Ride a horse. We went to a baby shower yesterday for my sister-in-law, Hilary. At the house they had horses, goats, ducks and chickens. The girls loved the animals and open space. Ashley asked the girls if they wanted to ride the horses. The girls lit up and were so excited. I was a bit nervous and sent Josh a text message asking what he thought. He said as long as its with someone who knew what they we're doing, she should be okay. Then he added, "what's she going to do, break her leg?" I had to smile at that, and just trust that she'd be okay. Tom picked Amaya up and sat her up on the horse, once she was on she did great! The horse was calm and friendly and Tom was so kind, patient and helpful. Amaya said it was bumpy, but didn't hurt her leg or fixator at all. She had the biggest smile on her face the whole time; she didn't want to get off and she rode it several times. Hilary teared up to see Amaya up on the horse, as did others. She got lots of applause and cheers from the other guests at the baby shower. Amaya said that even though you can't do everything with a fixator on "like running" (it's true her therapist said to hold off on running because she is prone to tripping and getting hurt), you can do lots of stuff with it on. Later Amaya showed her aunt Hilary how she walks without a walker. She's starting to show off her skills to others; its cute to see.
Amaya petting one of the horses.
Amaya riding the horse yesterday. She had the biggest smile on her face! She had such a wonderful time and didn't want to stop. She told me to make sure to show this picture to Ben (her friend who'll be having his lengthening in a couple of years) and other kids who'll be having a fixator, so that they can see that they can do it too.
Amaya waiting to ride again. Look at that cheesy smile!
She did really good walking on dirt, grass, and a hill, with her walker. She walked so much yesterday!
Lidie also got a turn. This was her first time on a horse (if you don't count ponies at the pumpkin patch). She had a great time.
Here's another shot of Amaya riding Rio.
This picture makes me smile. Lidie and Amaya were hiding behind a chair during a game of hide-n-go- seek. It's funny, because they thought they were so well hidden, but not only were their heads sticking up, the walker also gave them away.
Amaya doing her bends at home yesterday before the baby shower. It's hard to know how far she bent her knee to, but it looks pretty close to ninety degrees. She also did forty-five minutes of stretching, exercises, rode a bike and a scooter, did lunges and knee bends. It was a tough workout, that left her and me in tears. Josh reminded us to relax and stay calm (easier to say than do). But we did, then Amaya was able to bend her knee more than before (when she's calm and puts her mind to it she does amazing things). She was very whinny during our session and was resisting her knee bends. After Josh talked with her she was able to calm down, compose herself and push on to do her bends.
I felt so much pressure to do her therapy well. I'm starting to feel a lot of responsibility in taking care of her and keeping her knee mobile. I feel pressure to make sure we do her stretches and physical therapy homework at home. I'm worried that she won't maintain her knee mobility and have to stop lengthening early. I'm tired from a lack of sleep and interrupted sleep. I'm saddened by the pain that she's in daily and nightly; its very difficult to watch her in pain. I'm trying hard to find things that comfort and distract her. I'm starting to feel exhausted and worn out. This process is draining, tiresome, emotional, difficult and long. Keep sending your love, prayers, thoughts and well wishes; we need them!
On the upside, considering how crazy and draining this all is; Amaya is still able to maintain four turns a day (1mm of growth per day). Dr.Nelson said that she could drop down to three turns a day for a couple of days if she needed a break, but she's been doing well so we've kept it at four. Josh also reminded me this morning that a lot of our craziness is just normal craziness that two young girls bring. It's just intensified by the fixator and all the craziness that it brings. So, I'm trying to keep some perspective, keep my spirits up, looking at all the positive things (there are lots) and staying positive.
Thanks again for reading, it means a lot to know that you care enough to check in often to see our progress. This week we hit 10,000 page views! How exciting!