When we met Ryder’s Occupational Therapist for the first time last week, we left the officeÂ a little disappointed. Â He asked lots of great questions and got a good idea of what Ryder could and couldn’t do at the time, but he didn’t do any actual work. Â This week, we practically floated home on glittering clouds of cotton candy. Â For reals.
We watched as the therapist gently supported Ryder’s arm and tapped or rubbed on one muscle group at a time, starting at the shoulder. Â He explained that the tapping/rubbing helps to stimulate the nerves in those muscles and encouragesÂ movement. Â From our point of view, it didn’t look much different than what we’ve been doing with Ryder at home. Â Until Clif calmly and quietly stated,
“He has active movement in every part of his arm.”
We sat there and smiled, and mumbled something about how awesome that is. Â But there might as well have been fireworks and a marching band because this is the best news we’ve heard since Ryder declared “Look Mama, I can walk!” about three weeks ago.
Now, it’s important to understand that “active movement” is relative. Â He requires support and stimulation to make the movement happen. Â And some of the movements are easier to make than others. Â And some of his muscle groups are stronger than others. Â And he gets fatigued quickly and easily. Â Even gravity is too heavy for him to lift… and that is not an exaggeration.
A couple days ago, Ryan and I decided that Ryder should spend more time out of his sling because he was having difficulty straightening his arm without pain. Â Our chiropractor agreed with us, and pointed out that Ryder’s right shoulder is strong enough to handle some extra activity without fear of dislocation or overstretching. Â And the therapist confirmed all this, even going so far as to say that he should be spending more time out of the sling than in. Â So now he really only needs to wear the sling during recess or PE or any other really physical activity. Â He does a good enough job of protecting his arm and we’ve been working hard enough on his posture that he can be sling-free most of the time. Â
So what does all this mean? Â In short, it means that God is continuing to heal Ryder. Â See, wherever there is active movement, there is the potential for recovery and strength. Â And in case you missed it, this boy has active movement in hisÂ whole arm. Â Which means there is potential for complete recovery. Â I can’t even…
We still have a long road to travel, and we don’t know how long the journey will last or if it will ever end. Â But we’ll bask in the warmth of this victory for the night, andÂ get back to work in the morning. Â Thank you for your continued prayers!
But you, oh Lord, are a compassionate and merciful God. Â You are patient, always faithful and ready to forgive. Â (Psalm 86:15)