Thursday, March 15, 2012

imot again!

Anniston went back to IMOT for three weeks last month! It was another fabulous experience (even though I know she did not LOVE all of it...but complied fairly well, ha).

Let me rewind to a few days before Christmas. We had some sweet friends over for dinner and football watching, and this was really when I first noticed her taking to walking long distances around the house. There were a couple of little girls over, and she had the best time playing...I was so proud of her for being so brave. (A recap that she has had some tightness/spasticity on her right side because of the stroke, causing her to be off-balance at times and to toe walk with her right foot...I realize I could be explaining these things better and/or more in-depth, but I just don't feel like it right now :)). Before this night, she was walking some on her own and some holding my hand, while also knee walking.

Then, at the beginning of January, she started standing up in the middle of the room without holding onto anything. BIG deal. She also continued to walk primarily!

SO, she was physically in a super place before IMOT and ready for some big gains. And yes, she did have great gains!

After only the first week, her right heel was 60% closer to the ground, and we have since been able to stretch her foot to "neutral" (90 degrees) often...sometimes even past neutral. It is still somewhat of a habit for her to put more weight on her left leg, but she is doing much better with weight shifting and is even standing still some (before would walk until she reached stable object to hold onto). I now often see her standing with right heel completely or almost completely on the ground (this is with shoes on...still has some trouble barefoot).

You can see in this picture that her feet are flat on the floor. The suit was helping in pic, and now she will even do it on her own often! She can now walk outside much better and is even comfortable walking on concrete (was pretty scared of falling before, but is now more stable). It has been SUCH a blessing that she can walk so much better now. A whole new world has been opened to her when we play outside, and I am just loving it. She can walk on uneven ground and even up and down hills some!

In this picture, she is wearing an immobilizer on her "good" arm so that she can focus more on using her right arm. This enables her brain to create new pathways for using her arm/hand. She has just been so used to doing what is easy...using the left and ignoring the right. She fed herself some when immobilizer was on. They had to put food in her hand, but she would work really hard to get it to her mouth because this girl is motivated by food :). We are continuing with the immobilizer at home (and lots of other stretching/exercises), and she has tolerated it pretty well until today :). I have seen her voluntarily move her right arm SO much more than before.

She is also motivated by Mickey Mouse, apparently :). On her last day, the office staff gave Anniston some sweet Mickey Mouse goodies because she did some of her best work/stretching while watching this show. We restrict TV a good bit at home, so of course she LOVED this and may or may not have thrown many fits for them because she loved it so much. Some of the fits were because she was tired though and because it was hard work...I am so grateful that my mom was able to take her most days because it was pretty difficult for me to hear Anniston have a hard time because she was tired or hurting.

We are so blessed that this therapy is available to us. Anniston has just soared and is walking/running all over. She still gets tired and starts to drag her foot some, but I cannot tell you how much more mobile she is. SUCH a miracle.

**I also could never do justice telling you about the therapists who work with her and even the other office staff...they truly care and pray for these children. God is given such an open door to move and to work His power. I cannot say enough what a difference that makes. What a blessing.

Here is a video of her at the park today...she did everything by herself for the first time! (Except I think Stan helped her sit for slide :). Such a big girl. She even leads with her right foot some while walking up the steps. So thankful.

AND, who could leave out this little girl?? I love her so much! She is always such a light and just brightens up my day!! More about her soon.