Saturday, 24 September 2011

Special Saturday - Special Memories



My goodness, what a world of choice. How do I choose just one special memory, there are lots and lots and lots.

Cameron's birth is forever a special memory but it somehow doesn't belong in our story of special needs because he didn't have them then in the sense that we use the words.

The day he stood up and walked across his third birthday party and nobody even noticed for a few seconds. That is a very special memory. But there is a lovely special memory bouncing around in my mind that always puts a smile on my face.

In the effort to get Cameron's muscles to strengthen for the purpose of independent movement and ultimately walking we endured hours and hours of physiotherapy. I say we because it wasn't only Cameron. He lay there and willed his muscles to move but it was the physiotherapists and myself who physically moved his body repeatedly to show his muscles what they should be doing. We strengthened his muscles and taught his brain how his body was supposed to behave.

We went swimming twice a week in a hydrotherapy pool and went to physiotherapy twice a week. We worked at home every day  and included things like Riding for the Disabled (horseriding) to our weekly activities to try and get his body moving and strong.

While we were in the hospital early intervention program we had a lovely physiotherapist who we were very attached to. She had been with us from when Cameron was just out of intensive care and would even pop in to visit when she heard we'd been readmitted to hospital.

As with all therapists the day finally came for her to leave the hospital for greener pastures and we felt so attached that we gave her a thank you/farewell gift. We gave her a little miniature, dolls house sized, coffee table.

I know you have read that wondering what on earth I am talking about but she opened her gift and burst out laughing. She knew exactly why I'd given it to her.

As Cameron's body started to strengthen he began to move about as younger children do and pull himself up on furniture. Then he started to climb furniture and his balance improved enough that he could stand for a short time without assistance. As he became stronger and braver he discovered the coffee table and he started to walk around it and then climb up on to it. He thought sitting on the coffee table was wonderful and would laugh and giggle with his huge infectious, cheeky grin.

One day he combined all his new found skills. He climbed the coffee table and stood up. Once he did it once there was no stopping him and he thought it was the best thing. He would stand on the coffee table with his arms out stretched for balance, like he was standing on a surf board, and because of his wobbliness he really did look like he was surfing. He thought he was so clever and I would often walk into the room and find him up there having the time of his life.

His physiotherapist and I often talked about Cameron surfing the coffee table and she thought it was the cutest thing and thus our parting gift was a little coffee table to remind her of our surfing Cameron and how far we had come. He couldn't walk but he could surf!

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