Monday, 1 July 2013

Three more weeks......

Like children (and teachers) up and down the country, Dan and Lucy are staggering towards the summer holidays, with three more weeks to go until they break up.

Daniel continues to work very hard at his physio, and we have also managed to improve his school attendance over the last month or two to more or less one hundred percent (a big achievement considering what he has to fit into his week). It will be rather too late to make an impact on his overall attendance for the year though.

Daniel now has a pair of quad sticks (walking sticks with four feet on the bottom to make them more stable). So far, he is just standing in them, working hard on being symmetrical, and on pushing the left stick down, because his tendency to lean to the right means the left stick floats up off the floor. The walker lets him get away with putting more weight through his right, but the idea is the sticks won't and he will become more aware of making his body straight. Over the next few months he should start to walk with them too, but that will inevitably involve quite a bit of falling, so his physio is sensibly working on 'learning to transition between levels' (aka learning to fall without hurting himself!) before attempting much walking with them.

This (below) was the very first time he stood with his sticks a couple of weeks ago - concentrating very hard on staying straight, hence the solemn expression.

Daniel has also continued to make visible progress with his swimming every lesson. You may remember that a few weeks ago he swam independently on his back for the first time. Well, this bit of video shows what he managed in his next lesson....

Yesterday, instead of Daniel's usual Sunday riding slot at RDA, he had the opportunity to ride in Gotherington Show.  The biggest challenge on arrival was how to get Daniel across a field of long grass, which was fairly inaccessible to either walkers or wheelchairs! He got about this far from the car in his walker...

....before we decided that wasn't going to work, and had to resort to two of us pulling him backwards across the field in his wheelchair!

Once we made it across to the RDA team and Daniel was up on his horse, he and his horse Bilbo had to do a course involving several challenges, including moving a tin can from one post to another, going over a (very low) gate, and taking washing off a line! He got a rosette for his efforts and was absolutely thrilled with it! We are so grateful to the volunteers from Cotswold RDA for all the effort they put into giving the children this opportunity. Also to Mrs Kimpton, one of Daniel's teaching assistants (plus Amy and Louise), who came to support Daniel, and helped me drag his wheelchair across the field!

Last week we also had our feedback from St Louis, after sending over Daniel's six month post-op progress video, which had been reviewed by Dr Park and Deanna Walter. They wrote "We are both very impressed with his walking, he has made huge progress!" Well, we knew that already of course, but it was great to have them confirm it! They also gave us some ideas of what to focus on next, as well as some advice and reassurance about Daniel's hip migration.

So.... three more busy weeks until the summer holidays. There will be no rest for Daniel then though (or not initially) because we are off up to Scotland for two weeks intensive physio and fitness training at MP Fitness near Perth. Mike Poole is a personal trainer who specialises in working with children pre and post SDR. We know it is going to be extremely hard work, but are looking forward to it! Roll on the summer holidays....

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