Something New

When Josh left the school system, we lost our support team. Josh no longer had access to Speech therapy, Occupational therapy, or Physical therapy. For many years, I was able to help Josh maintain range of motion.

But as he grew, I couldn’t keep up. His knees, from sitting in a wheelchair began to contract. His back started to curve. I was lucky that he remained small in build. I was able to stretch him and do all the position changes necessary. But time was taking a toll on me. I reached a point where I simply needed help.

The first thing I did was make contact with our local hospital and I found out they had home health people. I signed up for someone to come to the house and help Josh with his showers. I was still able to do it but I was beginning to be fearful of dropping him. I knew if he ever fell on the floor, getting him up by myself would be almost impossible. And I would risk not only injuring him, but myself.

Having two people to do this job saved a lot of wear and tear on me and it ensured that Josh would have help. Step one, accomplished.

The next thing I did was ask the chiropractor is she would be willing to give Josh adjustments on his back. Riverside Chiropractic was a new clinic and when I read the Dr. Velos worked on infants I decided that she could work on Josh. His back looked so awful and I was terrified that he would end up having to have his spine fused.

One side of his back was higher than the other. A visible curve could be seen in his spine. His chest was caved in and I worried that his breathing would be affected. I thought taking him to Dr. Velos couldn’t hurt and might help.

I wish I’d kept a photo record of his sessions. The first few times we put him on the table, I had to hold both his arms to keep them mid-line and prevent him rolling off the table.

I’m not sure how many treatments he had before something that I consider miraculous happened. I turned him from his stomach to his back, and before I could grab his hands to hold them midline, they floated outward. I had never seen Josh in this sort of position before. I knew, at that moment, that chiropractic was a very good thing.

His chest opened up and looks normal. His back is so beautiful. The curve in his spine has straightened and his back is flat. He is straight clear down to his hips. He still has a wind-swept appearance to his hips but it’s improved. We’re gaining back what we lost.

All of this brings me to his latest venture. Riverside Chiropractic has added a work out space and personal trainer to their clinic. Josh wanted to work out. Abby, the trainer, said she would work with him and yesterday,Josh finished week two.

Each session astounds me. Yesterday he held one pound weights in his hands. And didn’t drop them. His hands stayed closed for quite a while. Big improvement over the week before when I had to help him hold on to the weights.

And when he was lying prone on the ball we didn’t have to tell him to put his head up. He was just waiting for that exercise. He maintained wonderful head control, even to the point of looking wherever Abby told him to look. His control was so fast, he was turning his head before she could get the word finished. Mirror, Mom, and wall. That head was whipping so fast I couldn’t do anything but laugh out loud. I was so proud of him.

While working with his head, he forgot about his legs, and Abby told me that he was airborne. Feet up, belly on the ball, and it was his core muscles that were working. I’m so excited about this, I can’t even convey that to you with words.

I don’t know where this journey of physical training will take Josh. It’s completely new territory for us. I know he has intent, and focus. He wants this and for me to see that kind of eager energy coming from him, it’s an indescribable joy.

6 Responses to Something New

  1. Jody Young says:

    Carol, This is just so…..I can’t even think of the word for it. Got tears in my eyes.

    • JoshE says:

      Hi, Jody, Josh decided it was time and when I see determination in him, I try to help. His response to Abby is what amazes me. I exercise because it’s what I have to do. He embraces the joy of movement. When he put weight on his feet yesterday, he lit up. His favorite is the exercise ball. As soon as we get him positioned he has his head up. His legs go out and he is totally using his core muscles to turn his head. The control he has in that position is truly astounding. For some reason, being on his stomach eliminates a lot of the reflexes that plague him. I really don’t have adequate words to describe what we experience. I’m hoping to get better at taking photos so I can share. There is an upwelling of joy in all of us who see it.

  2. marilyn davis says:

    This is so great. Tell Josh my heart just swells in his achievements. Especially since he enjoys it so much. Thankful this opportunity came to him.

  3. Shirley Guldenschuh says:

    I read right through all the entries at once, because I just couldn’t stop. What an amazing journey. The joy on your face is an inspiration. I’ve always loved your painting, and I can’t wait to see the satisfaction and excitement of these achievements reflected in your work.

    • JoshE says:

      Shirley, this journey is a new step for both Josh and me. It’s something we haven’t tried before. For me, watching his excitement, makes me so proud of him. I keep trying to get a photo of his face, to show how determined he is and how hard he’s concentrating. Haven’t gotten just the right photo yet, but I’ll keep trying.

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