Millie rarely cries at home. She will, on occasion, whimper or fuss when hungry or sleepy. But, very rarely does she ever really cry (exception: mornings, when we don’t hear her happy giggles immediately when she wakes up. If we don’t get there with a certain amount of time, she will cry out a few times until we finally get our rumps out of bed and go get her).
It’s one of the reasons that physical therapy is so hard for me. She wails and cries real tears.
Well, on Monday, I was a bit frustrated because she was just refusing to do anything. Even exercises and actions that she does so well at home, she wouldn’t even try. I keep telling the therapist about her progress at home and then she refuses to show off during her appointments, making me look like I’m exaggerating or not really working with her at home as much as I should be.
Anyhow, following Monday’s appointment, the therapist made a suggestion: Perhaps at her next appointment I should wait in the lobby. Maybe Millie is just acting out because I’m there.
So we did. Today, she went in and I remained outside, reading my Nook, glancing occasionally at the door to see if I could hear anything. I couldn’t. I took that as a good sign, even though I also wondered if they sounded-proofed the pediatrics section for the comfort of those in the waiting area. After about 28 minutes, I started pacing and leaning closer to the door and I did hear one distinct yelp. Short-lived and perfunctory. Soon after, the therapist came out with Millie, who looked neither happy nor unhappy, but once she saw me, she grinned widely and reached for me with outstretched arms.
The verdict? She did GREAT.
She accomplished an action that we have been working on since Day 1 in therapy. If she is sitting, and you place a toy to her far right, can she get it? In that first week, she would just look at it. In the second week, she would reach out with the arm closest to it. So, if it was on the right side, she would reach with her right arm and just give up when she couldn’t reach it.
What we need her to do is place her right arm sort of behind her to hold her weight and cross her left arm across her body and grab the toy. She has been doing this part at home for about a week or two. But she has, thus far, just thrown her head back at this point, turn on her extension muscles and fall face-first to the ground.
We need her to use her abdominal muscles to get back to sitting.
She had never done that.
I wasn’t there to see it, and that kind of makes me sad, but not really. From what the therapist said, I don’t know if she would have even tried to do it if I was in the room.
We’re very proud of her.
In her overall report, the therapist said Millie didn’t once cry real tears and didn’t have any major meltdowns. Just a few whimpers.
I also mentioned to the therapist that we are seeing Millie’s pediatrician on Friday for the first time since this all started. I asked her how she thought Millie was doing, if she was improving, and, you know, if she would be OK in the long-term. And I heard exactly what I hoped: Millie is making great progress and is doing very well. But, she continued, it is going to take a while for her to catch up, which we knew.
All in all, today has been a good day.
- Bethany :)