misty, I guess because we are near the lake (the same lake that feeds into Niagra falls actually. It is a 15 min walk from here).

Tova was keen to do Hyperbaric today. I am not sure why as she spends most of the time trying to get out. She handles the sessions quite well. I think we are in there for about 1.5 hours a day. I am also pretty sure it is bad for my skin being in that pressurised cabin, something is making my skin very dry, and Tova's hair too. She looks quite funny with her space-girl helmet on in the chamber. We can't take photos, but I will try and get someone to take a pic through the window perhaps.

There isn't much else to say. We didn't go outside or anything today, it is too cold and wet. Bring on summer... Then back home to winter.. :-(

Here is a photo of some kids (not this group) doing Hyperbaric therapy. I just want to show anyone that is interested the super space girl helmet that Tova has to wear during the therapy. It is funny.

hyperbaric-oxygen-therapy-canada

same same

Day Two

This morning I got up to my alarm at about 7ish. Yuval messaged me good morning. He really wanted to talk to Tova, but she was still sleeping. After a while I put the Ipad on Skype with the volume set to low, in the cot/crib/porta-cot with Tova. Yuval woke her and both their reactions were priceless. They are so in love. They did lots of songs together and were both lovely!

Then, breakfast, dressed and organised for the first part of the day. I passed her over to the therapists and ran away as fast as I could!

One of the other mums invited me to join her and her hubby to the shops in Picton. So, even though I have a mountain of work to do, I took them up on the offer as I need some food for my little Tova. I'm not really comfortable buying non free range chicken, but I feel that Tova needs some flavour so got some.. I did find some free range eggs thank goodness.. I think they were only $3 too for 12. So that is a bonus. The supermarket is very similar to ours but I don't recognise brands so it was a bit frustrating yet very entertaining at the same time. As I was going to the check out I realised that I had forgotten the pin number to the travel master card.... *sigh*.. ooops. So had to use an Aussie credit card..

Back to the camp to do some work for a few hours then Lunch with the kids. Tova was happy enough, so I guess she had a good morning in her class. The therapists said that Tova was upset a few times because she wanted to do her own thing and wans't allowed. That is fine and to be expected. The other kids were all happy and waiting for their parents and lunch. Tova is the smallest, eats the most and finishes before the other kids. Tova is the only one that doesn't chew. A few of the other kids need some form of help eating but really are very capable eaters of regular food. Come on Tova!!!

In the hyperbaric chamber at 2pm Tova was watching one of the other children eating one of those fruit roll up type things, Tova was fascinated. So hopefully she will continue to watch and eventually TRY some solid food, any food, I don't even care if she wants to live of maccas or chocolate. .. The chamber was boring and frustrating for Tova, but towards the end she started to play with a blocks type toy with her friend Little Miss K. I hope that behaviour continues. It is so nice to see them play so well together and Tova to play without me or another adult assisting her.

We went outside to play on the swings after that. It was nice to have some fresh air. Especially for Tova whom is on something like day 3 of no outside.. for no reason, just that she is so busy in here.

I made Tova a yummy dinner, then bath and bed. Not much to say really. She is tired. She is doing great.

This ability camp is for adults too. So there are a few adults wandering around and we all share the kitchen, which means we all get to talk. Everyone is lovely. There are people here for all sorts of brain injuries. It isn't really my business to talk about their stories, but wow, some people are amazing. And they aren't amazing for any out of this world reason, they are just amazing because they are and probably don't even know it. This entire camp is exceptional. The owner started it when his daughter was involved in this type of therapy growing up with CP, she is now married and has a new baby. The owner is generous and kind. I am quite overwhelmed by the kindness of the people here.
There are two dads here for the first week, then they go back home for work until the last week. They are both very helpful, not only with their own families, but with everyone. Today one of them did all the dishes for everyone and tidied up the entire massive kitchen. He is such a great guy, and their son is adorable, always happy and smiling and just a big bundle of cute.

ability camp canada

ability camp canada

Day One

Day one was fine. I have only one issue which I will talk about somewhere in this post.

The morning started at 8.30 after breakfast. Tova, the other kids and all the parents went to the 'class room'. We were shown the types of things the kids will be doing for the 5 hours a day over these 5 days a week.

The most interesting part of this is that Yuval and I had been inventing exercises with Tova over the past year or so. We have been doing these in the evening before bed (mostly Yuval recently as I have struggled to find the motivation). Things like doing the bridge, touching toes and so forth. Well, this therapy here is similar. I felt encouraged and grateful that Yuval and I have been open minded enough to figure these things out for ourselves mostly. We did have some small guidance from Bec, who was Tova's physio a while back, but Beck resigned and wandered off into another line of work the last I heard.

I was thankful that the day didn't go as slow as I expected, and I was very impressed with how Tova behaved and listened to instructions. She is amazing. I think school back at home has already had a very big impact on her. I feel bad that we are missing so much of this semester. But...

