Since the entire purpose of this year long narrative was to document Alex's life leading up to the National Competitions next July - it is time for an update. I do not fear that I will run out of topics in the next nine months. I already have 15 topics in draft format and there is always something new to relate. I do fear, however, that my fingers will run out of energy. Therefore - an update is in order.
We were told in July that Alex was selected to represent Colorado. This information was disseminated by phone and follow-up letter. The letter indicated we would hear about the selection of her coach in early September. We have anxiously been awaiting this correspondence – as I still have trouble believing we are actually going to the Olympics.
Thankfully, we got the follow-up information in the mail the other day. As far as I can tell – because I have been searching the Olympic site for the last couple of weeks – there were 28 athletes chosen to represent Colorado – in seven disciplines. So by my math that means an average of four athletes per sport. Alex’s discipline is Athletics (track and field) and her coach is Larry. We should hear from Larry soon.
Along with the coach assignments came six pages of paperwork – yuck! I hate paperwork and when you have a child with special needs you are always filling out paperwork and more paperwork. One of these days, I think I will make up all the answers to see if anyone actually reads all the forms I fill out.
Once again, Alex will need to get a doctor’s check-up. I really like Alex’s doctor – but after the pneumonia and all the follow-up check-ups, I feel we have seen her enough to last a few years – but we will go. After all, what would I do if I was not fighting with our health insurance company to pay for doctor’s appointments. Imagine all the free time I would have!
One thing the Special Olympics Organization has asked of competitors with down syndrome is a neck x-ray. This is due to a condition called Atlanto-Axial Instability, caused by the extra chromosome. As I understand it - this is a fusing of the vertebrae in the neck – and puts these individuals at risk for serious neck injuries. These injuries are the kind that happen in active sports, and can cause paralysis. Alex had an x-ray when she was three and this was ruled out – but we will need to get a current x-ray.
I am certainly not complaining, I am really too excited - you'd think I was the competitor! And yes, I do realize this is still a long way off - so I curb my enthusiasm - and set Alex's expectations. The updates will continue and my typing skills can only improve over the year!
But I do know - that on July 18, 2010 we will sit in a large stadium in Lincoln, NE and beam with pride when our remarkable daughter participates in the opening Ceremonies of the National Games with her state of Colorado. Do you think parents can get warm-up suits too?