Steve began water therapy at the Cerebral Palsy pool today. I was very impressed with the facility. A private dressing/shower room was provided so I could help him before and after therapy. All of his concerns were addressed…the temperature of the water was very warm, almost like bath water. The CP center provided wheelchairs designated to go into the water, and his therapist wheeled him down the ramp right into the pool. She then placed a small float on his left hand to keep it afloat which also helped keep his shoulder joint in place.
He held onto a rail at the side of the pool in water about chest high where his therapist worked on his weight shifting from right leg to left leg, and knee bends. With the comfort and bouyancy of the water, Steve felt more confident that if he did lose his balance he wouldn’t fall and get hurt. This level of confidence made this therapy session very productive. I have noticed that when doing balance and weight shifting exercises on land, he is always concerned that his left knee will buckle and he’ll fall, so it’s mentally hard for him to fully shift his weight as he should. But if something is behind him to catch him like the mat table or bed, he always does better.
With the elimination of gravity in aquatic therapy, it was less strenuous on Steve as well. So afterwards he felt refreshed. We were going to add an additional day of therapy, but because the pool was so relaxing, we plan to go on the same day right after his regular outpatient therapy sessions at the hospital. Thus it will eliminate the extra traveling. A round trip is 34 miles each time.
The people at the CP pool really know what they are doing. Working with cerebral palsy patients is not much different from working with stroke patients. Usually the only difference is their age. After all, CP is the result of a stroke in the womb or at birth.
Some people ask me how I’m doing traveling several times a week to therapy with Steve. I always answer them by saying that God’s grace is sufficient for me. The most critical time in Steve’s recovery is the first 18 months after the stroke, so I want to make sure we’re doing all we can to get him the best treatment when it will benefit him the most. The running around is tiring, but this is just a moment in time that will determine the quality of his life afterwards. So we just do it and we’re thankful for the great therapists working with him. And it doesn’t hurt that our insurance is paying for it.