These photo's aren't the best quality... they are actually really poor (iPhone in steamy pool room with mom sitting far away on the bench) but I just had to share.
While in Houston, Leslie (Gabe's physical therapist also the second woman to steal his heart) mentioned how wonderful water therapy would be for Gabe. TCH West was a new campus and didn't have water therapy available yet. Upon moving back to Ohio, water therapy stayed in the back of my mind. The back of my mind as life was so crazy busy I couldn't imagine adding another activity to Gabe's already full schedule as well as figure out the insurance logistics of it all. Water therapy is generally not covered. While there's ways to get it covered, we would probably had to have given up a land physical therapy appointment and that is not in the plan for now.
Fast forward to the beginning of May and Gabriel's occupational therapist Danielle brought up water therapy. We discussed the insurance snafu's and she mentioned she knew of a therapist at the Shaker Heights campus (only Cleveland Clinic therapy location with a pool) that offered recreational (water/swim) therapy. Miss Cari does it through CCF but not through insurance and charges a nominal fee. Completely doable, we wouldn't have to change our therapy schedule and just had to wait for an opening.
Amazingly, a few weeks later there was an opening on Wednesdays (the only day Gabe didn't have therapy) and Gabe started June 19. He goes every other week and if the first week was any indication he is going to love it. Gabe took to Miss Cari immediately and warmed up to her assistant Miss Amanda by the end of the session.
Each week Gabe will do lots of fun activities that are actually therapeutic for him. Activities like jumping on a water couch, swimming after duckies, blowing bubbles in the water... lots of fun stuff. And despite two summers in Houston where we swam almost daily, he would never let go of me or Matt in the water. On his first day of swim therapy, he let go of Miss Cari and with the help of floaties was able to make his first swim strokes across the pool. It was awesome!
Even though adding swim therapy to our schedule; gives us therapy every day of the week every other week it is so worth it. He has fun, works on balance, coordination and range of motion AND is learning to swim! Fun stuff!!