Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The right motivation

I'm blaming this lapse on Abbie....hooo, boy, has that girl been keeping us busy!!

She is recovering so well from her trach surgery. Her throat looks beautiful and the scar is fading away quickly. Last night I kissed her all over her neck, and paused there as I realized how long it had been since I could do that. The last time was the day they took her into surgery, with an intubation tube in her mouth, plastered to her face with what seemed like yards of tape. When she came out of the trach surgery I was overjoyed to see her face and kiss her lips, but her neck became a "medical zone" for the next four-and-a-half years. So precious to be able to kiss that very soft skin and feel her breathing. God is faithful!

Physical therapy is also going well. Her standing program finds her standing more and more erect every day. As we get closer to vertical she starts wiggling, trying to move her legs. She is so anxious to begin learning to walk again! I remind her that we need to get those bones strong enough before we can stroll down the hall again. She is moving swiftly forward in that regard, and we are pleased.

But, we have discovered what is most motivating to her in therapy, which I believe is probably a universal motivator for little girls. She wants to talk, to chatter, to be HEARD! Jayna (one of her PTs) had her lying on the table and was holding her leg in air, asking her to bend her knee and bring her heel to the table. She did a couple times, but was unenthused. We then put her voice-output switch on the table so her heel could hit it when she brought it down. Wow! Talk about performance improvement!! Duh -- I don't like doing hard work for no reward, and neither does my girl.

Today we programmed sequential messages in the switch, so Abbie "said", "I did it!", "I did it again!", "Look at me go!", "I am SO good at this!", and "I am the best!" She did very, very well, and her movements were much smoother.

We have up days and down days, but try not to look at each dot on the chart, focusing instead on the general trend. (Sort of like the way we have to watch the stock market these days....) From that viewpoint, Abbie's line is rocketing right up the chart again, and it is a fun thing to watch!