a blog about raising a daughter with cerebral palsy and learning unexpected lessons along the way

Monday, November 30, 2009

Orthotist Appointment and Day 1 of CME

Today was a long day. A good day, but long for Oia.

Our morning started bright and early with an appointment at Dr. R's office, Oia's orthotist. We meet with him around every 6 months to keep an eye on Oia's body alignment; her back and spine, hips, legs, and feet/arches. Our concerns going into this appointment were the tilt of Oia's hips (appears to not be symmetrical due to most weight bearing on the left side) and minimal arches on both feet, particularly the right foot rolls inward over arch when walking without shoes and AFO's. Dr. R did his usual quick (and fairly rough) assessment of Oia's legs and hips and declared that those concerns aren't too much of a big deal, at least right now. He understands that Oia is doing some walking without shoes and without AFO's and he agrees this is a good thing for her. He prescribed sole inserts for the shoes she wears without AFO's to provide more of an arch support. We got them today with no waiting before leaving the appointment. I asked Dr. R what we needed to do for Oia's hip alignment (which causes her right knee to cave inward) and he said to continue doing exactly what we've been doing; weight bearing activities in therapy, stretches, etc. and he said overall she looks great but that some misalignment was just simply 'par for the course' in the CP world. It's the degree of the misalignment, or compensation, that we will try to keep minimal. Hip x-rays may be taken at the next appointment but for now, all things considered, she looks great. I'm happy with that.

Our afternoon was spent at our local therapy center. The center is holding a Cuevas Medek Exercise (CME) training course this week where Oia is participating as a model for the therapists in training. I am so intrigued by this form of therapy and I have been made an instant believer after seeing what benefits Oia has gained from this therapeutic approach. From what I understand, having the training course so close to home is somewhat of a rare opportunity. The father of CME is from Chile and Simona is from Canada. Simona is here for this weeks course and that is who Oia worked with some today. Simona demonstrated whole group some assessment drills with Oia and then the group branched off into therapist/child pairs to practice what they had just learned in demonstration. Oia did amazingly well. She was able to do the drills presented to her, at least with minimal assistance, and beyond that she was so tolerant of new hands manipulating her. Simona commented on Oia's strong desire to perform and that is the best complement I could ever ask for.

The room was full of about 6 other kiddos and parents, ages ranging from about 6 months to about 5 years (I'm guessing). Ranges of abilities greatly differed. The hardest part of the afternoon was having to witness the two babies of the group as they were working with the therapists. It made me flashback to a time not long ago when Oia was just starting therapy and the tears flowed, from the both of us. Challenged and crying babies make for a weak mommy heart which made my heart break all over again for those parents in the same shoes as I was (and still am sometimes). It's a rotten place to be but you know you have to be there in order for your little one to reach those goals, whatever they may be.

We go back Wednesday and Friday for more modeling I'm really looking forward to it, especially after seeing how well Oia responded today with being in the spotlight. She never ceases to amaze me.

To get a taste of what CME is all about, go to http://www.cuevasmedek.com/

The videos tell all.

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