In October we received a brief visit from Abigail's SDR twin, Pola and her family. It was lovely to have them all stay in our home and to watch the children play together. Pola has also made amazing progress, and happily moved walked around our home totally unaided. We will look forward to March and the SDR party to see her and many, many other children who have benefited from having had the SDR surgery.
Abigail continues with her physio, both at home and with horse riding and aqua therapy. We are giving particular attention to work on developing her core muscle strength in the form of sit-ups and work with the tumble boards.
We practice backwards walking on the treadmill but also do plenty of side walking. More recently we have begun to hill walk!
High Kneel football dribbling
We Imagine Falling out of a burning high storey building backwards whilst protecting a baby between chest and knees-Improves back strength
Walking in a circle on bottom without using hands
Abigail's words of wisdom - when Physio is hard
She is certainly getting much stronger, don't forget her body has to compensate for 9 years of not being used in the manor it is now able to tollerate. Strength takes time and much energy. It is a slow process but the results speak for themselves.
I have tried to encourage as much unsupervised walking using her crutches within the home in order to promote her independence. She needs to learn that someone can't always be behind her. She lacks confidence with not having someone with her as she is scared of falling. When she does so it is generally a backwards fall and so we are working on physio exercises to counteract this.
We have also noticed an improvement in Abi's ability and own want to feed herself although this does depend on the type of meal and it's consistency and texture. She has also made progress in her self help skills around toileting. We are now trying to give her plenty of opportunities to balance and wipe herself and pull up her own underwear. With time and practice and patience this will improve further.
To celebrate Abigail being one year post op she chose to have lunch in a curry house.
It was very special and we are so proud of all her achievements over this last year and the people that have helped her realise her dreams. It's not been an easy year watching her struggle but all the results prove that it was worth all the blood tears and sweat to get her to this level. She will continue to make progress with further hard work.
This Christmas, a little early, Abigail and her Sister became parents to Jazz (male) and Tinkerbell (female). The kittens were only 7 weeks when I collected them. It was Abigail's paediatrician who recommended some time ago that Abigail would benefit from having a pet. Hopefully this will help with her anxiety issues and possibly even reduce the ritual of grinding her teeth.
She certainly loves Jazz and lavishes him with kisses and affection, in turn Jazz purrs away.
Abigail often refers to Dr Park as her 'God' and someone she wishes 'to worship'. It is difficult for us to understand how she perceives the tools this man has given her, in order to change her future, but she has so much respect and admiration for him. She is a totally changed little girl to the one we took to America who generally used a wheelchair and was only able to walk very short distances in a kaye walker. Back then she could only dream of being on her feet all day at school, of being able to get up from a chair or sit cross legged on the floor in line with her friends during assembly. Now all these things are possible and she radiates happiness.
And so we say goodbye to 2011 and we open the door to 2012 and all it has to offer.