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Lost and Found – Chapter 15

            It had now been two weeks.  Today the family was heading out to New York to see Nick in the Broadway Play, How to Succeed in Business.  To say that Ashley was excited was an understatement, she was ecstatic that the day had finally came when she would get to see her twin, her other half.

            Ashely has gone to the Health Center two half days a week for the past two weeks.  She seemed to be enjoying it.  They had planned it so that she was there over lunch time.  After lunch they all had a rest hour, where they got everyone out of their chair to lay down.  Paul and Denise liked that, so Ashley went to the Health Center from 10:00am to 3:00pm.

            “Mommy,” Ashley pressed on her iPad that morning before they were to leave to go see Nick in his play.

            “Yea honey, what do you need?” Denise asked Ashley.

            “Aly’s diaper overflowed again,” Ashley pressed on her iPad, it took her a while to get it all typed out.  Ashely’s iPad had buttons programed from Aly, diaper and again, but not overflowed, so it took her a while to spell that word out.

            “Thanks honey, come on Aly let’s go get a clean diaper and pants on you,” Denise said as he helped Aly stand up and then led her into the downstairs bathroom.  Aly did not enjoy having her diaper changed, but she went along with it.  It was actually easier if it was only one person instead of two people, it made it go quicker and easier.  If there were two people, Aly always got distracted and always wanted to “talk” with the other person instead of getting changed.

            “I will be back honey, I have to go get you some clean pants and a new diaper and a pad, okay,” Denise said to Aly who nodded at her.  Denise was about to leave the bathroom when she heard a plop in the toilet, indicating that Aly was pooping in the potty.  Alyson had only pooped one time in the potty, and it was when she first got sick, and they were still at Willow Hearts.

            “Ma,” Aly said as tears started streaming down her face.  She didn’t know what was happening with her body and was scared.

            “It’s okay honey, Ma is right here, she won’t leave you, just finish going poopoo it’s okay honey,” Denise said as more plops landed in the toilet.  With every plop Aly seemed to get more upset.

            In the kitchen, Ashley and Frankie were hanging out waiting for when they would be leaving.  The ten-year-old boy was getting restless and tired of waiting.

            “Frankie, watch movie, blanket, cold,” Ashley pressed on her iPad.  Ashely’s iPad was supposed to say, “Frankie can we watch a movie I am cold,” but instead it turned out like that. 

            “Yea, come on Ash, let’s go watch a movie,” Frankie said as he took off Ashley’s breaks on her wheelchair and started pushing her into the living room.

            “Hey guys where are you going?” Paul asked as he put his hand on Ashley’s tray.  Frankie wasn’t allowed to push Ashley on his own, just because he was a little short and couldn’t always see where he was pushing her, and they tended to crash into walls.

            “Frankie, watch movie, blanket, cold,” Ashley repeated again on her iPad.  Ashley didn’t always like to clear off her iPad, she could do it at time, it was just hard for her to do it.  She just didn’t always do it.

            “We are leaving in about a half an hour, so a movie won’t work right now, but how about you guys look for a movie on Netflix and you can watch it on the plane together,” Paul said.

            “No, watch TV, blanket, cold,” Ashley said using her iPad.

            “How about we change you before we leave and then if we have time, you can watch TV.

            “No, wet poo-poo, watch TV,” Ashley said on her iPad.  She did not want to be changed, she wanted to watch TV.

            “Come on we will be quick, I will make sure you have time to watch TV, I promise,” Paul said.

            “Fine, watch TV after promise,” Ashley said on her iPad.  There was no way she was going to get out of being changed.

            “Yes, we will make sure there is time to watch TV, before we leave, I promise,” Paul said, as he took her away from Frankie and pushed her to the elevator.

            “Frank, why don’t you go get ready to go too,” Paul said, as Frankie sat down in front of the TV.

            “Ugh, okay,” Frankie said, as he got up and went to make sure he had everything packed and ready to go.

            “Poopoo,” Ashely said on her iPad as she started grunting, and indication that she was going to be filling her diaper any second.

            “Ashley, are you done?” Paul asked as he was taking off her tray upstairs in her room.  Ashley blinked once to indicate yes.

            “Okay honey let’s get you changed then,” Paul said as he lifted her onto the bed, like they had been taught how to do at Willow Hearts.  Paul laid her down and then pulled down her pants.

            “Ahh,” Ashley screamed when Paul pulled down her pants.

            “Yea, but we aren’t going to touch anything right?” Paul said as Ashely blinked twice to indicate no.

            “Okay, promise Ash,” Paul said as Ashley blinked once to indicate yes, this time, that she promised.  With that Paul took off the tabs on the diaper and pushed it through her legs to find no poop in the diaper, it was soaking wet, but there was no poop in it.

            “Ash, you sure you went poopoo,” Paul asked as Ashley blinked once to indicate yes once again that she had gone poopoo, or it felt like she had gone at least.

            “Well, there is nothing here, so I am just going to wipe you down, and get a new diaper on, how does that sound?” Paul asked, as Ashley blinked once.

