Friday, August 27: Update

Peanut exercise balls and horses. We introduced these two new tools to Claire’s rehabilitation program this week. Both provided some great results. Claire’s therapists at OCH Grapevine brought out a peanut exercise ball yesterday to let Claire practice lifting her head. Claire has been working hard to lift her head at home and we’ve seen her do it several times; but there is something different when the doctors and therapists see her do it as well. They got to see her lift her head yesterday. Claire stretched out over the exercise ball and when asked to raise her head, she did. Her therapists could feel the effort in her upper back muscles: she was working very hard.

Her hard work extended into today’s new experience. We arrived at Bridlewood Farms in Flower Mound at 10:15 AM for Claire’s 10:45 appointment. We met Mandy, Melissa, Reyna, Toni and Kathy (forgive me if the spelling is incorrect). We also met Delilah, the mare Claire would ride today. She was gentle and calm.

Claire had short outbursts, but the majority of the time she was attentive to what was going on around her. She struggled under the added weight to her head because of the helmet: her head would fall forward and the helmet would follow suit, covering her eyes. Each time we’d adjust the helmet, Claire would strain her eyes to see what was on her head. It made us smile.

Claire’s trunk control and posture improved as we progressed through the session. We loved watching Claire observe and process the new stimuli. At the end of the session, Claire gave Delilah a small hug with Mandy and Tiffany’s help.

Claire spent the ride home calm and collected, just processing the day’s events. We are excited for the outcome so far and look forward to next week’s session.

Autumn and Heidi’s first week of school concluded on an upward slope. Heidi was skeptical after her first day, but improved her outlook on school by today. We’ll continue to challenge her and help her set small goals for each day to accomplish.

I wanted to clarify my last post as well. Claire’s new therapy schedule which is one day a week instead of three is not indicative of progress. We voluntarily changed the number of sessions because we felt the time we were spending in the care traveling to therapy was time that would be better allocated toward therapy at home. Claire continues to improve, however, the reduced outpatient therapy schedule is not a function of improvement.

We also have not learned the results of the MRI and we have not decided whether we will solicit those results. If we do, we will be sure to share them.

Thank you as always for your prayers and support. I will continue to post on an every-other day basis for the foreseeable future. Enjoy your weekend!