We had our re-eval after a month of water therapy, although it wasn’t actually a month and Em only had 6 times in the pool. Hard to make real improvement in only 6 sessions, although it doesn’t take long for her to start seeing minor improvements. But ‘start’ is the key word there – 6 sessions is only a start. Typically, we have had one month of therapy and are sent on our merry way, until I grumble enough and someone sends Em back to therapy and we repeat the process all over again. Needless to say, I have been a bit soured on the whole process.
Anyway, we have a different therapist this time around – I had always made an effort to keep with the same one, so we wouldn’t have to start over with a new one. However, this ‘new’ one isn’t really new, we have worked with her in the past and she is great, she just hasn’t been the one overseeing Em’s care. She is another good friend of my husband’s and someone he greatly respects in the department. So, when I found out we had her instead of our old therapist, I was only the tiniest bit ambivalent but a quiet part of me was hopeful that maybe we would be able to break out of the therapy rut with her. From the first time we saw her a few weeks ago, I had a feeling that the change was going to be positive.
I really like our old therapist, don’t get me wrong – he is great in many ways. But, he just didn’t seem to be able to go past a certain point in helping Em. We really, really like the new therapist – we will call her “J” (I don’t wan’t to use names or say too much because these are all friends/ colleagues of my husband and I don’t want to step on toes or hurt anyone’e feelings; it is a bit awkward when we have a preference of one over the other).
She is going beyond what we have done in the past… we are doing an additional month in the pool, then will do some land therapy in which she will address the stablizer muscles that are so weak. I have thought we need to address that since before Em was even diagnosed and she picked up on it immediately. At the re-eval, she commented again how weak Em is and hopes to make some improvement – the pool is a start, but she thinks land based therapy will be very helpful when Em has had some time to benefit from the water.
She is looking at how to get Em exercising in a safe way and has an exercise DVD that is sort of a combo of pilates, yoga, etc that focuses on the small, stabilizing muscles that Em needs to work on. J doesn’t think Em is quite ready for it yet, but will be working to get her there.
We talked about Em’s feet (in particular, her toe issues, much to Em’s annoyance). J was diplomatic about it, but communicated that the flip flops Em was wearing were horrible for her. Instead of saying, ‘Hey, just go get a really good pair of tennis shoes and wear them every moment you are awake.’ (which has been the solution offered by the males involved in her care), J went and got a catalog that she knew was laying around. Being a girl, and fairly young and very cute herself, she had much more cred with Em when she said that she thought some of the shoes were really cute – that she would wear them herself. I will do a separate post about the shoe catalog but, suffice it to say, J opened up a whole new world for Em and I think it is largely because she is female and totally, 100% gets the shoe issue.
I also took Dr Tinkle’s book to her and she was happy to borrow it so she could learn more about EDS. She was also open to the idea that the PT book on EDS might be a great edition to their library. And, she asks all kinds of questions when she is talking to us and clearing is interested in educating herself about EDS.
So, yeah, we really, really like J. Still like C, but I think J is the best choice for Em right now. I am optimistic about therapy actually helping and moving her forward, instead of being something where we just go through the motions and nothing really gets accomplished!
Em is back in the pool next week and hopefully gets a full month of sessions in before the next re-eval.