After Loss, Life Goes on for the Castens

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by Michael Casten |

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social distancing, e-learning, puppy, busy

Life has settled down in the Casten household. We are still mourning the loss of Potter, one of our dogs. Needless to say, we are showering our other dog, Ginny, with affection. Ginny misses her big brother and tends to mope around the house a bit.

My wife, Lindsay, is recovering nicely from a complete knee replacement. My daughter with SMA, Ella, helps Lindsay do exercises by counting her repetitions. They work well together as progress is made stretching Lindsay’s knee muscles to aid in recovery from her knee replacement.

During winter break, Ella’s singing school, Young Naperville Singers, also took a break. She missed going to practice each week and was excited to return. They are learning new songs and Ella sings around the house, filling the rooms with her beautiful voice.

Last weekend, Ella had a sleepover with a friend. They spent the night playing games, making paper squishies, and looking at videos on an iPad. It was a good distraction for Ella as she often mentions Potter and how much she misses him. We all do.

Ella and her siblings are back in the swing of school since winter break. There are lunches to be made and homework to be completed. Each evening, stories of school adventures are shared as our family eats at the dinner table.

Ella still FaceTimes with her best friend, who also has SMA. They talk for hours each day, sharing their thoughts, singing, and talking about their lives. It’s a solid relationship that has the potential to last a lifetime.

I am back to work after winter break and the routine picked up right where we left off. I have a wonderful 4th-grade class. My students make teaching a pleasure and I look forward to it each day. They are well-behaved, learn quickly, and are invested in their learning. My teammates and I work well together, designing a curriculum that meets state standards and enriching the lives of our students.

Things are settled down here at the Casten household. We move forward and do the best we can with what we have. We depend on one another for strength and resilience. We put our best foot forward and tackle SMA and Lindsay’s recovery with every turn. We appreciate the love and support of so many people, near and far. We know not what the future holds but we know that our actions today help shape that future.


Note: SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of SMA News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to spinal muscular atrophy.


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