Monday, April 17, 2006

My brain seems to be missing

For the past two weeks I have been trying to hold our weekly play group at my house. Crazy I know, but what is even more insane is that I keep scheduling things to compete with it. Last week I had to get my driver's license renewed and that day was the only one that I could get an appointment before my birthday. This week Evan is starting up physical therapy again (more on that later) and I scheduled a session at the very same time as play group. I think my friends must think I am loopy or something. At least I am able to babysit tomorrow for my friend who is now pregnant with her second little bambino. She watched Evan a lot when I was pregnant with Harry so I am thrilled to be able to return the favor.

Now onto the main event. Evan's resumption of physical therapy.

For almost a year Evan has been in PT hiatus. The company that was providing his therapy was not cutting it for us. They kept messing around with the authorizations so that there would be gaps in his treatment. I have a feeling that our insurance did not pay out enough for them so they drug their feet hoping that we would move on. Well we did move on. The therapist we were working with also had a private practice and was willing to become a provider for our insurance company.

This process has taken many many months. It took her six months to get the approval letter but because she apparently filled out part of the application wrong they had to make her start all over again. There are all sorts of awful things that I could say right now about the stupidity of this but I have to say that for the most part we have been getting our money's worth out of the company so I really can't complain too loudly.

I got a call from her last week about a lady she knew that was being trained in the
Feldenkrais method. The physical therapist had been using this method with Evan and it had been giving good results which is why I was so eager to continue with her. It is a very nonconfrontational method which I really liked. The physical therapist's friend was completing her training and specializing in special needs children and wanted to work for us for free so she could get some experience.

I jumped at the chance because I had been toying with the idea of just going with a more traditional PT just so Evan would have something going on. I was not that thrilled about having to do that but the time away from PT was just dragging on too long. The reason I was not thrilled was an experience with a friend's therapist.

We had happened to be in the city and visiting her when it was time for her son's therapy session. While my friend J. was getting her son up from his nap the therapist was observing Evan playing. We chatted a bit about his stroke and she started touching him and evaluating him. She told me that he was getting very tight and that he was not standing correctly. She told me that every time I see him standing I should position his body correctly. Then she went on to extol the virtures of electro stimulation for him. I left the house feeling very inadequate and upset.

The thing is, that at the time I was pregnant and hormonal. Following Evan around making him stand correctly would not have worked for either of us. I could barely move let alone be crawling on the floor after Evan. I felt she was criticizing my choice to follow the other therapy. I also knew that me messing with Evan like that would only make him mad and would not enhance his recovery any, because he would be so busy resisting me. The reason he was so tense was that she was messing with him, not because he was standing incorrectly. Evan later had an evaluation by an occupational therapist and she was worried about the leg too, until she observed him from a different angle and saw that he was using it correctly.

With the Feldenkrais method there is no forcing of the child. They are not made to stand in a way that is uncomfortable for them. What is done is that their brain is trained to recognize that there is an arm there and that it can be used for things. If you watch a session all you see is the practicioner touching the child (often along the spine) and gently positioning the child in different ways. It is just more natural and gentle than the traditional physical therapy.

I am glad that we are starting this up again but it also means that I am going to be insanely busy for the next few weeks. We will have PT sessions three times a week. Evan also has a heart catheterization next Monday so we will be busy getting ready for that. Plus I have all the usual junk that fills up my week. Oh, and we are getting a new fridge delivered on Saturday. I love my landlady, she is willing to spend the $$ on nice stuff for the apartment. Now all I need to do is break our junky stove and we will have a nice new kitchen.


Gina said...

I think if I was in your situation, I would also lean toward the Feldenkrais method.

Good luck with the PT.

millicent said...

glad things will be working out for the PT! heart this a big deal?

Awesome Mom said...

The cath is not as big of a deal as surgery would be, so I am not making a big deal of it now. There is always a chance that something could go wrong as with any procedure.