Physical therapy is hard.
Physical therapy is good for Millie. I know that. I really do.
It’s good for me, too. I have time that is dedicated on her, focused on helping her develop. I’m learning all sorts of things to do with her at home. The appointments have been eye-opening and very educational.
But I’m learning, too, I think, that PT days are going to be emotionally draining.
It’s hard for Millie because she is working different muscles and learning movements that she just doesn’t do, and, in many cases, doesn’t even realize she can do.
It’s hard for me to listen to her cry. Her appointment this morning was about 45 minutes long. Millie was physically drained. She was frustrated and tired. She cries because she doesn’t know how to do it; she cries because I’m sure her baby muscles are getting a good workout. But it’s hard to hear. She so rarely cries at home. At one point I must have looked pained because the physical therapist smiled (she’s super nice) and said it’s OK that she was crying, it just meant that she was working. And I know that. But, still, it is tough.
It’s hard to watch her lift her arms, whimpering, pleading to be picked up. Obviously, that would defeat the whole point, so she just keeps working. But it’s hard to see her asking for something and not get the response she seeks.
While watching Millie work with the physical therapist, my mind also wanders. The questions start and it’s impossible to shut them off. A lot of our focus has been on Lola because she demands it on a daily basis. Millie has been an easy baby. Was it too easy to just forget she was there? Did we not work with her often enough? Did we not pay attention to her closely enough? Should we have pushed her harder early on? Should we not have held her so much? Should we not have cuddled her so much? Did we do something wrong?
I go into physical therapy with a positive outlook, concentrating on helping Millie any way we possibly can. I leave 45 minutes later all shook up, more worried than I was the week before. There is no reason for this. The physical therapist said she already can see that Millie is trying harder, working harder.
But it’s hard not to be worried. it’s hard to leave physical therapy and come to work and, somehow, compartmentalize the concerns separately, to focus on what I need to do during the workday.
It will get easier, right? As we get into the routine of physical therapy on a twice-weekly basis, I’ll adjust, right? Once I start seeing her making progress, I’ll be OK, right?
- Bethany :)