The day started with Talia being picked up by Lydia and Jules to go off for a day of fun and exercise 5 year old style. Abigail, Carrie and myself then had to go off to the hospital for an 11:00 am Physio appointment with Nicole. Abigail had her stretches done but her ability was being hampered by a lack of relaxation. Carrie soon spotted this as her wanting the toilet. As soon as she had been to the loo and had a relaxation speech by Carrie she was much better and more relaxed. This just shows that you cannot force the Physio to happen and you have to be able to get Abigail to work with you fully as she can ensure that the work being put in is non-productive just by her pure force of her will.
We then had some lunch and went off to see Doctor Park for our final meeting before we come home next week.
Doctor Park got Abigail to do a number of things for him and then took us through what he thought were the good things and issues to concentrate on. His main thinking is still that Abigail should be able to walk with sticks (single point type) outside the house and be able to walk unaided inside the house. The key area of concern is the underlying tightness in her legs specifically the left leg which is a lot tighter than the right one. Previously this was masked by the spasticity of Cerebral Palsy and now we are seeing the true muscle tightness. We will need to concentrate our physio efforts in trying to lengthen the tendons in the left leg, by means of stretching exercises and physio. This will take a lot of effort over the coming year.
In terms of how long Physio will be needed this will stretch out until she stops growing when the daily walking will become sufficient. However as she grows the stretches and focussed Physio will be continually needed to ensure that her legs do not become tight and we are able to maintain the walking ability.
The really good things in Abigail's favour are that she is strong, has an underlying ability to move and flex her feet indicating that with time and effort that she should be able to move her feet in a normal walking motion. The other really key goal is to keep her walking as much as possible and especially encourage her use of Pods, Sticks and with holding a single hand and less use of the wheelchair and even the walker as this is not sufficiently challenging for her.
What was scheduled for a 15 minute appointment with Dr Park turned out to be a very comprehensive 45 minutes. Dr Park 'got' Abigail's sense of humour and there were some lovely moments when she put her arms around him and thanked him for all he had done for her. She even recited to him his own slogan of 'off your bum and on your feet' army style which he found highly amusing. She asked him what the T S stood for in Dr T S Park and jokingly asked 'Technical Surgeon?' which he laughed at. This meeting was all recorded to form part 2 of the BBCs Inside Out West program to be aired sometime in the future.
|The Group Photo with the Man|
|Us and Long Suffering Chad..|
We then had a nice evening with the Podgorski's and the Evan's in the hotel to wish them a good trip home (Abigail had made a poster for them in Physio, practicing her sit to standing ability). We had a lovely evening with some takeaway Chinese and the kids playing and enjoying themselves.
|Tim and the Girls (Pola, Julia and Talia)|
|All in 1 Christmas PJs|
|Dorota and Abigail have formed a close friendship|