Ren has returned from her inpatient therapy program, a few days early. She stayed for one week in the pediatric wing of the hospital, with the goals of getting her physically back to where she was from before her leg surgery in a shorter amount of time compared to doing outpatient therapy once/twice a week for weeks or months. Each weekday was filled with a few hours of physical and occupational therapy, and the rest of the time filled with either school work with a tutor, speech therapy, music therapy, with a Child Life Specialist, or playing with a volunteer. She was kept busy from 8:00 until about 4:00 each day, sometimes later. I was only there over the weekend, from Friday evening until Sunday evening, and her schedule was extremely light on those days, with PT and OT just an hour each on Saturday, and only 1 hour of PT on Sunday. T was with her two nights, and Grandma three nights, so she had someone with her every night.
Though our feelings about the experience are mixed, here are some things that came out of it:
- It has been determined that Ren needs to go back to wearing KAFOs (the longer leg braces) on both legs, as she just does not have the leg strength to wear only the AFOs. They fitted her for these braces, which will be ready in a couple of weeks.
- The PTs were instructed to try out “loft strand” arm crutches, to see if she could learn to use these this week, and again, she is just too weak to be able to use these yet. Perhaps a long-term goal. Nothing new there; it’s been a long-term goal for, a long time.
- Ren has been using these power-assist wheels with her wheelchair, and we recently got new manual wheels for her to be able to use as well. We have decided to switch to using these for the winter, as it seems her arm strength has decreased a bit from not having to push the wheels.
- They are going to recommend to the school to set up a walking program for Ren, where she walks for a certain amount of time each day with someone, to help increase her leg strength.
- We were given some stretches and exercises to do with Ren at home, to continue to get her strength and flexibility back.
So, we are so glad to have Ren home; she is so happy to be back to school. (She CHEERED when she realized she could go back today). We are hoping for things to slow down a little again for her, as she has had quite a bit going on since October. A few more appointments to check in on her orthotics and on her recent bladder surgery…..and then hopefully she can take a break for awhile! We had a good run – almost two years – before all of this, so we are grateful for that, and hope to have another run like that again soon.