Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Second Full Day

Yes, Tuesday was Sammy's first full day of therapy.  Full day = 4 hours.  So, it's not as bad as it sounds.  But, it was still rough.  She was stretched, in many ways.  And she was forced to use her body in ways that have never been used before.  She complained.  And sometimes she complained rather loudly.  But, she was also fun and delightful at moments...the moments when she wasn't being put to work.  To me, however, that was just proof that there was no real harm done.  She can complain all she wants, as loud as she wants, but then she was perfectly fine when things were finished.  So, she can tough it out.  She's a tough girl.  And I can be a tough mom.  (sniffle, sniffle)

Her morning started with stretching.  Seriously?  Why hasn't anyone ever suggested I stretch her?  And, why hadn't I thought of this on my own?  It just seems natural.  We stretch before we exercise (or should anyway).  And for Sammy, she's always tight.  So stretching is good for her.  She was mostly happy until they stretched her arms and shoulders, back and neck.  But this morning she did much better with it.  Jordan  worked with Sammy today.  She's so great.  And Sammy seems to like her smile, soft voice, and gentle touch.  Nate, who is the office manager (?), also came in to assist and help out.  He's also so kind.  I mean, seriously.  Everyone here is so great.  They all love what they do, and that probably helps a lot.

WAIT!  What is this?!  I just glanced over at Sammy doing therapy (I'm in a private room that I can look through the darkened glass), and she is being held down, stretched, and she's SMILING?!  What is this?!  There are still miracles today, people.  Ok...back to yesterday.

When it was time for the suit, she was only mildly hesitant.  She was basically cooperative.  Many have asked about the function of this suit.  I found out a little more yesterday.  It all began quite a few years back with NASA.  They found that their astronauts were coming back with weakened bones.  Our bones, and body in general, become stronger as we work with force and resistance.  This is why resistance training is good for our bodies and to prevent osteoporosis.  When the astronauts were in space, there is no gravity, so they weren't getting any all.  They came back home, and their bone density had decreased.  So NASA developed a suit that they could wear while in space that would provide resistance so they could maintain proper physical health.  Now, the concept of that suit is what the creators of this suit were inspired by.  What if the right resistance was placed on the right part of the body that needed it, in order to gain proper strength.  Proper strength...meaning...using that part of the body properly.  I know I'm not explaining this perfectly.  But I'm trying here.  With this suit used during therapy, which was originally designed in Poland, they found that they were able to trigger parts of the body that hadn't been working properly before...and weaken parts of the body that were overused and actually causing problems.  And the best part of it all, is that this suit can be adjusted per person, per use, per whatever.  It's individualized.  And this is what Samantha is wearing each day for part of her therapy.

Next Samantha went into the Stander.  I don't know about this for sure, but I'm not going to push it.  We'll see.  I did think she looked kind of cute though.  They strapped her into a...thing... There was some foam rolls placed behind her knees and at the small of her back.  This is supposed to give her the feeling of how we would naturally stand.  She stood there while I fed her a snack.  Even "breaks" are used for work here.

Next on her agenda was the Spider Cage.  Now, Sergio explained it all to me, but I'm not sure if I could quite explain it again.  I do know, however, that one of the goals here is to change Samantha's center of gravity from her thorasic area (upper back) to where it should be...lower back (2nd vertebra of her sacrum).  This spider cage makes her perfectly centered.  Apparently it feels pretty cool.  They worked on sitting it in with her today.  At this point, she was pretty ready to be done, but she was still ok.  Just whiny.

And then, to finish up the day, Sergio did some final work with her.  Some movement things, etc.  He did apply kinesio-tape to her back and shoulders which we've used before in Spokane.  It's light...just tape..but the touch, alone, on parts of your body will trigger "use me!"  

The rest of the day was pretty laid back.  Samantha was pretty exhausted.  We hung out with Bryan at his apartment for a bit, then came home and hung out, played in the yard, and had dinner.  Marcus thought Samantha already looked like she was standing straighter.  I agree, but we're both unsure if we should say that too early.  I mean, aren't we jumping the gun a little bit on that one?  Probably.  But...maybe not.
Callie playing ping pong with a teddy bear.
Dinner time!!!
A new "cup" I bought Sammy.  I think this looks a little bit more "big girl" than those sippy cups with a straw that she can chew to bits.  This works and she can actually hold it a little better.
Final play time before bed.

Today seems to be going well.  She's let us know her opinions, but she's been overall happier.  That makes me happy.  See, sometimes total unhappiness doesn't have to last long...just until we start to figure things out.

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