We finally made the decision to get Peyton a motorized scooter. While he looks great on the outside, we know all too well that his muscles continue to break down on a daily basis. At what rate we can’t be sure. We’ve been told one day he may just stop walking. A broken bone could end his mobility sooner. Our position is to preserve his muscles the best we can, while allowing him to be an “active” 8-year-old boy. The line is blurry but we are trying our best to make good decisions on his behalf.
Common sense tells us that when a muscle is weak we need to exercise more and lift weights to strengthen that muscle. In Peyton’s case, that is the worst thing to do. We must preserve his muscles through limited motion. Every tear he gets in his muscles, no matter how small, turns to fat. A healthy muscle regenerates while we sleep, his do not. Once his muscle breaks down, there is no repairing.
The electric scooter is a way for us to preserve the muscles by limiting his need to walk. No matter how short the distance. We had another motive as well. We felt that by introducing the scooter at such a young age, the kids that he will grow up with will be used to the scooter and or wheelchair when it becomes an absolute necessity. Typically the transition stage begins around Jr. High. Jr. High is a time kids are trying to assert their independence, come into their own. We didn’t think this was the best time to introduce a scooter or wheelchair. I remember the awkwardness of Jr high. Most of us were worried about zits and braces, imagine worrying about falling all the time and introducing a wheelchair.
We worked with the MDA and school to plan a day to present the scooter and talk about Muscular Dystrophy, In addition, the school created a team to walk for Peyton in the MDA muscle walk. This was going to be unveiled the same day. Side note, over 100 kids will be walking with Peyton on March 1st. They named the team Peyton’s Pals. The show of solidarity is overwhelming and humbling.
Jenn and Megan from the MDA did a great job explaining Muscular Dystrophy to the 2nd grade in terms they could understand. The entire show and tell was about making chocolate chip cookies but they didn’t have the chocolate chips. Peyton is like that. His body doesn’t have the chocolate chips but he’s still a delicious sugar cookie. At one point Peyton chimes in “I’m not a chocolate chip cookie, I’m just a sugar cookie.” Precious boy. Another side note: Soft gooey sugar cookies are my favorite and I craved them when I pregnant with him. Coincidence?
When it came time for the unveiling, Logan, always by his little brother’s side, made sure he made a grand entrance. The kids were in awe of Peyton’s ride. I was so impressed by all the kids and the questions they asked. They love Peyton and think that his new scooter is cool. I just hope they continue to think that way as the year’s progress.
We hope that the decisions we make are helping Peyton but in truth, we don’t really know. We are just doing the best we can with our delicious Sugar Cookie!