Thursday, April 26, 2012


According to Wikipedia: Hippotherapy is a form of physical, occupational and speech therapy in which a therapist uses the characteristic movements of a horse to provide carefully graded motor and sensory input. A foundation is established to improve neurological function and sensory processing, which can be generalized to a wide range of daily activities. Unlike therapeutic horseback riding (where specific riding skills are taught), the movement of the horse is a means to a treatment goal when utilizing hippotherapy as a treatment strategy.

Callie started hippotherapy this week!  I have been trying to get her in since last July.  The therapist is amazing and I was really looking forward to our first session.  We headed out to the country and found the riding arena off of a dirt road.  They brought in the horse, an old, mellow guy named Andy, and for 10 minutes we stood next to him getting to know him.  Callie was a little hesitant at first, but was soon reaching out to pet him, touch his mane and nose, etc.  We then put a helmet on her and boosted her up onto his back.  She was all smiles.  Like this:

Then Andy took two steps forward and she was suddenly terrified.  She quickly signed "all done! all done!".  And that was the extent of our first hippotherapy session.  The rest of the time we tried to coax her back up onto old Andy, but no luck.  We will be back to try again in two weeks!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Super fun day at the playground

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tubie kid for one year

Callie has now had her feeding tube for one year.  It is hard to believe our longer-than-planned hospital stay was already a whole year ago.  For the last week I have reflected on the past 12 months and how Callie's tube has changed her life for the better.  Recently I was talking to a friend who's son is experiencing feeding issues and may get a tube at some point.  I found myself singing praises of feeding tubes and telling her how much it has helped Callie grow and thrive.  I was telling her about our routine and how easy & flexible tube feeding can be.  I explained how it helps keep Callie hydrated when she is sick and how it is easy to administer medication & vitamins (Polyvisol is much more pleasant through a tube!).  Then later I was thinking about the conversation and shook my head thinking what a difference a year makes!  Last spring I did everything possible to avoid getting a tube, and then reluctantly moved forward when Callie clearly was not getting enough calories and continued to slip farther off the growth chart.  The changes after getting her tube were immediate.  In that first week she gained just over a pound and a half!  And her development was soon flourishing.  She began hitting milestones and steadily continued to gain weight.  My stress level lowered dramatically because she was suddenly receiving perfect nutrition and exactly the right amount of calories every day (the weeks prior I often was in tears in the evening after adding up her calories for the day and realizing how far off she was despite my efforts the entire day to get as much into her as possible).  Making the switch to a tube is a difficult and emotional decision, but I just want to be an encouragement to anyone out there who finds them self having to make this decision.  Do not be afraid of a feeding tube.  It can be just what your child needs.  Callie has come so far in the last year and has gained over 8 pounds!  I will be happy one day when she is able to eat a balanced diet orally and no longer needs her tube, but until then I am fine with it.  I have become a proud tubie mom!  Amazing what a difference a year can make.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!


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