Today, our sweet Jewell had an evaluation for physical therapy. She was in physical therapy when we lived in South Carolina, but we took her out when we moved here. She's been having occupational therapy about every other week for several months now. We were hoping that would be sufficient, but the OT knew she needed more help.
The evaluation today was good. It was very good actually. For the first time, I was able to see my daughters true weak areas as far as her muscles are concerned. I was also encouraged to know that her weak areas are not at the fault of my own :). So many people have told me it was because of something that I did or didn't do to her while she was an infant that caused her weak muscles. I can't begin to explain to you what a relief it was to hear from a professional that it's okay.
Jewell has weak muscles on her left outer leg. In fact, she sort of displayed pain when the PT was touching it. Very odd. But the PT isn't too concerned yet. She's also weak in her trunk. This is of no surprise to me. What I was surprised about was just how much adapting she does because of those weak muscles. Jewell can't really jump. She doesn't stand on one foot. She goes up the stairs with only her right leg leading, and then goes down with her left leg leading. Jewell also has a very young walk. I always thought that was because she didn't walk until she was 20 months. But the PT says it's because she has weak muscle tone at those point. All of this is fixable with work. And boy did Jewell NOT like to work on it. That's okay though, we will do it in time :).
Jewell also has several sensory struggles. For example, today the PT was holding her hands. Jewell immediately told her her hands were rough and that she needed cream. Boy is our girl sensitive to touch! The PT was so impressed. She told me that Jewell is incredibly smart because she has learned to adapt to all of her muscle weakness and she can figure out things without instruction. Like how she needed lotion because her hands were rough (I still don't know where she got that).
Overall, the evaluation was great. It's sad yes, but it was so good to know that we can work on these things with her, and in time, she should catch up.
I've learned so much with parenting Jewell. What a privilege it is that the Lord allowed her to be my child! He's trusted me with her and all her struggles. I love Jewell, I wouldn't trade anything about her for the world. God has this amazing plan for her life. I can't wait to see what He has for her! But the first thing I've really learned is patience. I've always struggled with patience. My sweet Jewell didn't do anything on time. And that's okay. She's not like everyone else's child who climbs the playground equipment by themselves and runs and jumps as soon as they start moving. Instead, I get to help her and teach her step by step. And yes, it does get frustrating that she seems to just give up when I try to get her to go up a step on the slide, but again, patience, I'm learning to love her more through that lesson. The second thing is judging others. Oh, I was the QUEEN of judging parents when I taught school and basically in overall life. But really, I didn't know that child or their parents struggles. I don't know if that child was premature, has autism, or there Dad is oversees. Most of the kids I observe at the store all have a story, and a struggle. Who am I to judge the way their parents have raised them? Maybe that short 3 minute tantrum was the shortest tantrum he had at the store and the Mom thought "YES...we are making progress!" So really, my thinking on other parents parenting has completely changed. They know the battles they have, I don't. And the third lesson, I've learned that each day I have to give more and more of myself to the Lord and my children. God trusts me with these lives. So what if I don't get any reading time during the day. So what if I have to play with Jewell for 2 straight hours because she just needs Mommy time and still just doesn't know how to play on her own. It's okay. It's all okay. We'll get through this. I can read later. I can rest later. My kids are my mission field. And I've decided to love every minute.