It’s been over a month since Namine’s last session in physical therapy. For this reason, her therapist was afraid that Namine had lost much of the strength she’d built up since recovering from her heart surgery. She was surprised and pleased to find that this was not the case.

After she got her braces on with the help of Lesley, her therapist, Namine spent eight minutes on the treadmill. In the past, she’s spent longer in a single go, but it was her first day back after more than a month. Lesley, her therapist, thought it best to ease in a bit.

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Namine also walked across the mat, but first she had to get her walker up on it, and it wasn’t just a single one. Lesley stacked several mats, one atop another, so they were roughly the height of a street curb. Not one to be deterred, Namine hiked her walker up, one end and then the other. When she had her walker on top of the mats, she nearly ran across.

Lesley was amazed. She expected it to be a hard day for Namine, having been out of therapy for so long. After Jessica told her what we’ve been doing at home, though, she was no longer surprised.

When I was a boy, my dad would do with me what he called “wheelbarrows.” He would grab my feet, and I would walk on my hands. I don’t know when, exactly, I started doing wheelbarrows with Namine. I remember telling her about her grandpa doing it with me, and I remember that she thought it sounded like fun. It’s a nightly thing for us, now; every night after her bath, we wheelbarrow into the living room. She does, on average, five pushups — while I’m still holding her feet into the air — before the three of us say our nighttime prayers.

Lesley attributes Namine's increased strength to our nightly ritual.
Lesley attributes Namine’s increased strength to our nightly ritual.
  • Therapy doesn’t have to be in a classroom. So happy you found a fun game to keep her strength up.