Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Physical Therapy #2

Hello again!
Well, here we are at physical therapy week 2.
I have to say, I have noticed a huge improvement in Lucy this last week since we have been doing the things we were told to do.
Ms. Hilary, Lucy's physical therapist, was also impressed at how well Lucy is doing...
Now, don't get me wrong.  Lucy does NOT want her touching her, messing with her, pulling on her... nothing.  So, we go very slow, and Hilary shows us some new 'moves.'
Like I said before, the weight shift from left to right, and right to left are HUGE.  Lucy loves to rest on her right, lean to the right, etc.  It's more comfortable.  I have to keep shifting her legs to the left, and put things that she wants on the left so she can reach and grab for them.  Sounds so simple, but it's a big deal!  
Her crawling has improved.  Not even close to perfect, but she will get there!  She likes to hold her left leg out, putting all the pressure on the right, and sort of 'hop' along.  This is when I go behind her, hold her legs straight, and give some resistance while she is crawling.  Resistance is key!  Hilary said not to let her push things around without there being some resistance.  If we do, it's encouraging her to lean forward and hunch her back... we want her standing up straight, working those muscles.
I am VERY proud to announce that Lucy has been standing on her own!  About 10-15 seconds... she tries to take a step, and BAM, right on the bum... but hey. she is trying!  It seems like her core is stronger to me this week, and that is so good!  That's what we want!
The biggest thing I learned today is that this DDH nonsense goes far beyond surgery and casts.  Hilary explained to us that due to being in a body cast for so long, Lucy has lost a lot of body awareness.  She said kids who haven't been through trauma and casts are body aware.  Kids who have, need more sensory therapy.  Remember, Lucy's cast went from her chest to her toes, so those areas didn't get touched at all!  Touch is so important for a baby.  She wants us to do baby massage and pressure point therapy every day.  (Lucy is like 'hey, right on!!!')  She said Lucy feels a bit out of control right now, and by making her more aware of her body, it will put the final piece of the puzzle together.  Doesn't that make sense?!  It does to me, totally.
So, she got out some lotion, I was holding Lucy on my lap.  She put it on her hands, let her rub it in, and showed me different techniques of massage.  Lucy LOVED it.  She actually let Hilary get close enough to do this.  Then she moved on to her feet and legs... Lucy just sat there and was amazed.  Hilary said, 'Lucy is craving this sensory therapy.'  As I sat there and held her, I fought back tears since it broke my heart.  My poor little girl.  She has been through so much trauma in her little life, and all she wants is to be touched, held and loved.  I love her so much, I just wish I could make this all better for her right now.  That may sound crazy to people who haven't been through this with their kids, but for those who have, you will totally get it.  This type of therapy is so far beyond a cast and muscle strength.  This is something most 'normal kids' get automatically, with no problems... Lucy however, is craving this and needs momma more then ever to make this right.  
I told Hilary how I have been so afraid to touch her leg and hip area.  I seriously slide the diaper under her when changing her, and I do treat her like an eggshell.  I put lotion and wash her left leg SO fast, since it scares the heck out of me!  I want to do everything to avoid hurting her, or having her hip re-dislocate... Now that I know the hip is in, I need to relax more and focus more on making Lucy aware that there ARE little legs there, and they WILL work!
On top of regular massage, we are supposed to do 'deep pressure points.'  Basically the thumb and pointer finger are used to apply pressure on areas to help stimulate the nervous system to recognize them.  She said this will help with Lucy's tip toeing, and trying to make herself feel 'grounded.'  She has to trust those limbs again...
Like I said before, all of this would eventually work itself out, but why have her compensate?!
Anyways... before we left, we got to go in a different PT room where there were older kids.  There was a huge ball pit in there with thousands of balls.  We put Lucy in there and she sank all the way to her chin.  :-)  I thought she would flip out, but no... she sat there for about 15 minutes, LOVING it.  I thought it was so weird that she was so calm, and Hilary said that she is used to feeling 'out of control.'  The balls are putting pressure on her body, making her feel 'in control' again, just like the cast did.  She said that just because the cast is off, doesn't mean Lucy has forgotten.  
This is what makes me so sad.  I know she is a baby, and probably won't remember this in fifteen years, but the effects like this are so noticeable.  How many times can I say this, why couldn't I have the surgery and cast for her?  Frustrates me to no end, but we gotta move forward and deal with what is in front of us... 
So, the homework for this week is massage and pressure points, along with the things that we talked about last week.  
We are going on vacation so won't be in PT for a few weeks, but I have enough to keep me busy. :)

SENSORY is the big thing we need to focus on.  Ball pits, baskets full of different items, play doh, anything to stimulate the senses.  The nervous system and muscles all have to work as a team to get the best results!
Here are a few pics and the massage info:

The baby Goose waiting for her appointment... 

This was at Gymboree last night.  Inclined mats to crawl up are awesome for resistance

We went to Peter Piper Pizza after Gymboree!  She loved it!

I saw this and had to post it.  LOVE LOVE LOVE it. 
No explanation needed.

These pics are on an adult but you get the idea :)


  1. Wow karen such a great post with brilliant advice. I haven't gone near a ball pit for fear of her getting stuck etc but it makes sense that they would like that comfort. Thanks for sharing as Erin isn't having pt but there are practical things in this to consider. Xxx