October is the month for Giovanna’s annual visit to the Shrine hospital to see both her upper and lower limb specialists.  These appointments are back to back and tend to be very long.  Not only do we see her two specialists, we also see Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and orthodics.  It tends to be a very long day.

However today was a pleasant surprise.  We were in and out, seeing everyone we had to see in less than 3 hours!  It was good to see that Giovanna has not lost any range of motion in either her arms or legs.  Generally kids with arthrogryposis lose some range of motion as they grow.  She is holding steady!  Everyone is amazed at how tall Giovanna is getting.  Every single person we saw commented on her height – especially her legs.

Seeing the picture of Giovanna playing the cello was central to many discussions.  Most centered around how to help her hold the bow easier, which will make it easier to play.  We have some ideas to try!

Her leg doctor was very pleased with her feet and how straight they were and how they are working!  It is not everyday that feet get “this good” with arthrogryposis! She will be getting new inserts for her shoes but no longer needs to wear her AFO’s at  night!  This brought the biggest smile to her face.  She has also been cleared to run!  So we might sign her up for the monster dash on 30 October! I was concerned since the race is only 2.5 weeks away.  The doctor said it is more like a stroll since there are candy stops along the course!  He didn’t see it as a problem and he wants a picture if she does. So we will be working on costumes for the race!   I think Giovanna will be Cleopatra!

We also spent some time talking about the recent neuro psychology test and discussed some strategies for dealing with temper tantrums, focus and attention.  Both the OT and PT were familiar with the iLS system that I am using and were interested in the results that I have had so far.  One of the things that we will be trying in the next few weeks is a therapy ball.  It will be used for her to “bounce” while reading or reciting math facts!  She can also use it during the iLS sessions by lying on her stomach and rolling forward onto her arms – helping to develop her upper arm strength, which will help with her Cello!

So we are set for another 6 months when she will go back to see her lower limb doctor and she doesn’t need to see her upper arm specialist until next October!

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