Saturday, November 11, 2017

I'm Still Here....

I'm still here, just maybe not very regularly in this space. When I realized I hadn't posted anything since July it kind of shocked me.

I'm not sure what I'm doing with this site, truly. Blogging for me isn't a priority for now. Writing essays maybe still is. So for now I'll keep this as a place to link to old essays I've written, share any advocacy we're doing, and....other than that I'm not sure.

Trousdell Five is doing well - great even - just maybe the days on reporting on us have come to an end...

Friday, July 14, 2017

Two Wheelin'

When our kids achieve milestones, especially ones we didn't expect them to achieve, we feel pride as parents. This goes for any of our kids, not just those of us with special needs. But, boy, can I tell you that when your special needs child achieves a milestone you did not know they were physically capable of - well, basically your heart explodes right out of your chest. Literally at this moment I am looking at my exploded heart all over the desk in front of me. Ok maybe not literally. But you get it.

This week, Nolan was in "iCan Bike" camp. It is a camp for special needs kids who - you guessed it - can't (yet) ride a bike. They have an amazing progression of skills they teach the kids over the week and the development is truly astounding. They work with the kids for 1.25 hours per day. At first I was worried that would be too short of a time period but by the end of it realized how exhausting it is and how hard they were all working!

Nolan started this camp riding a two wheel bike with training wheels and toe clips, facing two major challenges:
1. Balance
2. Foot position.

In fact let's try that again - those are major challenges he faces not only on a bike, but in life in general.

I could write a novel about how his progression happened over the week but I'll spare you. Let's just say there were times of excitement and times of doubt (for both of us). And then he just got it. Like GOT IT. All of a sudden it clicked.

Here's the proof...

There are no words to describe the way I feel about this progress. Truly. How incredibly difficult that must have been for him to master blows my mind. He didn't get frustrated, he didn't give up - and he nailed it. It's "just like riding a bike" is NOT "just like riding a bike" when you have CP. But yet, here were are.

Nolan has been rewarded for all of his hard work with a new bike and a "helper" handle on the back for us parents until he really, really gets it. But most importantly, he's been given the best gift I could've wished for - an enormous sense of pride in himself. No reward beats that. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

VIctorian's Rally!

People keep complimenting me on "making it happen" for Asher to meet Tegan and Sara. Well thank you, but that's only partly true. Yes, I started the process with my original facebook post - but then my fellow Victorians (and truthfully many others from outside of Victoria) ran with it. Community of Victoria, you made this happen! Click here for a nice little piece on Victoria Buzz. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Asher's Big Night

Well I feel like this night deserves a lot more than just a clip of our second Sawatsky Sign-Off, but in the mean time click right here to see Asher's dream come true meeting Tegan and Sara!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sawatsky Sign-Off

Well, Asher kind of blew up on Facebook, so the result was us being contacted by CTV to film a "Sawatsky Sign-Off". What an experience! If this doesn't melt Tegan and Sara's hearts I'm not sure what will.

Get this tissues here

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


In case you've gotten here from my social media pleas to help my son Asher meet Tegan and Sara - here's a little bit more about him....

Meet Asher.

Asher is seven years old. He is a younger brother to big sister Rio, and an older brother (by one whole minute) to identical twin Nolan. Asher is also a big Tegan and Sara fan. 

Oh sorry, did I say big? I meant HUGE, gigantic, enormous, #1 fan kind of guy. Need an obscure lyric? Unsure which album a song is on? Want a random fact about the Quin twins? Asher is your man. 

Now can I tell you a bit more about him? You already know the big stuff - Seven. Identical twin. Big fan. Yadda yadda. But lets go a little deeper…

Asher and Nolan were born more than three months early. For the first several weeks they literally fought for their lives. They needed to remain in the hospital for nearly half a year, and survived seemingly endless complications. Despite all the obstacles they did overcome, at four days old Asher suffered a massive brain hemorrhage that would alter the course of his life. 

At a year old, Asher was diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy as a result of his brain injury. Despite regular physiotherapy and endless patience and resilience from him, Asher is only able to partially use one arm and relies on a power wheelchair and adult assistance for day–to-day life. He sees specialists, wears leg braces, is on medication to help with his symptoms, and has regular invasive procedures – but keeps smiling. 

This kid, I tell you. He’s funny, he’s charming, and he’s brilliant. He has tons of friends, participates in many activities, and is thriving in a typical classroom at school. He is unbelievably strong, wise, and most of all happy. 

