Friday, August 14, 2015

Shiny red walking sticks

We've been holding off on getting a walker, or any kind of durable medical equipment for that matter. Our PT has been great with letting us borrow a walker to try things out. However, we recently came to the conclusion that the next piece of equipment needed to be forearm crutches for James. 

Luckily we were able to find some very quickly and affordably, avoiding insurance and doctors orders all together. James was so excited to order his red "walking sticks" so he could be "just like Nolan", our pProm buddy who has a lot in common with James and just started walking on his own. 

When the box arrived, James was pretty excited but quickly became a stick in the mud. He tried them momentarily and then his mind was made up, and he did not want to use them. James is one of the most stubborn people I know; yet it is his determination and resilience that has helped him to survive against impossible odds on more than one occasion. James has to initiate the actions and there has to be something in it for him, otherwise he does not cooperate. 

We encouraged James to walk to his bedroom, and along the way he decided to get a ball from the playroom; and that was enough to motivate James to start working with his new walking sticks. By the evening of the first night, James was able to stand on his own with his forearm crutches and walk a few steps without any hands on assistance. Four days later he is walking through the house, maneuvering effectively and using his sticks to pummel whatever ball may be in his path. We still have to encourage him to use the walking sticks versus crawling, which is his preferred method of getting around. James' gait is steady and strong, and we've been impressed with how quickly he has adapted to the new DME. Maisie is adorable too; she keeps telling James how proud she is of him, that she loves him, and asks him to hold her hand so that they can walk together. 

We are hopeful that this is just a stepping stone to walking independently. James has a lot of muscle imbalances to work through, but his stubbornness is perhaps his biggest hurdle. 

Please visit our Facebook page to see a video of James walking with his new forearm crutches.

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