            Once Ashley was up in her chair again, Paul and she headed back downstairs.  “Why don’t you start looking at something for you and Frank to watch on the plane, I am going to go check on your sister and mom and see how they are doing,” Paul said.

            “Okay,” Ashley said on her iPad, as Paul went to the downstairs bathroom.

            “You need any help in here?” Paul asked as he opened the bathroom door.

            “Yea, can you go grab us a pull up, a pair of clean pants, and some wipes please, she went poop,” Denise said.

            “Yea, I’ll be back,” Paul said, as he ran upstairs and grabbed one of Alyson’s pull ups, and a package of wipes.  He then came back downstairs and helped get Aly off of the toilet.

            “Come on honey, it’s time to stand up,” Denise said after she had taken off Alyson’s pants, put the pull up around her ankles and put some clean pants on her.

            “Pa,” Aly said as she pointed at Paul excitedly.

            “Hi honey, come on let’s stand up so we can get you cleaned up.  We are then going to see Nick and Kevin today,” Paul said as he helped Alyson stand up.

            Denise grabbed some wipes and started wiping her down to get her clean.  “Good job honey, you got all of the poopoos in the potty,” Denise said, as she continued wiping Alyson’s bottom to make sure it was clean.  “Now only if she could somehow tell us that she had to poopoo, we could get it in the potty and not in the diaper, which would be nice.”

            “Yes, it would be, I just don’t know how we are going to do that, unless we set up a time every day that she sat on the potty, but that might be harder, because we would have to stay here with her and keep her occupied while waiting for the poop to come,” Paul said.

            “Yea, which might be hard to do, I mean she basically started pooping pretty much as soon as I sat her down on the potty,” Denise said, as she continued wiping her bottom down, before pulling up the pull up and then her clean pants.

            “Okay Aly, what do you say we go get ready to go see Nick,” Denise said, as she led her out of the bathroom, while Paul stayed back and cleaned up.  Occasionally they would throw the wipes in the toilet, but not every time, especially if Aly had pooped.

            “Daddy, poop now,” Ashley said on her iPad when he came out of the bathroom a couple minutes after Denise and Aly had come out.

            “Okay Ashley let’s get you to the potty then,” Paul said as Ashley got really quiet before letting out a big grunt and a fart at the same time and then started pooping in her diaper.

            “Done,” Ashely pressed on her iPad once they got upstairs and out of the elevator.

            “Do you want to sit on the potty or no?” Paul asked his daughter who blinked at him twice to indicate no.   Then to make herself even clearer, she pressed no on her iPad.

            “Okay, let’s lie you down then,” Paul said as he took her iPad and set it on her bedside table.  He then took off her tray and unstrapped her from her multiple straps that held her up and in her chair.  Ashley had a four-point harness that held her upright and then a seat belt, and her feet were always strapped down too.  It took some time to get her out of her chair every time they needed to do a change.

            Once Paul had her laying down, he quickly took down her pants and then removed the full diaper.  Ashley tried to touch it, but Paul got her to stop for a couple of seconds.  He got the big chunks of poop off of her front area, before rolling her to her left side.  Once there, he pulled the diaper out from underneath of her bottom and wiped her down with even more wipes until she was clean.  Once she was clean, he slid another diaper under her and rolled her on her back again.  Paul then brought the diaper up through her legs and taped it up, before pulling up her pants.

            “You have to be feeling better Ashley,” Paul said as he strapped her back into her wheelchair with her multiple straps.  Ashley blinked at him once and smiled.

            “Good, come on now that both you and your sister have had big poops, let’s head downstairs and wait for the car service to come pick us up,” Paul said, as him and Ashley headed downstairs in the elevator.

            While they were in the elevator, Ashley was trying to clear the screen on her iPad, and she accidentally pressed the screen again, so it said “Daddy, poop, now, done.”

            Ashley kept on trying to press the big clear button on her iPad, but she kept on hitting the window that had her sentence in it from before.  If Ashley’s iPad wasn’t in the exact right spot on her tray, it was harder for her to reach the buttons she wanted to press with her hands.

            “Ashley, do you have to go potty again, or no?” Paul asked after the third time she said her sentence again.  Ashley would repeat her sentences if she didn’t get heard.  Ashley blinked twice as she once again tried to clear the box, but it wasn’t working.  She got frustrated then and pushed it off of her tray.

            “Ashley you can’t throw that off of your tray, just because you are frustrated, you can ask us for help, not push it off of your tray,” Paul said as he bent down to pick it up.

            “Help,” Ashley pressed on her iPad, as she smiled up at her father.

            “Yea, just like that honey,” Paul said as he reached over her head and pressed the clear button on the iPad.

            “Thank you, help,” Ashley pressed on her iPad.

            “You try again, I know that you like having your screen cleared off, so you try instead of asking us for help all the time,” Paul said, as Ashley tried again to press the clear button, but she just wasn’t able to press the button.

            “Help, please now,” Ashley pressed on her iPad.

