Friday, April 8, 2011


"Courage doesn't always roar.

Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says,

"I'll try again tomorrow."

- Mary Anne Radmacher

The past 5 days I have watched tremendous courage in the shape of a mighty 19 month old. Gabriel has been so courageous as he encounters many new things in his 3 week CIMT course. Gabe has quickly accustomed himself to a new therapist.

In his chair, ready to work after stretching!

For Gabe that is more than just courageous it's remarkable. After going through months of anxiety with Miss KC and Miss Danielle (both whom he now adores), made me extraordinarily anxious for Monday morning. But Miss Jessie came in to the waiting room, scooped Gabe up and while he's had a few precarious moments, he's truly been mostly at ease. Although he does seem to look for Miss Danielle the every morning after seeing her Monday morning.

Reaching for the pinwheel.

Gabe now wears a constraint cast 24 hours a day. A cast on his right arm - his good arm. So we essentially took away almost all of his independence and he pushes onward. Gabe tries new ways to do things and works so hard. You have no idea how hard. One week in and Gabe's left hand is no longer fisted. Relaxing muscles after nineteen and one-half months of them being tightly fisted is no easy feat. But Gabe made it seem almost effortlessly.

Reaching for and trying to grasp and remove pegs. And yes he did it!

Retraining your brain to use your left arm; an arm he's ignored and not used for 19 months is extraordinarily difficult. But Gabe continues to persevere. Gabe's faced unknown fears like swimming in the therapy pool, using different toys and being with new people and he championed. He may not have liked it, he may have fought or argued, but in the end he did it.

Look at that reach!

After a week of therapy Gabe can use lefty to help push himself up into the crawl position, weight-bear on his arm, turn pages in a book and move things with his left arm. Gabe has started communicating with lefty to point at items he'd like or to tell us he's all done.

Turning pages in a book

While Gabriel has a 2 day reprieve from three hour therapy sessions he'll still be required to wear his cast at ALL times and will still have to work on using lefty with his mom and dad. Then Monday morning, Gabe will wake up with the same sweet as honey smile, eat breakfast and then get excited when I ask if he wants to go bye-bye.

Weight bearing on the swing.

As Gabe faced this week with a zealous courage that I know I don't have, he'll greet next week the same way. Gabriel may never remember how hard he had to work, how brave he had to be or the resilience that is his never-dampered spirit, we will. And while he may never remember the courage he faced each day with, we will. And the courage of this little 19 month old will help me to face each day a little more courageous, a little more zealous and a little more joyful.

Minutes after leaving therapy

Sweet Gabriel, While you may never remember this time in your life, we will never forget. Mama and Daddy couldn't be more proud of you. Love you to the moon and back!


Mari Bryant- Marks said...

Way to go Gabe! And may I say, his mommy is awfully strong and courageous too. :)

Ordinary Dad said...

You have a courageous and sweet boy! Your story is so inspiring! Great post.

alissa said...

Too cool, Gabe. You are one special little boy with amazing mother.

Miss Danielle said...

I am so excited that Gabe is doing so well - Although I knew he would! You guys are an amazing team (mom, dad, and gabe!). I love your dedication! You make me love my job.