This was a short week, only 4 days due to the Patriot's Day holiday on Monday. It was also school vacation week so Becky was off, and I was scheduled off from work as well. In the end I worked a few hours every day after dropping Ally off and before picking her up, which was fine. Becky spent most of each day doing school work for her class. She completed her final assignment Friday morning and so she is done!
Tuesday morning Ally took this selfie.
Wednesday morning I snapped a couple pictures of her in the back seat as we drove to the clinic. I was stopped at a red light. She was fiddling with her headband.
Their completed tile! "Believing is the secret to success"
On graduation day the graduates bring in treats to share after the ceremony with the other patients and their parents and the staff. We brought in cupcakes and lollipops. Ally's choice.
Ally's goals and accomplishments from her final week.
#6 is Finishing the skit. Ally and her fellow patients wrote and performed a skit, it was a parody of the clinic and staff. Ally actually starred as the patient in the skit. It was hilarious!
We met with all of Ally's therapists and physician before our final family session. We learned about everything Ally had accomplished and received a bunch of reports documenting the improvements she has made. It was really fantastic to see. One of the most impressive things was that when she entered the program on March 28 they timed her climbing a set of stairs. At that time it took her 22 seconds, using both the handrail and two stepping each stair. Yesterday she was clocked at 9 seconds with no railing and single stepping each stair. She is even stronger than before, and the muscle tone in her affected leg is improving significantly.
At our final family PT session Ally chose to play Kinect with mama. They did beach volley ball, and Ally jumped on the bosu ball for 10 minutes nonstop! It's like a trampoline. Then they played track and field. The sprint was hilarious! And so was the hurdles. Above they are at "take your mark"
Running in place to simulate the sprint.
I love the expression on Becky's face, and Ally's bouncy hair!
Soon it was time for the graduation ceremony. The staff all speak about each patient briefly, and then speak more fully about each graduate. So Ally heard her doctor, the staff director, her PT, her OT and her psychologist that she worked with for all 4 weeks praise her efforts and wish her well. It was quite touching. She then received a certificate of achievement and a new stress ball.
During the party I asked Ally and her team for a photo. Her psychologist, Alli is in red, her PT Annie in the middle behind her, and then Megan her OT with the long hair. These 3 women worked tirelessly with Ally each day. The support and encouragement they provided us and Ally was amazing. I am so very grateful to them. We met Megan in January when Ally started getting PT (Ally was not her patient then, but the OT and PT share a gym so we would see her twice a week for months while Ally was working on PT) and then when we started at the clinic it was Megan's first day at the clinic too she had transferred. It was so nice to see a familiar face that first day, and really special to have a therapist who knew Ally when she was at her worst and then now at her best so far in this long journey.
After graduation, and the celebration we went out for a final time with Isobel and her mom Annabel. It was a great way to end the day, and very nice to be able to say our final goodbye away from the clinic.
These two have a special bond and plan on staying in touch. They text and FaceTime already, and Isobel and her family will be back in Boston in September for a follow up appointment, and we may need to make a trip to London sometime!
There were lots of tears last night. It's hard to say goodbye.
Ally played as soon as she woke up. In her pajamas, dancing to Dance Party!
Eventually she got dressed and kept on playing. Her PT said it's great therapy for Ally to do things with the Kinect.
Our time at the clinic is complete. Ally has much better functionality, but still has pain. It seems less, but we don't talk about it. Talking about pain only heightens it for Ally. So we all try to ignore it and focus on what Ally can do. On her accomplishments and her success. When Ally says she is hurting and in pain we have lots of coping strategies she can use to distract herself from the pain. It's back to school on Monday and we are so thrilled to get back to our usual routine, no appointments and missed school. Just regular 3rd grade for our fantastic, strong, brave daughter,