Gili had her first real physical therapy session with Nili on Monday. She looked exhausted. Even since quitting work and Hebrew class, I don't know how I will have time to do all these exercises with her between her sleeping and eating. The doctor suggested I do the following exercises with her 3-4 times a day or as much as possible:
- When I pick her up from laying on the ground, first roll her onto her elbow and hold her weight on her arm for about 10 seconds. (Working up from 5 second last week, to 20 second in the future.)
- Put her in a sitting position and push on her shoulders for about 5 pulses. Do this on the floor and also on an unstable or bouncy surface like the sofa or a foam mat (which I don't have, but maybe I should get. )
- When she is face down on the ground, put something in front of her that she will be enticed to reach and give her feet some resistance to push off, like my hands or legs, to help her move forward. Also try this with both her legs in one hole of some stretchy shorts to hold her legs together so they won't split.
- Put weight on her legs, and also just her knees, buy hanging her over something like the sofa or sofa cushions. She suggested I have my kids jump up and down in front of her to get her attention so she would try to push up/stand up to look and not just have her head down in the cushions. I could also use a mirror or exciting toy. When we did this during the session we used a large square foam column on its side. Nili helped Gili stay on her legs on one side on the column and I was on the other side holding her upper body/shoulders on the foam and trying to get her attention, so she was facing me. We did get her to put some weight on her legs. I'm hoping her jumper will also help with this. I should hold this for a minute several times a day. It's not easy with one person.
- Also hold her in a crawling position (hands and knees) for about 30 seconds.
She also suggested I put her on a blow up mattress that is firm. Let her play and do her exercises. Then slowly let some air out and see if the instability forces her to use her muscles to stabilize herself. She also suggested putting her on cellophane and bubble wrap. She said I should get her a drum/tambourine to bang on. I mentioned that Gili was often more interested in the light than any of her toys. Nili suggested wrapping a toy in aluminum foil to get her attention.
More later. My mother, Gili, and I are going out to buy a sukkah now!