            “Thank you for trying honey,” Paul said as he pressed clear on her iPad for her.  “We will ask the speech therapist if there is something else, we can do to help you with this.”  The week after they got back from New York City, they were going to meet with a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, and a speech therapist, all on one day for both girls to try to see if they could help them with anything.

            “Hard,” Ashley pressed on her iPad.

            “What is so hard Ash,” Paul asked.  They had been warned that some days or even hours her brain might not be able to make full sentences or comprehend what they were saying.

            “Hard, can’t hard,” Ashley pressed on her iPad.

            “Just a second Ash,” Paul said as they got downstairs once again, and he had to maneuver her out of the elevator.  He couldn’t concentrate on what Ashley was saying was hard while he was getting her out of the elevator and holding the door open at the same time.

            “Okay honey, what is so hard,” Paul asked once they were out of the elevator.  Ashley just moved her eyes to look at her iPad.

            “Is it your iPad that is so hard honey,” Paul asked as he pressed the clear button on her iPad for her.  Ashley smiled up at him this time as a thank you.

            “Good asking Ashley,” Paul said, as the doorbell rang.

            “There is the van, are you ready to go see Nick?” Paul asked as Ashley blinked once very fast and then give him the biggest smile ever.

            “Movie,” Ashley pressed on her iPad.

            “Yea, you can watch a movie with Frankie on the plane honey,” Paul said as she blinked once.

            “Frankie, movie, choose,” Ashley pressed on her iPad.

            “Yea, we can choose a movie once we are on the plane Ash,” Frankie said as they headed out of the door.

            They got loaded up in the van.  Ashley was tied down in the wheelchair part of the van, while Denise and Alyson were sitting right behind Ashley in bucket seats.  In the back was Paul and Frankie.

            “Alyson and Ashley, are you girls excited for your first plane ride?” Denise asked the girls as they got closer to the airport.  Alyson was looking out the window at all of the planes taking off.  Paul and Denise had assumed that Ashley had never been on a plane.  They weren’t sure about Alyson though.  Maybe she had been on a plane, they didn’t know.  They didn’t really know a lot about her background, other than she was in a tragic car accident with her parents and they were both pronounced dead at the scene.  Alyson then had a very traumatic brain injury.  It was a miracle that she was alive today and that she was able to walk and understand what people said to her, let alone being able to communicate back to them, even if it wasn’t in a traditional way.

            “Ya, Ma,” Alyson said as she pointed at the window.

            “Yea, it is a plane Aly,” Denise said as she did the sign for plane in American Sign Language.  They had just started communicating with Alyson in ASL at times.  Aly hadn’t responded back in sign language to them yet, but she seemed to enjoy the signs, because she either squealed or smiled whenever someone did a sign.

            The driver pulled up to the airport drop off area and opened the trunk.  Paul got out of the van and helped the driver unload all of their luggage while Denise and Frankie unblocked Alyson and unstrapped Ashley from the car.  Denise also made sure to grab both girl’s emergency seatbelt covers from the car.  These had specific informaton on them for each girl, if they ever happened to be in a car accident or something, the medics at least know something about them.  Denise had just gotten them in the mail yesterday.

            Once the family of five was in the airport, they first got checked in for their flights.  Once that was done, the family headed to security.  As they were headed to security, Ashley pressed on her iPad, “blood sugar check please, low.”  Ashley had two buttons in the blood sugar area of her DynaVox.  The first one was a red arrow pointing up, meaning that her blood sugar was high, and the other one was a blue arrow pointing down, meaning that her blood sugar was low.  Ashley wasn’t always able to tell them where her blood sugar was at, so right now the family was checking it on a regular basis, but in a couple of months, they were going to get her a Dexcom, which would alert the family when her blood sugar was off.

            “Okay honey come on let’s stop over here, she just said that her blood sugar was low,” Denise said to Paul.  This was one of the first times that she was actually able to distinguish and tell them what was going on with her blood sugar.

“Good job Aly, stay sitting down honey,” Paul said to Alyson who was trying to get up from the chair that Paul had set her in.  She wanted to be over by Denise and Ashley because she kept on pointing at them and saying Ma.

            “Okay honey, what finger do you want,” Denise asked as she took out her daughter’s diabetes supplies.  Ashley pointed out her left pointer finger.  Denise took the needle and gently pierced her skin, before kneading the blood out of her finger gently.  Once a drop was on her skin, she put it up to the meter, where it beeped that she was low.

            “Okay honey, what do you want for your snack to raise your sugar,” Denise asked Ashley.

            “Applesauce,” Ashley responded on her iPad.  Ashley could only have applesauce or juice to help raise her blood sugar, because she wasn’t able to eat anything that she could choke on, like candy for example or anything that was hard.

            “Ash, here,” Denise said as she opened up the sugary filled applesauce that was in her backpack for one of her snack options.  She also grabbed out a spoon and fed her the applesauce.

            “Okay, that is it honey, we will check you once we get through security okay,” Denise said as she leaned down and gave Ashley a kiss on the top of her head.

            “Come on let’s get going,” Paul said as he helped Alyson stand up. 

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