Friday, April 23, 2010

Assessment Day

This will probably bore most of you to tears, but I wanted to give an update about the progress Dane has made with his physical therapy. When we arrived we were told by Dane's therapist, Michelle that it would be different today, that Dane would be with her supervisor, and he would be tested to see how much progress he has made. She said that she would be in the room so Dane would feel comfortable, but that she would not be the one "testing" him. Not sure why the assessment was today... if it is just a random day or if after so many sessions it is done. Michelle said it was a big day, a formal report would be written on what the supervisor found, several "tests" would be done and blah blah blah. I have to admit I was nervous. I asked what happened if Dane "failed", or if he didn't cooperate.

Michelle laughed and said that if he "failed", then his sessions would have to be evaluated and they would have to figure out different exercises that needed to be done. And she said worst case scenario if the supervisor didn't feel that Michelle was helping him then he would be assigned to another therapist. When she said this I just about died. Michelle is AWESOME!! And Dane absolutely loves her, and is so comfortable with her. She has the sweetest nature, but somehow manages to get him to do what she needs... she is tough, but so loving to him! But, she assured me that SHE KNOWS Dane has improved a crazy amount, and that it would be good for some one's else's eyes to see his progress since she is with him every week. She didn't seem worried at all! But, you know I am the worry wart of the family...

SOOOOO... Dane did awesome!! And he actually surprised Michelle with new things that she hadn't seen him do before!! I wish I would have had a tape recorder to remember all that Michelle told me, because it was a lot. But, I listened as well as I could, and as soon as I got into the car I jotted down things so I wouldn't forget. Dork I know. She compared everything to when he had his patient evaluation done before he started his therapy. I knew he had made progress, but when you see him everyday you forget what he couldn't do before...

So, let's break it down: here comes the boring stuff... and in no particular order

- when laying on his belly before he could only bring the left leg to a vertical position 90 degree angle... now his foot can completely touch his rear making an 8 degree angle. Also while laying on his stomach they are able to rotate his leg back and forth moving the hip joint with no discomfort at all.

- standing near a table if Michelle tried having him stand on just his left leg he would rest his stomach on the table to help with the weight on that leg, and now he can stand without assistant on just the left leg, stand on the left leg while kicking a ball with the right foot as well. The left leg is still quite a bit weaker, but she was amazed at how much stronger it had gotten

- when sitting on his bottom he would have to have the leg straight out in front of him, now he is able to bend and sit frog legged.

- before Indian style sitting was completely impossible, he would fall backwards or immediately try to straighten the leg because of the discomfort but now can sit in a perfect Indian style position with no assistance and no pain... the goal was for 3 minutes, and he passed that by a long shot (he got distracted by a toy, and they had to actually move him out of this position to do something else)

-he can now sit on his knees resting his rear on his heels of his feet

-Before bending down to pick something up would require him to stick his leg out like a kick stand, and now he is able to squat. he still sticks the leg out occasionally, more than likely it is a habit. But the fact that he could squat was great. The scar tissue was causing him to not be able to do these positions. He still is putting more weight on his right side, instead of equal weight on both sides when he squats, but she saw a major improvement. before it was about 90% of weight that he would put towards his right and 10% on his left, and it is now about 60/40

-before he was not able to kneel with his left knee up...could not bring that knee up at all to make a 90 degree angle, and now he can kneel with no problems with the left knee up while kneeling on the right knee.

-stairs was a big issue before. He would only use his right leg to climb stairs, so he didn;t have to put weight on his left. He still likes to use his right, but when they would force him to use his left he was able to do it. Before when she would force him to use the left she would have to hold down the right and then he would have to use her entire arm to push up with the left, because it was so much weaker. Now when she holds down the right he only has to use one finger of hers to help him push up with the left. This sounds confusing, hard to explain, but MAJOR improvement. The left leg is getting a lot stronger!! Before he wasn't even able to bring the left knee up high enough to take a step up on a stair. Now bringing the left knee to a 90 degree angle when standing to take a step isn't as much of an issue.

-his walking has improved greatly also. Before he would walk with most of his weight on the right causing a small limp. Now he has gotten much better at walking with equal weight on both legs... not perfect yet, but once again huge progress. It is getting less noticeable, and for people that don't know what happened usually are surprised to find out because they don't notice that he walks bad.

-Laying on his back before his knees could only be pushed a tiny bit having the knee straight up in the air 90 degree angle, and now his knees can be pushed up all the way to his chest. Also while laying on his back his legs can be turned in multiple angles with no discomfort. The hip joint can be turned externally and internally now... before he showed that any kind of rotation of the hip would be uncomfortable.

I probably forgot some stuff, but the jist of it is that his therapy is working, and his hip is improving, and his assessment showed major progress! Michelle did mention that it is a slow process, and most of that is due to his age. If he was a couple years older it would be easier because he would understand why he needed to practice these techniques at home, and why he needed to do certain things. But, I honestly don't care if it is a slow process!! I am just thrilled that the scar tissue is getting loosened up, and he is able to do more and more things that kids his age do! I'm so thankful that his therapy is working, and that he has such an awesome therapist!!!

1 comment:

The Jarmons said...

awesome job dane...congrats of your progress!!