Thursday, 22 November 2012

Wednesday - post op day 6 and the start of outpatient therapy

We have had a great day today. That really seemed impossible when we first got up this morning because we had by far our worst night last night, with Daniel waking in pain nearly every half hour, and we seemed unable to get him comfortable for any period of time. The awful night meant that we slept in slightly later than planned, so then had to rush straight down to breakfast because we had Therapy at the hospital at 9.  We had given him ibuprofen as soon as we woke up (and then gave him Calpol from home as well straight after breakfast - we have given up on the revolting American Tylenol) but it had not had time to work, so he was in a lot of discomfort in his wheelchair again, and breakfast was a bit of a disaster. We set off to the hospital in our new hire car, and had pretty low expectations for therapy, considering how tired Daniel was after his awful sleep, and how much pain he had been in at breakfast. However, by the time we got there the double pain relief had kicked in, and Jackie, who will be his lead outpatient therapist was brilliant. We had a really successful session!

She managed to get him high-kneeling at the bench, and after a few minutes she was able to let go and he held the position independently.

He then did some sitting on the bench, with minimal support, throwing balls to knock down towers of blocks, which he loved. He also did some really accurate over- arm throwing, which he could not have done pre-surgery.

And finally she tried a little standing. He had very bent jelly legs, and Jackie was bearing most of his weight, but occasionally she could feel him push through his legs. We have been practising this later in the day too, and he is already improving.

So, we returned from therapy feeling more positive, even though Daniel' s back was very sore by then and he complained all the way back in the car.

We met up with Grandma, Grandpa and Luce and then Dan drifted off to sleep on the floor. We covered him over and he slept for a couple of hours, which he really needed.

We then threw together some lunch, gathered our courage and despite the fact that Daniel was not very willing, we set off in the cars down to 'The Arch'. It seemed a bit ambitious for a trip out, but we still needed to increase Daniel's tolerance of being in his wheelchair, and we were only going to manage this if he was distracted. Also, it was a beautiful day - the springlike weather is back (16 degrees and blue sky today) and we could all do with some fresh air!

The Arch was built about 50 years ago but still manages to look futuristic. It was built to represent the fact that St Louis was the 'gateway to the West' and is on the banks of the Mississippi. It is really impressive, and we spent quite a lot of time there just looking at the arch and the river. To our surprise Daniel was fairly relaxed (on the physio's advice we had also put a pillow under his arms to allow him to bear more of his weight through his arms and not so much through his back). We let the children have fairly free use of our phone cameras, and they spent ages taking pictures of the arch, the river and each other!

Lucy was desperate to show Daniel the museum under the arch, since she had been there with Grandma and Grandpa while we were in the hospital. Daniel was a bit reluctant again, but once we were in there he loved it as much as Lucy did.

He particularly wanted a photo of himself with this big picture of Neil Armstrong, because he is in "Armstrong' group at school.

By the time we got back to the car we realised that he had done a whole hour and a half in his wheelchair, with virtually no complaint! Major progress!

He had another rest before the meal downstairs at the hotel, and was very much his old self, animated and giggling, and he managed another hour in his chair!!

So, today has been a great day. We would like more like this please...... oh, and some sleep would be nice!




  1. It is such a beautiful sight seeing Daniel laughing well done on the progress.

  2. Brilliant to read that Daniel is getting on really well in his chair and we love seeing that happy smile!

    P.S. Thanks for posting the Spongebob photo, Jessamy wanted it printed off and its now on the wall in her bedroom!