It’s fun to stay at the YMCA

I’ve been lax in my writing, but stuff has been happening. Today Aitza and I decided that we are going to trim Shade’s therapy sessions at Florida Hospital to two days a week. Our insurance is running out and we want to stretch out the weeks as much as possible. (20 visits a year, United Health! Really?!) However, we are going to supplement the lost day with YMCA visits. I called the Dr. P. Phillips YMCA today and chatted with one of the managers, Andrew. He said that Dr. Phillips Hospital’s rehab center is actually located right there. Many of the gym trainers work closely with their therapists and have a lot of knowledge about working with special needs kids. Bonus! Shade and I are going in on Tuesday for a tour with another manager who will help develop an exercise program for Shade based on his specific physical needs and desires. We’ll try to make it over there a couple times a week and maybe hit the Aquatics Center on International Dr. once a week. I know there’s a swimming coach there that has worked with kids in the Special Olympics, so maybe he/she will have some ideas about working with Shade’s physical challenges. Plus, while Shade’s working out, I can firm up my pecs, lats and glutes. (That’s how us professional body builders talk.)

The great thing about this move is that Shade will not recognize it as therapy. He can use gym equipment, play basketball, swim, and just think it’s having fun. Lately he has gotten into an emotional slump about therapy. We can’t even mention the T word without him moaning and complaining. He reacts like I’m telling him I need to pull off another toenail. It’s an excessive reaction but he can’t seem to help it. Even some of the therapists have mentioned that his heart doesn’t seem in the therapies and that he’s plateaued with them. I think it’s because Shade associates therapy with chores or homework. I also think Shade has an inability to make the connection between the necessity of therapy and his healing. I’ve tried to talk this out with him. He mouths the words, but he can’t emotionally get a grip on it. Maybe it’s just the puberty thing, but I think a part of his brain that handles critical evaluation was damaged.

We’re still waiting for results from the neuropsych tests and word on the new wheelchair. The former should help Shade with some coping mechanisms (and perhaps ours). Results should be ready next week. The latter will help his posture and general well being. That rental has actually changed his posture. Plus, he’s eager to trick out his new ride.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dobson Family
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 14:37:49

    Hey Vince – Back when I used to work out at the DP YMCA I would see that physical therapy area and always thought it was cool that it was there. I’m so glad you all have stumbled onto this (along with swimming at the Aquatic Center) and can see what you mean about Shade possibly not seeing it as the nasty ‘t’ word.

    We sure miss not seeing you all and hope you all are doing ok.

    Take care!


  2. Christie Fryatt
    Feb 29, 2012 @ 22:59:04

    Sometimes the end of the insurance can be a blessing in disguise. The kids get a little break from therapy to ruminate over the activities they’ve worked on up to that point and then gear up for new ones when a new insurance year dawns. It might work well. I think changing things up is a great idea! Walking in waist height water is very helpful. You might try some of the 1 lb. cuff weights for him when he goes in the water. Thinking of y’all!


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