Thursday, November 27, 2008

Small steps

Matthew had physio yesterday. I think we are both going to learn to hate physio. I know she needs to get every joint as mobile as possible and to stretch all those muscles in order to get his foot to straighten, but man it is hard on him. And she could not believe how much tighter he is this week.

It hurts, a lot. He gets 15 min of heat, then at least 15 min of painful stretching. He doesn't cry, but he is pulls away, pushes her hands away, and can not be distracted with books or stories. Then, depending on time, he gets exercises that also stretch.

I hope that in time it will get easier as things loosen up.

I hope in time things will loosen up.

After physio we saw Ken.

Ken. Funny, I never thought I would get so attached to one of Matthew's caregivers. I joke that I am in love with him. Actually, I am in awe of him. He is one of those rare people who stepped into Matthew's life 4 yrs ago and formed a strong bond immediately with him. He is amazing with Matthew and it seems so effortless. We are so blessed to have found him and to be able to continue to have him work with Matthew.

Ken has made a stir up AFO for Matthew this time. It is very different from all the others that Matthew has had. Ken told me he doesn't normally make this kind for kids so he is unsure of how it will go. In fact, he wants Matthew to see his surgeon asap to check that it is doing what it should. (Yay, another appt)

So Matthew put it on and walked up and down the hall while Ken and I watched. His first few passes were not very good. Ken even asked me if he normally had 'insert some technical term for unusual gait here' when walking. I said no. My stomache dropped.

After a few more passes, and after finding Ken's toy stash, Matthew's gait improved. In a matter of minutes, he was walking straighter then I had seen since coming out of his cast.

I said that to Ken and he agreed with a big grin on his face. He was impressed to. Now THAT feels good. We have had a lot of negative comments lately. His foot is too tight, his foot is twisted, his foot is regressing, etc. What a breath of fresh air, finally.

Matthew tried running. Not good. He will need to relearn how to run with this new one. Ken figured it would just take some time, but to watch it and if there is no improvement, to come back in for modifications.

So, we are now in the watching mode. If Matthew gets any red marks, any pain, any sores, any blisters, we go back in for adjustments. I really don't like this part of a new AFO. So many appts. But, seeing him walk straight for the first time in months helps. More then I can say.

And, no, it does NOT fit in his soccer shoe. But it fits in his winter boot...

Even the small steps are still steps.

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