Due to his limited physical capabilities for play, Asher has always most loved reading and music. He taught himself to read at age 4, and from then on his singing escalated. Put that kid in front of music and lyrics and he’ll sing his little heart out for hours on end.

Enter Tegan and Sara. 

With the release of Heartthrob, his dad introduced him to the sisters and he was hooked. At first mostly fascinated by them being identical twins, he soon became a huge fan of their music  and them in general. He just adores them, plain and simple. I’ve had to explain to him many, many times why he can’t marry one or both of them – but have assured him they’d love to be his friend if they were ever given the chance. 

So here’s where you come in.

I genuinely don’t think anything in this world would make Asher happier than a chance to meet Tegan and Sara. When we saw them in Vancouver in October 2016, he was absolutely mesmerized. We wished he could have been closer than the wheelchair section near the back, but he was so happy to just be in their presence. If he could actually meet them though? I really can’t even imagine! Many months ago I asked him if he ever got to meet Tegan and Sara, what he would want to do. He replied “Just go for a walk and chat”. MY GOD have you ever heard anything cuter?

I have advocated for many things for him and his brother (who also happens to have CP as a result of his prematurity) – therapy, inclusivity, equipment – you name it. But I can honestly say nothing like this. This would seriously make all my little boy’s dreams come true. So from a mom who would do anything for her kids, I have to ask:

Can you please, please, please – pretty please with a cherry on top – help Asher meet Tegan and Sara? If there is any remote way you could make this happen I assure you – I wasn’t joking when I said they would want to be his friend. I can promise you that they would be as thrilled to meet Asher as he would be to meet them. He’s that amazing.

So you totally want to make this happen don’t you?! Our family would forever be in your debt and you would know how happy you’ve made this incredible little boy - talk about a feel-good memory for all involved. Please think about it. 

With sincere appreciation for your time and consideration,

Tracey Trousdell – Asher’s mom

traceytrousdell at gmail dot com

Friday, March 31, 2017

Downs and Ups

As many of you know, it hasn't been a great week. Last Saturday, just before leaving for our final ski trip/spring break adventure, Jordan took a misstep in the garden. BAM! Like that, all plans changed and off we went to the ER with a rapidly swelling, incredibly painful, right knee. His good knee I might add - not the one that has already been through a major injury and three surgeries.

After both an x-ray and a CT scan to ensure nothing was missed, it was determined it was "just" a bad sprain. He was fitted for an immobilizer (a brace that runs from crotch to calf to keep his leg straight) and crutches for the next 6 weeks. He was also given the somewhat grim, but realistic prognosis that it would be six weeks like this, with more like 6 months of recovery.

Now before you think "oh poor Jordan...but it could be worse" let me stop you right there. OF COURSE it could be worse. And you know how I am sure of that fact? Because we've been through worse. Several times actually. So in the grand scheme of things we know this is just a little setback. But we weren't immediately thinking big picture when we were faced with the immediate reality of WHAT NOW?

Cause you know, for starters, there's Asher. How does a man on crutches help take care of Asher? Well, he doesn't. So that's large obstacle number one. But then there were further challenges - like this happened on spring break when he was going to be our childcare. And Rio and I had a girls weekend planned for months. And he can't drive. And he can't shower or dress himself. Oh and he works on the third floor of a building with no elevator. So ya, could definitely be worse but certainly could be better. The bottom line is that when a parent of a child with intense physical needs goes down unexpectedly, life kind of falls apart.

So there were a few days of a pity party. I hate feeling sorry for us but sometimes life is just hard. So I cried and stressed and vented to friends and my guts were a mess - but I worked out a plan. We dealt with our respective jobs and childcare. I more or less figured out that being a single parent for the next bit is going to be a lot of work but certainly possible. We brainstormed ways a sitting Jordan could lift Asher so Rio and I can still go away today, and Jordan even figured out how to get himself showered and dressed without me. I've gotta say, having an accessible shower and shower chair have worked out really well for us! And also, this little dentist office toy - wow, who knew it would become an honest to goodness accessibility aid for a very tall man who has no way to touch the floor!

So the pity party is over. The next few weeks are going to be rough, but not impossible. And instead of focusing on the fact we seem to have bad luck, I'm focussing on a whole bunch of really exciting things that all seemed to happen to me at once the other day -  choosing to look at that as a sign from the universe that even though some bad things seem to keep happening to us, some truly wonderful things happen too.

So, life is pretty great - challenges and all. Sometimes I just need reminders of that. And who better to remind me than these three.

Happy Friday and enjoy this beautiful spring weekend! We plan to.