Friday, August 10, 2012

Strength

Today's gift is strength!

Twice a week my daughter goes to physical therapy to help loosen her muscles and to gain strength back in her leg from after surgery....and of course to keep her mobile!  They do the best job of keeping it FUN to try and cover up the fact that she is working....really hard!

To the outsider, they would see her walking on a treadmill (forwards and backwards), stepping over blocks, walking on balance beams,  bending down to pick up bean bags and jumping on a trampoline....and think this is really easy....and to most it would be.  However, to a child who has apraxia (people with apraxia often cannot perform controlled, purposeful movement, despite having the physical strength and intellectual thought and desire to do so) this is just the opposite.  In order for her to do these things, she has to wait (secs to a full minute) for her body to start to respond to what her brain is hearing from her therapist as what they want her to do.  And then she has to do it!  Some days this is easy for her and others it is difficult.  Before her surgery in September of 2011, she was doing obstacle courses and balance beams in therapy.....in May she started walking on her own again from surgery and now in August she is just starting back up on the balance beams (she must be motivated by watching the Olympics)! 

I always knew that she works overtime when she is at therapy and school, but I didn't have a true appreciation for how hard she really works until after her surgery.  You could see in her eyes that she wanted to get up and go just like before, but could not.  She would try and try, but wasn't strong enough.  She never gave up and we didn't either, as we both wanted her to be back to "her" normal.  She is so happy now that she can get up and go that I think she is making up for lost time by being all over the place!

Like all things practice makes perfect and after 8 months of hard work she started walking again like the old days....but I  have to say today (11 months later) she is 100% back to herself!  Her level of strength physically is  quite impressive (she is strong as an ox), but her strength mentally is equally as strong.   Even when she wants to stop and you can see she is getting tired, she will keep going as she doesn't like to give up.  

Seeing the strength that my daughter has physically and mentally has only helped me to realize that I too want to become stronger and I need to be stronger for her.  If it wasn't for Rett Syndrome, I don't think I would have become interested in running (thanks to Girl Power 2 Cure's Team in the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2012).  Now I enjoy running and find it to be a great way for me to also gain strength mentally by releasing my stresses while I run!  I know I am now physically and mentally stronger thanks to my daughter, but I am also realizing that I need to be spiritual stronger (which I am currently working on) as there is no one who can help me better in times of need than God himself.   My daughter's gift of strength has made me realize I can handle many situations I never thought I would have to experience, let alone live with; however, while I am strong and can handle them, I know with more strength spiritually I will be able to handle them better.

Whenever I think that I am too tired or don't want to do something, I just have to think of my daughter and how this really isn't an option for her in her therapy session and that is all I need to get my butt in gear!  If she can do it, so can I!

Here are some quotes  for today....

That which does not kill us, makes us stronger- Friedrich Nietzsche

We gain strength and courage and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face...we must do that which we think we cannot- Eleanor Roosevelt

Our strength grows out of our weaknesses - Ralph Waldo Emerson

A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles- Christopher Reeve

P.S. Again.....I lost trust in my computer and I apologize for the font change!

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