amaya at lake

amaya at lake

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Finishing strong

     In high school I had a pastor/friend/mentor who taught me many things. One of which was the importance of not only starting something well, but seeing it thru to the end. Now that the end is near in Amaya's lengthening (one month away), and things are going to continue to become more difficult from here on out. It is crucial that we finish strong. As her quad tightens and causes her pain she asks to straighten her leg. It feels good, comforts her, and gives her a break. Unfortunately it isn't good for her. To help the quad muscle stretch (as well as the other muscles) and keep up with the bone growth we need to continually stretch, massage and work the muscles. I talked with Amaya this morning and reminded her that our work wasn't done yet. Her leg doesn't need to rest or be propped up. She still has a month of work, but we will help her get thru it. So as she watched TV this morning, I had her turn her body and sit forward with her knee bent (even that is a stretch and helps her). Every time that she's sitting, she will be working, by bending and stretching her knee. As I talked with her I massaged her knee, then stretched her leg. It was painful, but necessary.
     On the drive to therapy we talked about our appointment with Dr.Nelson yesterday and how well Amaya was doing. Lidie said that she liked giving Dr.Nelson a high five. Both girls were so excited about the gloves he gave them. Amaya was excited that she was almost done with the lengthening. I asked Lidie if she gave Dr.Nelson a thumbs up or a thumbs down yesterday (she's been doing this a lot lately). She said she forgot to give him his, but she would have given him a double thumbs up. Amaya chimed in, "He gets one hundred double thumbs up! Because he helps me." I thought that was pretty cute. I wonder if Dr.Nelson will ever know how much he means to Amaya and us.
    At therapy we showed Kim and Melissa Amaya's x-ray. Melissa was so happy with how well the new bone looked. It was nice to see them so excited for us. Amaya did her knee bends first; they were tough. Her quad muscle was tight and getting her knee bent to ninety-one degrees was difficult. She cried as Kim measured her knee, Melissa pushed on her knee and I rubbed her back and pushed her hip down. It was exhausting, and painful. Once it was done she still had tears, then Melissa taped her knee with Kinesio tape. She'll wear the tape for a couple of days to help stretch the muscles on the knee cap. After that Amaya walked down the hall and up the hill on her own. On her way back she held on to Kim's arm for support, because she was stepping over Kim's feet. Then she threw some balls. The ball pit was busy so Melissa volunteered to be a goal (by holding her arms up above her head).
    At home I made sure to massage her knee, bend it, and stretch it. I also had the tough job of pushing the skin on her pin sites down. This is the first time we've had to do this (and hopefully we don't have to do it again). Melissa was the one who suggested that we do it. Some of the skin has attached to the pins and is pulling as she does her exercises. Melissa said it would help remove some of Amaya's pain and help as she continues with the lengthening. Amaya screamed out in pain and fear. Josh tried to calm and comfort her as I pushed her skin down. I had soaked it for several minutes prior to that, so it was a bit softer. The only good thing about Amaya's tight quad muscle is that it makes straightening her leg and locking the bar at night easy. I haven't even had to stretch her leg before locking the bar in. She has slept so well the last two days. It's crazy how quickly things change; one day straightening the leg is difficult and then the next week it isn't. I'm not sure what the next month will bring, but I know that we will strive to do our best. We have to; we owe it to Amaya. Wish us luck, patience, strength and calmness. The task before us is not easy, but achievable.

  Amaya was walking down the hall while Kim was putting her foot in front of Amaya, so that Amaya could practice walking and lifting her knee high. She had already walked down the hall, up the hill and back on her own. It's exciting watching her walk. 

In the gym Amaya practiced throwing the balls. She stood on both feet, bent down do pick up the balls, and balanced on one foot to throw the balls. First she did it on the floor then on that step.

Here's Amaya bending down to pick up the balls. Kim helped support her while Melissa was at the other end so that Amaya could throw the balls between her arms. Lidie helped retrieve the balls for Amaya.

After therapy I took Amaya  to the Build-A-Bear store with some money that her great grandpa gave her and bough her bear, Rosie a luchedore outfit (like Nacho Libre) and a pair of glasses. She said she was trying to see if the glasses made her look like me. She's funny. 

Here's Amaya's knee with the tape.

Oh, and just to keep me on my toes, I got bumped by a construction truck today. Well, it backed up into and onto me. Ayayay! My first accident, but thankfully the girls and I were fine. 

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