Thursday, July 15, 2010

Where's the hippo?

Most of you have probably already seen the amazing pictures on my FB page from Jennah’s first hippotherapy (physical therapy while horseback riding) session at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center ( ). Hippotherapy is not an “official” form of therapy as it has not been proven to show results. Some insurance companies don’t even cover it. It’s a ridiculous shame and I think a disservice to so many disabled children out there who could benefit from it. Regardless of what those people say, I am here to declare that it is absolutely awesome! After a 30 min. session of traditional clinical physical therapy, we prepped Jennah for her first ride. There is no riding helmet in the world that would fit her little microcephalic head, but with some padding, we made do and onto the horse she went! It didn’t take long before Jennah began supporting her own head and trunk for extended periods of time. She was all smiles despite the wide spreading of her hips and her ankle-foot orthotics, which she usually resists wearing. She had many points of stimulation to make up for her lack of vision: the rocking and swaying of the horse, the warmth of the animal’s body (she was riding bareback!), the sound of the horseshoes clip-clopping on the pavement, and the smell of the horse, hay, and other not so pleasant, but still stimulating, odors. I met one father there who was watching his sons ride. He told me that doctors had ruled out walking for one of his sons. They put him in hippotherapy and I saw with my own eyes that the boy can walk. Not well by any means, but he was definitely walking. We just hope that Jennah can hold her head and trunk up for extended periods of time … maybe even sit up on her own some day …

As for the other appointments …

• Dentist – B had excess gag-reflex so no x-rays, sealants required for A, and decalcification on Jennah’s molars, so will probably have to go to Seattle Children’s to fix this up in January.

• Nutritionist – she’s a bit too chubby for her height. She’s 40 %ile on weight and only 20%ile on height. So we’re just cutting out a few ounces of Pediasure, supplementing with vitamins, and increasing water to maintain overall fluid intake

Orthopedics – UGH! Not good news. The dysplasia is getting worse and still progressing alarmingly fast. It is now inevitable that she will have reconstructive surgery involving bone and muscle cutting in January. Bummer.

G-tube replacement – what a little trooper!!! After being numbed with heaps of lidocaine, they ripped the old g-tube out. She whimpered for literally 30 seconds and then she was fine! We now have a Mickey g-tube instead of the Bard, which will allow for easier changes that I can perform myself, however, the changes must be done quarterly rather than yearly.

Next up …

• 7/20 – Neurodevelopment
• 7/28 - Neurologist
• 8/2 - Pediatrician - 3-year check up

Until next time … thanks for reading!!!

1 comment:

  1. Little Bit is one of the best groups out there, and has been for years and years. I love that Jennah is out there, riding! How fantastic is that?! Very, very excited for her, such an opportunity. Hugs backatcha!