After another good night for Amaya (and us) we had to get up and going for an early physical therapy appointment. We had to leave at seven to make it in time for an 8 a.m. appointment. On the ride down Amaya wore her ankle brace (although she propped up her foot with her right foot for part of the time. Which is a bad habit because it keeps her left leg from fully stretching and bending as much as it can). She also pulled the Kinesio tape off of her knee (as Melissa suggested). That way when we got to therapy we didn't have to spend some of our forty-five minute session taking off the tape. And because Amaya doesn't like how Melissa takes it off (in one clean sweep), and prefers the slower way that she does. When we got back Melissa cleaned Amaya 's knee then applied new tape for the week. Melissa measured Amaya's knee to see her starting measurement. It was 45, which is really good.
This is the mural on the wall that Amaya throws balls at. We've named the girl Savannah Rose (after my unborn niece who's really a boy not a girl after all).
Next she did stretches with the yellow band (I had done some at home before we left to "wake up" the knee muscles, which Melissa said was a great idea).
Amaya rode the bike (again very smooth and easily, even though her hip still has a hard time staying down), then bowled on the bike. The bike gives her knee a good work out.
Here's Amaya doing her lunges and throwing balls at Savannah. Lidie always seems to end up in the ball pit while Amaya is throwing which just adds some silliness and makes herself a target for Amaya.
Here's Lidie playing with some tools. Notice her "free bird" outfit. She loves to dress herself, and all we can do is smile.
Here's Amaya getting new balls out of the pit to toss. She does good job of maneuvering herself down low.
Dad and Lidie played basketball. Lidie doesn't believe us when we tell her that, that's really a soccer ball. But, as long as she's busy and happy I'm willing to let it go. Since our appointment was so early dad got to come along. It's always nice having him along to help deal with any craziness that comes up (like Lidie's fit today).
Next she did lunges and threw balls at Savannah. Then she sat facing Melissa holding a stretch. While she holds the stretch she picks a ball from the ball pit then tries to guess what color it is without looking, only using "the force." She gets some right.
Melissa measuring Amaya's knee before we start bending and measuring. It was at 47. Melissa said that
since it was so early in the morning we probably wouldn't get a good bend out of the knee, but that we'd shoot for 85. Amaya agreed that, that would be a good goal for today. She worked so hard, was so focused and was able to hit 90 (yes 90!) in about ten minutes! She was so excited and said, "I can't wait to start getting 100 again." I'm sure in a matter of weeks she will. Dad could tell a huge improvement from the last time he was here (less screaming and crying, more focus and a shorter amount of time to reach 90).
As a reward Amaya got to swing into the ball pit. This is her first time doing it with the fixator on. Melissa had offered it before, but Amaya always said no, until today.
I love this picture of her in the ball pit. It captured her smile and joy. Amaya had a great day at therapy. She was back to her old self; determined, focused, cooperative, kind, helpful, amazing. On the way out I asked Melissa about Amaya's muscles and how they'll grow. I know that the bone grew new bone, but I wondered how the muscles would catch up. She said that muscles are fibrous and don't grow new muscle, but will stretch and catch up to the bone growth. She said that once Amaya starts bearing more weight she'll begin gaining muscle mass and strength. Right now she doesn't need strength, but flexibility. She needs to stretch until her muscles grow and catch up to the bone growth. We started to notice last night that her muscles under her leg, where her hamstrings are, are starting to get tight again. So I did some stretches before we locked the bar in at night (locking the bar forces the leg to stay straight all night and to stretch those muscles). It's like a teeter totter; when one goes up, one goes down. When her quad and knee muscles start to stretch and relax, then the hamstring ones get tight. Its a constant battle and search for balance. But that's why its so important to work on both bending (during the day) and straightening (during the night) each day.
After therapy she went to school and stayed for the rest of the day (for six hours; its the longest she's gone since her surgery). Dad and I were a bit nervous. It's a bit reassuring knowing that he works at the same school and is so close to help her if she needs him. But I still worried. She did great. Her teacher mentioned to Josh that she could tell Amaya was her old self. She had no pain (although we gave her pain meds