This is a hot and humid Saturday evening. The mercury on our thermometer has passed the 90 degree mark. Too warm to cook so my husband Joe will get the grill fired up for supper for hot wings and hot dogs. The children will roast marshmallows afterwards. The school doors have been closed since Wednesday and will stay that way until next term. Daughter Lovina missed the last day. She was disappointed because that is when they have a picnic. The night before, she started having bad pain on her right side. During the night she came to our bed crying and threw up a few times . I called the doctor the next morning. After examining her, the doctor sent us to the hospital for a test on her appendix. After a long wait the test came back positive and they scheduled surgery for her yet that night. Joe came to be with Lovina and I while the older girls stayed with the younger children . She went in for surgery around 10:30 p.m. and came out around midnight. It was 2 a.m. until she was brought back to her room. We are thankful everything went okay and she is home feeling as well as expected.
Today Joe, daughters, Verena, 14, and Loretta, 11, attended the annual “handicapped reunion.” This is was our first year to attend. There was a large crowd of Amish people from different communities in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Iowa. Probably more states I didn’t catch. Everyone was served a very good meal of poor man’s steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, a variety of salads, homemade wheat and white bread, mixed fruits, and a variety of pies.
I should explain why we attended the handicapped reunion.Last fall Verena and Loretta were diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy. Recently we found out it is a form of Muscular Dystrophy called Limb-Girdle, Type 2A. It is a genetic disease and not much can done except physical therapy and keeping the immune system built up. It has been difficult on the girls and all of us in learning to accept the diagnosis.
May God continue to be our comforter and to be an encouragement to these young girls. We only just learned the exact diagnosis last month. We needed some time to deal with it privately and as a family before I shared with readers. Doctors think Verena’s concussion last year was caused by a fall on her bike which was itself probably caused by her weakening muscles. Then she suffered a con-fracture of her right foot which resulted in surgery, that is when the doctors began to suspect Muscular Dystrophy.
I also began noticing Loretta starting to fall more often and at first just thought she was being clumsy, but it seemed to get worse and a muscule biopsy confirmed our fears (Editor’s Note: Limb-Girdle 2A is an inherited type of Muscular Dystrophy. Age of onset varies but the disease takes its victims from full mobility to a wheelchair most often by age 30, sometimes sooner.).
We know that God doesn’t make mistakes and sometimes we don’t understand it all. For now let us keep our trust in him. I still struggle with accepting this diagnosis. I pray God can give me the strength and patience that will be needed in the years ahead. Loretta seems to be worsening faster than Verena. I have been taking her to therapy twice a week for the last six months, but her condition seems to worsen with time. Going up steps seems to be the most difficult challenge for her. Verena had surgery to lengthen her heel cord last fall. After several months of therapy she seems to have gone into remission but still wears an ankle brace for support. Otherwise she seems to be doing well. We have tried the braces for Loretta and they do not seem to work so well for her. After today I think they feel grateful after seeing all the worse handicaps that were there. May God bless each one of them and help them accept the changes in life their diagnosis brings.
Like to keep things as normal as possible, so I’ll end the column the way I always do, with a recipe. With zucchini season coming, try this recipe!
Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 cups shredded zucchini
2 tablespoon cinnamon
6 ounce package of chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup walnuts, if desired
Cream sugar, eggs, add oil, and mix. Add vanilla and zucchini and mix. Combine flour,cinnamon, soda, baking powder, and cream mixture and stir. Fold in chocolate chips, walnuts, and mix. Pour into two greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 for an hour. Use toothpick test to be sure they are done
THE AMISH COOK FRIEND CLUB
Joining The Amish Cook Friend Club is a fun way to support Lovina in her battle against Muscular Dystrophy and in keeping her column around long-term. There are several levels of support that you can offer the column:BASIC ONE-YEAR MEMBERSHIP $10: thank you note and recipe for “marriage meatloaf.”ONE-YEAR SILVER $25: thank you note and a packet of 25 unpublished recipes from The Amish Cook recipe archives.ONE-YEAR GOLD $50 all of the above, plus an 8 X 10 photo of a suppertime scene at Lovina’s and a copy of The Amish Recipe Project Cookbook.SUPER SUPPORTER, $100.00: all of the above, plus a complimentary copy of the Amish-themed fiction book Abraham’s Redemption when it is released.