Therapy - what we do

I got the wrong college degree.  I mean, I love history and I love Spanish & I really, really loved teaching high school for 5 years.  I especially loved University High School in Waco where I taught!  I miss those kiddos!
But, history and Spanish do me no good at all now in life!
If only I could go back to my 18 year old self and tell her to take a few history & Spanish classes for fun & then study PT and OT and med school while she's at it.  I would also tell her to throw in some "how to handle insurance companies" classes  too.  That should be a major if it isn't already.

I should have been a physical or occupational therapist!  Seriously, we could save a fortune if we weren't paying for therapies!  And I would know my stuff instead of spending free time (ha ha - what is that?) researching therapy methods!
It's just that whole problem my friend Shae described about working on cadavers in pt school.  No, thank you.  And also, I have no time to go back to school to get a new degree plus a masters.
So... I'll just stick to my history and my Spanish and keep doing therapy.
Sometimes, it's a battle to not let it control our lives.  It has been a major part of our lives for 4 years now.
My calendar is full of therapy and medical appointments.  

From the time Will was 4 months old until he was nearly 3, he was in therapy.  He did speech therapy from 4 mts - 2.5 when he was dismissed.  (Really it was more of a feeding therapy for him - his language has always been great.)  Until almost age 3, he did both physical therapy and occupational therapy.  He was officially dismissed from those at age 3.5.  
We've done both the state's therapy program (ECI) & several different private programs.  
They each have advantages & disadvantages.  
If anyone really cares for my opinions & why we chose one versus another, I'm happy to share in a later post.

When I was pregnant with Ellie, I was a bit overwhelmed at having two kids in different therapies.  I am so thankful that Will has been dismissed at this point!  

Ellie currently goes to PT in Dallas 2-3x/month.  There, she gets her feet scored, gets stretched, and gets new tape and splints made.  This can not be done locally.  We began this process when she was 6 days old.  We will continue it until she is I don't know how old... although the older she gets, the further her appointments get from each other.  As a newborn, she was going every other day as her growth was so rapid.  At the time, I couldn't fathom just going 2-3x/a month!   Once she is walking (hopefully around age 3) she will not need to be taped anymore - just splinted.  
(I'll post later (maybe) as to why we chose this particular method for treating her feet as opposed to the Ponsetti serial casting method.)
She also goes to a local facility twice a week for PT (2 x/week) & OT (1x/every other week.)
I'm a bit frustrated with our current therapy situation so I am looking into other options and might be switching her therapy locations.  But that's a whole 'nother story.  I'm interviewing other therapists this week.

At PT, she gets an ab workout...
(remember, those poor ab muscles were severely affected by the spica cast.)
We work on balance and increasing her range from a sit.  We also work on scooting.

She also stands in this lite gait machine to help her learn to bear weight.  I'm thinking of buying one of these.  Her therapy costs a small fortune every week and so this thing would pay for itself in about a month.  I'm not sure where I would put it, however!
Sometimes she hates it.  Sometimes she likes it.  

She loves bubbles while in the machine.
in OT, she works on grabbing things and increasing her range of motion of her arms.

We practice banging

Ellie likes to taste every toy.  (thankfully, they wash them.)
Go, Ellie girl!

We also practice different kinds of sitting - straight leg is the norm for Ellie so her therapists like to see her do some bent leg sits.
They work on her range of motion by making her reach for toys.  This helps those abs too.

So, there's a brief update about what we are doing in therapy these days.

Of course, I still do stretches and exercises with her multiple times a day too.  And, I tape her nearly every day as well.  
Sometimes, it does feel like therapy controls our schedules.  I must admit, however, that from what I had researched during my pregnancy, I thought she'd be in therapy 5 days /week.  This is much more doable!  And our friends and family are so good to schedule activities/playdates/life around our therapy schedule.
At this particular therapy place, Will isn't allowed to attend with Ellie so thankfully, he gets to spend the time with his Great Mimi who lives literally two streets over.  I love that he is getting to know her and play with the same toys that I grew up playing with and that his Lovie grew up playing with!

Even we aren't in official therapy sessions, I still find my mind has begun to think in terms of therapy.  For instance, at meal time, I think about how Will using certain utensils is good OT for him and Ellie feeding herself - also OT.  I think about various skills we are working on with Will and which category they fall into and what skills I need to challenge him on.  Sometimes, my mind is blank on certain challenges and then I am so thankful for good  relationships with some of our Dallas therapists who I can call and say "help!" and they almost always have a great, creative solution.  When we are swimming, we practice weight bearing with Ellie and range of motion exercises.  Will, of course, is getting an incredible workout from swimming.  When we go anywhere with stairs, it's pt time for Will.  Recently, I was talking to someone whose baby was banging on a table in the background.  Without thinking, I exclaimed that that is a very important OT skill!  It seems that I always think in terms of gross and fine motor skills and how each activity (except maybe sleeping although even that has been affected for Ellie by OT) relates to therapy!
I don't want it to control our lives or take over but I will say that in some ways, it has become a new way of thinking to me!

1 thoughts:

Lisa Johnson said...

You are such a wonderful mommy!

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