When we met Ryder’s Occupational Therapist for the first time last week, we left the office a little disappointed. 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. This week, we practically floated home on glittering clouds of cotton candy. 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. He explained that the tapping/rubbing helps to stimulate the nerves in those muscles and encourages movement. From our point of view, it didn’t look much different than what we’ve been doing with Ryder at home. 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. 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. He requires support and stimulation to make the movement happen. And some of the movements are easier to make than others. And some of his muscle groups are stronger than others. And he gets fatigued quickly and easily. 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. 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. 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. So now he really only needs to wear the sling during recess or PE or any other really physical activity. 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.
So what does all this mean? In short, it means that God is continuing to heal Ryder. See, wherever there is active movement, there is the potential for recovery and strength. And in case you missed it, this boy has active movement in his whole arm. Which means there is potential for complete recovery. 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. But we’ll bask in the warmth of this victory for the night, and get back to work in the morning. Thank you for your continued prayers!
But you, oh Lord, are a compassionate and merciful God. You are patient, always faithful and ready to forgive. (Psalm 86:15)