I've been meaning to take my camera to Avery's weekly PT session so that I can get some photos of what she does there, and I finally remembered to take it this morning! But I only remembered I had it AFTER she'd finished doing stretches, and so I took a couple of pictures, and then promptly forgot I had it again until it was time to go home! Oh well, I tried.
So here are some pictures of Avery trying to stand up with her crutches all by herself.
Avery's PT's name is Lisa, and we just love her so much! She's been working with Avery since she was about 5 or 6 months old, back when she was getting PT through Early Intervention, and then when Lisa left to work for Carilion, we followed her there because we just loved her so much! She does such a fantastic job of pushing Avery and getting so much great work out of her, and yet Avery just adores her, so it's absolutely perfect! For a while after Lisa moved to Carilion, we were getting PT through carilion as well as CRD (early intervention), and the "replacement" PT assigned to us through CRD just didn't have "it", whatever "it" is, and the weekly PT sessions with her were not happy times for Avery. She just cried and cried, and got angry, and the PT was pushing her and trying to make her work, but because she was so unhappy she didn't get nearly as much done, and it left me wanting to slap the PT. So we weren't sad to leave her behind. And it made us even more grateful for Lisa, who knows how to make Avery work hard while still keeping her happy. It makes physical therapy not only happier but also so much more productive.
In the pictures you can see she's wearing her theratogs over the top of her jeans. We just do that for PT - when she goes to school I put them on underneath her clothes. They go on first, even before her underwear - that way she can still use the potty without having to take them off.
We've been worrying about her recently. She has been making so much progress, and I am constantly amazed by her, but I just worry about her developing hips and joints because while she is always progressing in what she's able to do, her muscle tightness and range of motion is getting progressively worse. That can't be good. Every time we've seen her physiatrist over the past year, she's been walking better and better, but having to work harder and harder for it. We've been wondering whether we should just talk to her doctor again about going back onto valium or something at a higher dose, even though it affected her sweet disposition, so that she can get mobile on her feet once and for all before this muscle tightness does more damage to her poor little hips. We already know that her posture and gait will probably never be quite "normal", but I worry that there may be more that we could be doing to prevent further damage. *sigh* Wouldn't it be nice if we could see into the future just enough to know whether all the choices we're making are the absolute best?