It seems that it’s only when Jessica is sick that I get to take Namine to therapy. But it’s no chore – it’s rare that I accompany her, and I treasure the times when I can. She prides herself on being what she calls my “strong girl,” and she is stronger every day.
The last time I was with Namine at physical therapy, she was walking for about twenty minutes on the treadmill, with a three-minute break every five minutes. Today, however, she walked for the entirety of her 45-minute session with only two breaks, neither of which was very long.
Namine’s therapist started her off with transferring from a short table to her walker. The last time I saw Namine attempt this, she need help at multiple intervals. Today, though, she needed no help at all. She knew what she needed to do, she maneuvered herself into position, and she climbed down to a standing position in her walker, ready to work.
The majority of the session today involved walking around the room. Namine’s therapist dropped toys all over the floor, and it was Namine’s task to pick them up and put them into a basket.
Namine has done this before, this walking around the room, picking up toys. Up until now, Namine’s method of walking has been to take a few steps, yank the walker up, then take a few more steps, ad nauseum. But the therapist wanted to try something different today. She wanted to try Namine out on a method of walking that would not put so much stress on her back: to stiffen her arms and push the walker along with the rest of her body as she walked.
It was new. It was hard. And as usual, Namine put her heart into it. Therapy is not a half-hearted venture for her. She knows it is a means to an end – the goal being for her to walk on her own. Keeping that goal in mind is something of which we rarely have to remind her.