The last seven years have taken us deep into the world of complex medical and special needs parenting. Meanwhile, our son who is a cowboy has worked seasonal ranch work in New Mexico, a couple years including sub zero winters in Montana, broke and trained colts in Wyoming, and returned to cowboy again New Mexico. We’ve visited him less than a handful of times, typically just one parent at a time, because tracheostomy and cowboy worlds are distanced by more than miles.
Recently one of our older children text late at night and asked if I had time to answer five very specific questions. I did. He called, and I answered the questions quickly. And then I asked, “Are you doing some kind of writing?” Having been his home school teacher, I recognized research mode. He shared that he was writing about what the resurrection of Jesus Christ means to him. The questions were focused on Nathaniel, and I curiously asked if he would share his work with me. And then I asked permission to share it with the world.
Nathaniel and I left his Cincinnati Children’s Hospital check up last May with an interesting recommendation from his ENT: look beyond the pediatric community for information and support. I had arrived with questions about Nathaniel’s options for voicing. They shared of another patient with a laryngotracheal separation who learned to use esphageal speech. They also expressed a great deal of hope that given the right support, Nathaniel had a good chance of voicing.