Monday, June 18, 2012

thoughts on therapy

Millie went to her first official occupational therapy session Friday afternoon. It was at the end of a chaotic week in which I realized just how terribly I’ve been juggling everything lately. Not only did I manage to double-book potential babysitters for the kids on Friday (we don’t have daycare on Fridays during the summertime), but I also sent my niece (goddaughter) a “Happy Second Birthday!” card/gift when, in fact, yeah, it was her third birthday. And I knew that, I just didn’t realize it in that moment. Neither screw-up was a major life-changing event, but it was enough to cause one mini breakdown (or five) mid-week.

Anyhow, I went into OT a little frazzled, a little nervous. In a preceding physical therapy appointment, the physical therapist mentioned that they were considering ordering a body wrap for Millie, something that would more or less force her to use her abdominal muscles. This sounded … strange. Not that I was opposed, but I definitely wanted some more information.

Really, the OT session wasn’t overly difficult. The therapist took us through Millie’s results (she tested at a 9 months and 10 months level for various fine motor categories) and discussed how OT would proceed. She suggested, after watching Millie for a bit, that perhaps she has some sensory issues.

There was one moment when I nearly fell out of my chair. She said she had discussed with another co-worker whether Millie should have a third evaluation done to examine how she eats/chews, etc. Until very recently, Millie has struggled to swallow or chew anything with texture – she still chokes on the so-called dissolvable solids. But in the last half-week or so, she has suddenly been doing much better and has, in fact, been trying a few table foods. Very small pieces of table foods, but it’s progress. Anyhow, before I could even spit this out (even just the idea of a fourth therapy session each week nearly put me over the edge), the occupational therapist said the therapist with expertise in that area said that she didn’t think it was necessary at this point and will be giving me, this week perhaps, some at-home exercises to do on our own.  

At the end of the session, she asked how our schedule has worked out for PT and OT. I just told her, nicely I think, that we were never able to find times each week for PT and OT to piggyback each other so I have three separate appointments each week, which always vary in the time and day, etc. She asked if this was difficult and I said it was, quite, in fact, based on my never-predictable work schedule. But we really want to do whatever is best for Millie and if that means coming three times a week, so be it. I’ll just figure it out.

Long story short, she worked with the scheduling desk so that we now (starting next week) will have a SET SCHEDULE EVERY WEEK. I only will bring Millie in now twice a week: one PT session is on Monday mornings, and Thursday mornings she will now have a session each for PT and OT, back to back. So it will be a longer visit on Thursdays, but it only means two trips to the hospital a week.  This makes my life easier. Not just that it is one less visit a week but that I have set, weekly appointments. I can actually plan my work life needs more than half-a-week in advance.

So, today, I am feeling less overwhelmed.

Which is awesome.
- Bethany :)

P.S. Oh, yeah, she also is getting that body wrap thingy. I guess it is a bodysuit in that it is like a swimsuit but has adjustable straps that forces her into what I call the “scrunchie” position. I’m intrigued.

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