Come get us!

Not really helping… :)

We asked her to go backwards… :) Use your legs, child! Not your head! Haha!

Ram into Adam! Good girl! :)

We are very thankful that we get to semi-permanently borrow  a walker  for free  practice with it at home! From what I understand the company who loaned it to us  are hoping we get our power wheelchair through them and make them lots of money. :)   And if we can only get one big piece of hardware with the help of insurance, they want it to be the expensive power chair and not the semi-expensive  walker. So it’s in their best interest to let us borrow a walker for as long as we need it. Cool, eh?

Best of all, our friends have helped encourage Lali to use it even though it’s hard! Lali saw Grandma Deb and Grandpa Gary on Friday and had some walker fun on their back porch. Chelsea offered to lug it with her when she watched Lali that morning. Then we went to a double birthday party on Saturday and  Lali got to use it around all of the party guests who cheered her on.

I think we’ve figured out the perfect walker combination: hand grips facing up, one knee immobilizer on her right leg (since it has the worse contracture), the left side of her seat hitched up (where her hip has  the worse contracture), the back wheels locked so they can’t turn, but so they can go backwards, the  front wheels able to turn all directions  and a nice level surface that’s not carpet. Even still she moves very slowly if at all. Still, it’s neat to see her upright!

While we were at PT and OT we  met our friends: Rosa and her mom,  Leslie! So how do we “meet” friends? Well we became friends online, but had never met in person before! (Um, I have a LOT of these kinds of friends.) Here is a cute picture of Laelia and Rosa. Rosa has arthrogryposis too.  For whatever reason it’s the only picture that came out. They  were giving each other hugs and kisses. So cute! Lali wouldn’t let go of her PT slip that she has to hand to her therapist so it was hard to give hugs. :)

We also signed some hospital paperwork saying that Children’s Hospital can use Laelia’s pictures for anything and everything. I can’t help it if they think my daughter is super beautiful! I guess they end up using her pictures a lot. :) Apparently they have a good one of her at four months old  in splints that they used at some official function and needed to make sure I was still cool with that. Laelia’s pictures also go with our OT who is a  hand specialist  to her lectures in other parts of the country.   So in exchange for Lali’s picture, I got a couple pictures of Lali and Jill (our OT) doing therapy.

Therapy is fun!… You know, for Lali too. :)

So all in all a good  day at Children’s Hospital. An aide helped me into my  car with the walker. The darn thing doesn’t fit in the trunk so we had to load it into the  front passenger seat. I drove home with one of its front wheels in my face the whole time.  I managed to get all the way into my apartment complex parking lot before bursting into tears. Thankfully Lali was sound asleep after  such an  eventful day.

I don’t know why I was so upset to the point of balling. I can’t tell you if it was  gratefulness at getting to use a walker or if it was pain at the reality that my daughter needs a walker and looks  “more disabled”  with it. Or maybe it was a combination of both.  I figured I’d get all my tears out in the  parking lot instead of bombarding Charley with them, especially when he’d likely  ask what was wrong and I DIDN’T KNOW, but my  car was not as private as I thought. The neighbors, a family of three, caught me.  The  dad helped me carry the  walker inside while I carried my sleeping beauty.  They didn’t mention the fact that I had a walker  (even though  I don’t know for sure that they know  about Laelia’s condition), and they didn’t ask questions. They just smiled and helped me carry stuff through our shared gate. For some reason that was comforting. It made having the walker less awkward. It helped my mind to make the connection that  the walker is a good thing–a  good, helpful thing–and an everyday thing. It helped me feel normal. I think for someone to achieve that act of magic–making  me of all people  feel normal–then God  must have been helping to quell these emotions before I could even put a  name to them.

Very thankful.

2 Responses to “Walker”

  1. Lynn says:

    Very thankful with you. You are a precious, amazing woman, and I love the way you’ve compiled the “Lali dialogues.” :)

    You don’t need a reason to be crying, but I am right with you on being grateful for neighbors who kindly take it all in stride.

  2. Laura says:

    That’s awesome of your neighbors! :) And walkers aren’t a bad thing. Although I can’t say I’m terribly fond of mine because it’s a lot of work for me to use (I have to wear AFO’s on both feet/legs), it IS a great piece of equipment to have. Weightbearing (at least for me) is the best possible thing I could do to keep my bones healthy and in high school, I was able to practice walking in it enough (1/4 mile around the track at high school every morning) that I could have a couple friends help me walk across the stage at graduation to get my diploma. All to surprise my mom :) So a walker is a good thing! :)

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