July 10, 2013

Keep pushing forward

I had been talking with Annabelle's Physical Therapist and her Orthopedist about wanting to get Annabelle a pair of canes or crutches before the end of (last) year. I started these conversations early in the year (around February) and as we approached October it was apparent that nothing was going to be done about it. Sadly, I knew it was time to seek out some additional partners who were as serious as I was about getting Annabelle to the next level. That is when I reached out to Laurie, a highly respected physical therapist in Orange County. She is the owner of her own private practice, South Coast Therapy. I had been given Laurie's name and telephone number about 9 months prior and had been holding on to it. Around summertime (2012) Annabelle had been placed on what's referred to as "maintenance mode" and was only receiving PT twice a month which as you can imagine I was extremely unhappy about. I was told it was the correct frequency for where she was at but sadly I knew it had a bit more to do with some staffing issue. We made the decision to take a short break from our regular physical therapist to do what's referred to as an "intensive". Laurie has a very tight schedule with her patients and teaching schedule at a local university so the fact that we were able to be seen by her was truly a miracle and such a blessing. It was a wonderful experience to say the least! The intensive consisted of Annabelle being seen 2 to 3 times a week for 5 weeks. They originally wanted to see her 4 times a week for 4 weeks but I just couldn't manage that heavy of a schedule with her other commitments and my commitments to our other two children. Annabelle made great progress during her five weeks with Laurie. Laurie, the new PT had these fun little canes at her office that she introduced to Annabelle on our first visit. It was so awesome to see how well Annabelle took to them the very first time Laurie handed them to her. She was very interested and they were great to work with even if they were a bit too tall.
During the time Annabelle was being treated at South Coast Laurie not only worked with Annabelle but she tirelessly worked with our insurance company to find Annabelle a pair of canes that would fit her needs. We quickly found that there are NOT a lot of pediatric canes out there and most are pretty heavy. This was a bit disappointing but Laurie didn't give up! We didn't find exactly what we wanted but what we settled on has been good. Laurie ordered Annabelle a set of blue (pink and red were sold out) pediatric quad canes and they were delivered just in time for our very last "intensive" session with Laurie. We see this canes as a good bridge between the walker and forearm crutches that she will one day have but is not ready for yet.
Fast forward less than six months and wow, it amazing to look at the great progress she has made! We returned to our former therapist in January (who we really do think is great) with our new canes and are finally on a twice a week schedule.
At Jack's First Holy Communion - May 4, 2013 
Although, Annabelle does not use the canes every day she knows how to use them and is getting stronger and faster with them daily. We remember that it took her a full year to become proficient with her walker so we have never had unrealistic expectations about her use of the canes. We did however know that in order for her to keep pushing forward we needed to get those canes ordered. I am so thankful for the choices we made and for the progress Annabelle is making.  
Believe in yourself parents - 
You know your child best and you know their needs.  
Keep pushing forward!

1 comment:

  1. Wow I think I just wrote this whole post about nick as well! But I guess Nick is only a couple months younger than Annabelle. our canes just arrives at the beginning of the month (we got adult ones we adjusted ourselves)
    Glad she is doing fantastic!