Gavin's final therapy break of the summer has ended and today was back to business...starting with feeding therapy. Miss Maggie came by with a feeding specialist, Caitlin, that did Gavin's initial evaluation a year ago.
Gavin has made some solid improvements over the last few months - and even the last couple weeks during the break. He's eating chunkier foods...he's lifting his sippy cup and navigating the straw into his mouth by himself...and yesterday and today I handed him a spoon filled with food and he fed himself!! Today we discussed with Caitlin what we've been doing, therapy-wise, and she had some great suggestions. She showed Maggie and I how to do facial massages while he's laying reclined on his vibrating chair (it's good to be Gavin!).
This is a strategy to encourage lip closure and also to give him the stimulation he longs for around his mouth.
This is what it looked like...
She also suggested that we crumble crunchy textures on the top of the bottom of his spoon when feeding him the purees. It will give him new flavors and textures without overwhelming him with a whole spoonful. I loved this idea.
Brian is also doing well with his therapy! Miss Jen came for his speech therapy today and they spent some time outside. Brian has definitely been communicating his wants and needs a lot more. Whether it is through gestures, sign language or even mini-sentences. Yesterday he took Miss Katja's hand, pointed to her palm, went and got the remote control, placed it in that palm and then pointed to the TV. Clearly he wanted to go for a walk. Oh wait...I think. So anyway, today he showed off those skills to Miss Jen. Like when they were on the swingset and he pointed at her and then pointed down the slide - she got him to say "down" and "Go!" and "up".
I love that he's starting to form sentences. He'll say things like "Mama, this one" while pointing to something he wants or "Mama, help?" And here when Miss Jen asked him if he wanted to give this little yellow flower to his Mommy, a tear formed in my eye when I heard: "What has she done for ME lately?" Ahhh...I'm so proud.
Today was a big day for me, too! I went for my first appointment in over six months (maybe more!) with Dr. Trish. I got out of the routine of seeing her (I used to see her three times a week!) when Gavin was in the middle of his medical crisis in the beginning of the year. Once I got out of the routine, it was hard to jump back in. There was always something keeping me from making that appointment - life kept getting in the way. But my body kept score - and it's been slowly falling apart. I find I'm tired a lot...my Rheumatoid Arthritis flares a lot more...I get the numbness and tinglies in my arms and legs more often...and I just feel *blah*.
I was so happy to see her again. She worked on me for quite a while. When we chatted afterward she said I was "full". Months of stuff piled up in my body - experiences, frustrations, sadness, anger, stress...the stuff of everyday life as a Mom. When my body gets too "full" - it starts to turn on me. It's classic - it might be happening to you right now! Unexplained symptoms that doctors prescribe things for - or you medicate yourself to feel better. I feel like I'm hearing from more and more friends who are struggling with symptoms - suffering through scary medical testing - and hearing possible scenarios that have them freaking out. I so wish that they - and EVERYONE! - could see Dr. Trish. She is so gifted and although it is very hard to describe what she does - the results speak for themselves. I should probably still be on toxic injectable medication for my arthritis - but when I see her, my symptoms go away. Literally go away. Not to mention she is just the nicest person. The kind of person that you end up spilling the goriest details of your life to during your first meeting. At least that's what I heard other people have done. Not me, no how.
I look forward to resuming my regular visits with her - and bringing Gavin back for his weekly visits - and bringing Brian in occasionally for a "tune up". I need to start taking care of myself again. I stopped and it's showing. Like any good flight attendant would tell you, "Secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others." And, of course, "Please don't take a major dump on a long flight with one working bathroom."