We are having fun now, watching Abbie do new things quite often…things that in many cases we have been waiting years to see.
Last week I was talking with Abbie, and she began talking right back to me. Not so unusual, but pretty soon I realized she was trying to say the same things I was. So, I began practicing with her. I would say a word a couple of times and then say “your turn”. Pretty soon Abbie would attempt to say the word. The articulation wasn’t clear, but her intent sure was. When I would correct her on the syllables in each word, as in “there are two syllables in ‘hungry'”, she would answer back with two syllables.
The other day I had her on her tummy on the massage table. She had held her chest and head up for quite a while, after I placed her in that position. Then, she slid her arms out to the side in very controlled manner so she could lay her head down. I was happy with that, but what happened next made me literally jump for joy. She pulled her arms back in and raised her head and chest off the table by herself. Her neurodevelopmentalist told us in March that Abbie would be doing this soon, but it still really surprised me.
Abbie has been working very hard with Maria Margarita. Yesterday, Maria had Abbie doing full circles with her shoulder while lying on her tummy…I could not believe how loose her arms were! Maria also solved an issue that has been bugging me for a while now. On the inside of Abbie’s knees there are sharp protrusions, we call them her “pokies”. Maria determined that one of her leg bones (I believe the femur) was slightly out of place. She worked a while,and…voila…bone back in place and no more pokie!
Speaking of pokies, Abbie had to have a some blood drawn on Monday. I coached her through the whole thing, and she remained calm and brave, but when the needle was inserted she flinched and tried to pull her arm away — a totally normal reaction. This may seem like a small detail, but to a mom who’s watched blood drawn with minimal reaction, this was exciting!
She has been doing very well with standing in PT — each week her therapist is amazed at the progress in her ankles. The left ankle, which was injured twice last summer, had built up a lot of scar tissue as a result, limiting her range on that side. In the past couple of weeks that scar tissue has started to break up, and the flexibilty is returning!
While I am having a grand time being a spectator to all this, Abbie is really going through a lot. Please pray for her comfort. The days right after she works with Maria can be challenging as her body detoxs and adjusts to the work done. Yesterday, after working with all her joints, Maria said, “There is absolutely no reason this little girl cannot use her body..all the joints are fine. Her body is just like a house that hasn’t been lived in for a very long time, we have to get the cobwebs and dust out and then she’ll be fine.” Housework isn’t normally my joy (ask Ray), but in this case, it’s the most anticipated undertaking I can imagine!
One last quick note, I’ve just begun researching a new medication for Abbie, which has been shown to dramatically help spasticity, as well as drooling, without being sedating. It’s a fairly new drug, and these uses are off-label, so I would really appreciate corresponding with anyone who’s had any experience with Provigil (modafinil).
My dad just arrived today to spend a week with us, so we are looking forward to lots of cribbage, dice games, and catching up. I pray that you have a terrific week! Oh, one more thing…please notice that there is a new link on the left side of the screen for a little boy named Aidan. He nearly-drowned on 2/16, and will be going home for the first time tomorrow! If you have a moment, would you send his family a note of encouragement as they enter this huge transition? Thank you!