Friday, October 4, 2013

Why Therapy?

I spend about 3 hours of my day each and every day on therapy.  Therapy for Callie (2 hours) and for Brianna (1 hour).  The wheelchair and Callie's excitement over it have made me ask a question I have never stopped long enough to ask.  Why?

Through my quiet time with the Lord, I have come to the hard realization that at least in part, it was my pride that was hurt when Callie needed a wheelchair.  I mean, really, hadn't we (read *I*) put in enough work for her to not NEED a WHEELCHAIR?  Is she really THAT disabled?  What will people think?  Will they think less of her, or of me, or of us as a family if she is in the wheelchair?  It was all fueled by pride.  Ugly, I know.  Unfair, rude, and sinful pride.  I have been working hard to try to HEAL her.  Something that only God can do.  God has brought some amazingly talented people in our path who have helped Callie tremendously!  She has a whole team of people, all specialists in their field who help us with her.  All of whom I would highly recommend! (and it has taken us quite some time to build this fabulous line up of individuals!)

This realization was a really hard one for me - as it usually is when God is pruning these difficult aspects of our flesh away!

It has made me wonder, how much is enough?  How much is too much?  Is there a point where we say, "She likes the chair, because she likes keeping up and not falling down," and be content with letting her use it whenever she wants?  Is there a point where looking for the therapy that will heal her becomes my idol?  (The answer here is a resounding YES.)  Is there a point when we say, 'enough' and what is that point?

Callie is doing great in gait training.  But she doesn't like it.  It is hard work.  It takes most of her energy for most of the day.  Do I make her keep going?  She is not quite 1/2 way done with this 4 week therapy activity.

Will Callie look back on her childhood and regret all the therapy that I have made her do?  Or will she look back and say, 'I wish you would have done ___ so I could walk better'?

There are more questions than there are answers.  On one hand, not using the wheelchair enough puts her at risk for severe injury (which would be a big setback!), on the other overusing it will be every bit the setback that under using it is!

I wish things were easy for her - the things that come so easy and natural for the rest of us.  Walking.  Running. Riding a bike.  Skipping.  Jumping.  Climbing.  There are things that do come easily for her, just not those kinds of gross motor skills.

It is hard to watch as Judah learns skills so easily and begins to surpass his older sister's abilities in some ways.

I wish I understood how best to help her, what skills she will really need, and how to help her reach her highest potential...but I don't.  And the decisions we make now, today, have the potential to effect her the rest of her life!

Then I have to wonder how much does that really matter?  This life is so short, just a vapor, and in Heaven, she won't deal with cerebral palsy.  Am I spending too much time and effort, and energy and finances getting her to a place of being able to walk better for such a short period of time as a lifetime?  Should I be spending more time on training in righteousness and the things of God and the Bible than I am on therapy?

(With gait training I am leaving before 6 am with Callie each day, M-F, and getting home between 10a and 3p.  In 2 weeks, I have only found the time to read 1 chapter of the Bible aloud...yet we have had a good start to therapy this session.  This is a lack of balance, and a neglect of the truly important matters in life - the things of God.  Our pastor says that the goal is to keep the main thing (God) the main thing...and when we get out of balance, to get right back to it.  I am seeing the need for this!)

I really wish I had someone to talk to about this...someone who could offer advice from the outside perspective...

This is something that is very raw and that I am very vulnerable with right now...so, if you choose to comment, I would be grateful if you would please do so gently...

3 comments:

  1. i check your blog to see how sweet callie is progressing. i think of her often (as i do many of the sugar plums) and i wish i had an answer for you, which i do not. one thing i do have is a friend i grew up with cp. her specific diagnosis is spastic diplegia. i can ask her if she would be willing to talk with you. i have no idea what she went through therapy wise as a child and if she wished she had anything else to help, but if you're looking for insight she might be able to help you. if you're interested let me know. i know you're doing all you can for callie. it's hard making decisions for our children that impact the rest of their lives, but you have to believe that God leads you down the path He has chosen even if we stumble along the way. *hugs*

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  2. i went ahead and asked her. she would be glad to talk with you. i think it might help you to talk to someone who has grown up with the same diagnosis. i showed her this blog post and the previous one about the wheelchair and if it's any consolation she thinks you're doing a good job! she did tell me that her birth story is very similar to callie's. i never knew that. i knew her as a kid. we were in girl scouts together. :)

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  3. Stephi,
    Thanks! Yes, I would be interested in talking with her. Please email me, cpence19@yahoo.com or leave your email here, and I will give you my phone number.

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