Today, Amy is 5.5 weeks post-op. Her visit with Cammie to fix her brace at Hanger, was a week ago. I kept waiting for her to pop out of her chair like a jack in the box, but she didn’t.
I got a message from her teacher, who was obviously upset. She had been encouraging her to stand, and take a couple steps, but this day she pushed a little too hard, and to her horror, Amy started crying. Let me be clear, this teacher is amazing, and Amy loves her. She reached out to me in guilt, and I told her not to worry, and what an amazing teacher she was. Then I reached out to her doctor, because I had been doing the same at home. Were we pushing too hard? Or did she need some help, like physical therapy?
Her doctor replied quickly, and let me know that she was doing just fine, and to relax. He said not to push her, just encourage her, and walking would come.
Not gonna lie, I was a little frustrated to see that. She seemed to transition to her feet faster last time when we moved from cast to brace. But this time, she didn’t even have any structural bones to fuse? Why was it more difficult for her??? *sigh* However, I had to admit, he’s the chief of orthopedics for a reason. I was going to follow his plan to the letter. I sent a message to her teacher letting her know what the doctor had said, and set my mind to only encourage, not push.
I didn’t push. I encouraged, but nothing really happened. She went to school, like any other day, she stayed in her chair, like any other day. She skipped recess outside, like any other day. But it’s Wednesday, which means it’s our favorite day of the week. It’s Girl Scout meeting Day! We meet in a very tiny room, about 10X13 feet. That’s about the size of a good-sized bedroom. But it’s large though for a big table, and has a little space beside it for our 8 girls to sit in their Daisy Ring. It’s perfect for us!
I’m the leader, so we were there super early setting up and finishing prepping for an art project. Amy was rolling around, hopping onto a chair to draw on the whiteboard, generally amusing herself. I wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention, because Amy’s Sister and I were seriously stressing finishing on time.
Girls started arriving, and the first thing they do is color and visit, while they wait for everyone to arrive. As usual, Amy transferred from her wheelchair to a folding chair, because her child’s wheelchair sits too low for a standard table. Next, it was time to sit in a circle on floor mats. I asked if she wanted to sit in the floor, or in her chair, and she opted for the floor, and she hopped over on one leg. Amy is by now a champion hopper. ?
After some talk, and reading a story, we played Simon Says. Amy wanted to play on her feet (not a chair) and she hopped a lot, and stood too. I didn’t think much of it though, because I had 8 girls who were splitting my attention.
Next was time for the art project, which we had actually completed prepping in time. (Go us!) After working on it, the girls were transferring their little projects to a paper towel nearby while the glue dried. Amy called out, “Mommy! Mom! Lookit me! Look what I’m doing!” She WALKED across the room! Granted, it’s 5-6 steps across the room, and she had a super big limp, but SHE DID IT! I hugged her and we celebrated her little victory, then she turned around and walked back for snack.
The rest of the evening, she was on her feet, and her chair remained in the corner, untouched. Small victories! I’ll take it!
I messaged her teacher as we headed home, “Hey! She’s walking all over the place!” ?
Back in her chair. She was complaining a lot that morning about her leg. Damn I thought, I bet she overdid it last night. But I took her to school as usual, and she had a regular day.
After school, Amy and two of her siblings got haircuts. While they were waiting in the waiting room, Amy’s Little Brother needed the restroom. Amy stayed with her big brother. I stood outside the restroom door, and felt a tug on my arm. I turned, and there was Amy, with no chair. Startled, I said, “Where did you come from?” She giggled. “Over there, silly Mommy. Can I have your phone?” I told her she could, if she walked back. After extracting a promise from me, she agreed. It was WAY more then a few steps!
I was so excited, I wanted to throw a PARTY. I settled for texting her teacher the video. She was excited for what this meant too. ❤️
Back in her chair. I dropped her off at school, but I got a little surprise texted to me this morning.
My favorite part is where she decided to sit, then changed her mind and stayed standing and moving with the others. Made my day!!!
When I picked her up that afternoon, her teacher asked if she wanted to walk to me. She ditched out of her chair and ran to me, and said she didn’t need her chair anymore! I talked to her teacher who said that she was in her chair for 90% of the day though, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
After school, we ran an errand with her in the chair, then headed to the grocery store. She wanted to walk… I did not want her in there without her chair. I was betting good money her leg would give out. So, we compromised. She could walk, but she had to push her chair. Bonus, it gave her something to hold onto, like a walker. Amy’s Little Brother decided to sit in the wheelchair, and she pushed him all over the place, until about halfway through, when her leg started to hurt. So they traded places. She sat, and he pushed. It was super cute!
Towards the end of our shopping trip, she decided she was better, so they switched places again. I kept having to tell her not to run, which was REALLY hard. I wanted to jump up and down and shout GO! GO! GO! ?
After her little burst of energy, she was tired again, so she went back in her chair.
We headed home and quickly had dinner, we were in a rush though, because we had a Girl Scout event that day. After eating and slipping into her vest, we went back out to the car. She said she wanted to take her chair “just in case”. We headed inside, and she parked her chair in the corner, and stood up. For the next TWO AND A HALF HOURS that chair didn’t move, but she did. She engaged in activities just like all the other kids. Including dancing madly about with a balloon, which I am SO SAD I didn’t get a video of… but I had over 100 girls that I was working with, so I was pretty busy.
Here’s the important stuff though: She’s walking! She’s running! She’s weightbearing! I’m so excited for her and and pleased. More than anything though, I can’t wait to chuck that wheelchair back into the garage where it belongs! ❤️
Last thing though, anyone need some Girl Scout cookies? I know a girl… ?
Click here to buy Girl Scout Cookies from Amy! (Available now through 3/15/2020)