Saturday, May 29, 2010

PT, OT and his splint

Everyone has heard of me refer to Gabe as a miracle and along with being a miracle he is a determined and hardworking little boy. Due to his schizencephaly Gabe has torticollis (high tone) on his left side as well as an overall gross motor delay (but remember, with Gabe's right-sided closed lipped schizencephaly he 'should' be paralyzed on his left side). So in December, Gabe was evaluated by a physical therapist and referred for weekly treatment. This began our weekly trek to the Cleveland Clinic Children's Rehab and our daily regimen of stretches and exercises.

Slowly Gabe became less stiff and more mobile on his left side. However, while his leg was catching up quickly to his right leg, his left arm and hand were not doing as well. And because of this we began to see Miss Danielle an occupational therapist as well as Mrs. KC his physical therapist.

Little by little, Gabe continues to improve. Stretching, reaching, practicing rolling over, sitting up and standing are now just regular parts of Gabe's daily routine. And he is a trooper; he lets me stretch his chubby little leg and cute long arm all day long. Gabe gets fiesty when we do excersices that force him to use his left hand but we love his fiestness! And just this past week Gabe sat virtually unassisted (mama helped him with his posture a couple of times) for 20 minutes playing with a wagon full of blocks.
Besides all of the physical work, about a month ago Gabe has another 'activity' to do, only this one he does in his sleep. Every night before bed I put a splint on Gabe's left hand to force his fingers to stretch. Again, something most would find terribly uncomfortable, Gabe just rolls with it! It took Miss Danielle two tries to make the straps small and tight enough for his little fingers and me about a half-dozen different tries to get his fingers in exactly the right spot so that he's unable to wriggle his fingers out during the night.
Gabe's splint:
It's totally fool-proof!

Sleeping Gabe in his splint

Close-up of Gabe's left hand!

And each day we notice Gabe keeps his hand open more, his fingers are less stiff and he's now able to hold and more importantly for his enjoyment, shake toys in his left hand!

Gabe does a great job stretching and excersing everyday. I think the definite plus to the situation is that most of his 'work' seems like play! And while Gabe does a phenomenal job at home working he's a bit of a stinker at therapy. He cries off and on each time for me, and while it breaks my heart to let him cry, I know that therapy is extremely important for him and I must let him work through it. And his therapists are so wonderful and take such good care of Gabe. Gabe is certainly in good hands.

And while Gabe keeps working hard to reach all these milestones the obvious was pointed out to us on Friday at therapy: the older Gabe gets the further behind he becomes. And while, it's a very obvious observation, I just loathed hearing it out loud. Especially since Gabe works so hard. But I know as Gabe works he is getting better and stronger each week and that years from now, weekly therapy appointments will just be a small blip in Gabe's miraculous past.

We are so proud of Gabe and his determination to keep rolling with the punches. And we are so thankful for wonderful therapists like KC and Danielle.

So while therapy is wonderful for Gabe and continues to help him each day get further to reaching his full temptation, I hate that he's so miserable while he's at the rehab center. Could you spare some prayers for our little guy that he's not so miserable when he's working with his therapist? Thanks!

1 comment:

Abe and Joni said...

Hello Meredith! What a cutie Gabe is! I'm glad Dan and Sarah sent you our way! We'll be looking forward to following your story and praying for your family along the way as well!