Tuesday, July 31, 2012

First day of physical therapy

Today was the babe's first day of PT.
I am really happy with how it went!  Her therapist's name is Ms. Hilary.  She was very, very nice, and knew not to get too close just yet... (Lucy is skeptical of new people!)  
The place we go to is called Horizon Pediatric Therapy in Mesa, AZ.  It's a home that has been turned into a PT place.  What's nice about that is it doesn't have that sterile, cold feeling like a doctor's office does.  
Hilary was actually very pleased with Lucy as she is!  She said that her range of motion in her leg is really good, and her posture is near perfect!  What we are focusing on is for Lucy to re train herself to trust her leg and hip again.  Hilary said the muscle tightness would/could 'eventually' work itself out, maybe.  BUT, if you start PT right after a surgery, you will teach the baby to walk using the hip first, not their knee and leg.  She said it's a lot harder to correct a gait when a child is older.  It seems we are getting Lucy in at the perfect time.  Hilary also told us that she is impressed that Dr. Segal recommended PT, because most orthopedic doctors don't.  She feels that EVERY child who has been in a spica cast could benefit from PT.  So, if your child has been in a cast, or will be soon... push for PT!  What can it hurt?!  
I asked her how long she thinks it will take Lucy to re train herself and to walk... she said 'very soon!'  She is proud that Lucy has the desire, and tries to walk on her own already.  (She falls flat, but hey... she is trying!)  She said having the desire is half the battle.  
Lucy has only been out of her brace for 2 weeks.  We are so proud of how well she is doing!  I forgot how it feels to have her crawling on me. Smothering me.  Not stopping for a second.  I can't complain ONE bit about it, because I remember her in her cast just sitting there.  I will take EVERY single thing I can, as long as she is moving and happy!  (Please remind me of this when she is running in a million directions and I am carrying a newborn and chasing her at the same time.)
Anyway, I wanted to share some of the things the PT suggested we do.  They aren't 'huge' big things, but I can absolutely see how this will help her.  I will explain as we go...
Remember, these were meant for Lucy at her stage, so don't take this as generic for all babies her age after surgery. Ask your doctor before starting anything! :-)

Sorry it's on it's side, no clue how to fix it. :)
Anywho... have the child on your lap and have them stand on their own to play with magnets on the fridge. This will strengthen the LEG muscles. Don't let them push backwards first.  Always have them shift the weight forward.

I thought this would be cool.  You can use a child sized swimming pool and fill it with balls, toys...whatever. Have them crawl in and out of it.

Kicking. It seems like L will mostly kick with her 'good leg' aka the right one.  We need to work more on her kicking with the left.

This is to stabilize the hips to get them in shape for walking. 
L tends to turn her foot outward, so the PT said to keep forcing it straight. 
(I think this is all I am going to be doing for the next month. Putting her foot straight.)
She said the repetition of doing this, it will train her to put it straight.

Our PT room :-)  Daddy came too!

I have noticed L will usually only re shift weight to her right side, not her left.  This will force her to use that hip!

She said to use a stool and have them practice getting up and down

This was another thing we were supposed to do! (Notice her left foot turning out.  Drives me crazy and I have to keep correcting it.)  Balancing on one leg... 

Pool... instead of just letting her free kick, sway them horizontally.  Let the water flow do it's thing!  It will help loosen the muscles.

Weird picture, huh?!  No clue why the kid is wearing a weird hat, but anyways... 
This is pretty self explanatory...

YAY I am awesome at this!

This is what is going to keep me busy.  I will upload a video of Lucy's crawl.  She goes FAST, but has her left leg extended out straight.  It's like a scoot more than a crawl.  I am supposed to follow behind her, put her legs in line, and give resistance.  Great.  I can see knee pads in my future!

Would you know she had a cast on 8 weeks ago?!  Seriously?  I have a future ROCKETTE on my hands...

This was another big one.  Again, the weight shift.  L doesn't do this yet... we need to work on this one...
She also said don't let her sit in the 'W' position, which is where both legs are almost tucked behind them.  It makes it WAY too easy to not use the hips.  

Lunch after!  YAH!

This one sounds fun.  She said if they are crawling up hill, or over pillows, they can't scoot.  They will be forced to use their hip.
Her Gymboree class has inclined mats, so those are going to be great! 

So all in all, it went really well.
We have tons of new things to do with her... 
I am also glad that she feels Lucy will be able to walk really well and really soon!  YAH!

Over and out from SUNNY Arizona... home of the 110 degree daily weather...

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