The therapy is good. The therapy is going to change Tova for sure, as Tova is so very motivated AND the therapists spend most of the time singing.. Tova is in her heaven. The therapists are all very nice too, which helps.

Things that I found a challenge are that all the kids are put on potties a couple of times during the 5 hours (that bit isn't' strange, that bit is good), but after 'toilet time' is over, they don't wash the kids hands. I was HORRIFIED and had to fight back tears. I really don't know what to do about this. It is so strange to not wash hands after going to the toilet I don't even know where to begin to think about what to say about this. How freaking revolting and strange. Of course I had to say something. They were very nice to me about it and have told me that they will wash the kids hands using a bucket and jug and won't put the kids hands in the dirty water. I don't understand why they don't' just wash their hands in the basin around the corner from the class room. So unusual and dangerous. I hope with all my heart and soul that Tova doesn't get sick, I can't even imagine how horrific it would be to have to go to hospital here, alone, so far from home. So yes, i am very scared about this. I also hate being the one that has a problem. It makes me so uncomfortable. But what can I do? It can be a matter of life and death if someone gets sick from gross stuff like gastro. gawd.. how strange. I just can't believe it.

So other than the no washing hands, which to me is actually HUGE, the therapy is good.

After therapy we had a break for half an hour then into the hyperbaric O2 therapy chamber. Tova was very interested in it all, she happily put on her collar thingy and came into the chamber. We drank heaps of water to stop our ears from hurting and then it was time to put the helmety thingy onto Tova. She let me.. She was ok. But she didn't like it. One of the other families was kind enough to provide Tova with a Winnie the pooh dvd as ours doesn't play on American players. So that was good, but Tova was too focused on the hood-helmet thing to get into the movie. Hyperbaric therapy is b  o  r  i  n  g for us adults, and for the kids too really. It goes for about 1.5 hours. Tova will have it once  a day during the week and twice a day on the weekends. If it does amazing things we will probably try to continue with it at home. There is a center in Toorak that does it.. with the toorak price...

Tova and I are pretty sick of each other. Tomorrow morning I hand Tova over at 8.30am and get her back at 12.45 or something (I can't remember the exact time). So when they told me I had 5 hours off a day, it wasn't true. But anyway. I will work around her and I have the electronic babysitter with me so I can work.

Everyone here is friendly and kind. Everyone has an accent. There are quite a few conversations about Coffee, which is fun as I am a new coffee drinker.

We miss our boys. I miss having a car.
We haven't even been outside today for one second. The gym is going to love me when I get home, or I am going to love it.. for sure.

I have been told about a cheese factory nearby.. YUM. They even have maple cheese.. I wonder if I can take that back to Aus.. I will google it..

Last night Tova was awake from about mid night to 4 am, but she was in good spirits all day and now put to bed and fast asleep by 6.30pm. I hope so much that we don't wake up tonight. It would be nice to be over jet lag..

I wish Tova's friend Taylah was here.. she would be amazingly helpful. The only thing is that I don't think the other mums would let me take her back home with me. If we come back I am going to find a way to bring Taylah. There are a few dads here for the first week, helping out.. it makes a huge difference having help. Especially for the Hyper chamber. So Taylah, get ready for a trip to Canada one day.. and just 1.5 hours of work a day! Pretty good deal right? Or come here now!

I cooked amazing food for the first few days, but tonight couldn't be bothered.  I have to go to the shops and get Tova some free range chicken n stuff.. Hopefully I can find soy yogurt too..

Very happy Tova on a swing in Ontario
Tova on the swing at ability camp canada

Travel Stress

I am going through waves of stress and calm. I am not sure why it is stressful packing for overseas, it isn't as if we can't get pretty much everything in Canada. 

The only thing that is properly stressful is organising the Growth Hormone for travel. We have to ensure we have a letter from the doctor stating that Tova uses growth hormone and how much etc. I have to ensure that it is kept cold. So ice packs and cold bag are ready to go. Once on the plane I have to find an understanding flight attendant that doesn't mind putting the icepack in the freezer and the hormone in the fridge.. Then I have to remember to take it with me when I leave the plane. I have to take it on as carry on in case my luggage goes missing. So I will have more than I want to carry in my carry on. Which isn't so much fun as I have a 13kg beautiful child that I will have to carry too. Fabulous.

Ok, enough complaining.

Other than dreading the flight with a 5 year old, it is all pretty exciting. We are excited to see what changes happen in Tova after this adventure.

Tova is loving being back at school. The new school bus has arrived, it is fantastic. White, new, quiet and so clean. It looks like a mini coach.

Nissim and I have been slowly painting the cubby house out the back. It is a big one and we both get bored pretty quickly. It is however, almost done. Once done, and when I get back I will post a picture of it.