Covid 19 has affected us in many ways, the biggest being that the 3-4 times weekly therapy sessions that we relied to keep Annabelle building muscle strength and to allow her muscles to be stretched and active just vanished overnight.
Pre Covid Annabelle has two conductive education sessions and a physiotherapy session each week (some weeks NHS and some weeks private) and an aquatic therapy session fortnightly.
We also did daily therapy at home.
When the country shut down, we assumed it would just be for a couple of weeks.
We thought a break would do her good and we would continue working with her at home.
We soon realised it wasn’t going to be that easy.
We both had full time jobs to maintain, I was working from home and my husband Simon was still having to go to work every day so we had to stagger our hours so one of us could work whilst the other looked after and entertained two children who were no longer able to attend nursery and on top of this we had to fit in therapy each day.
We had no one around to support us. We had no option other than to find a way to make it work as best as we could.
For a while we worried that we weren’t fitting in enough therapy, but, the world was against us so we had to accept we couldn’t work miracles and wouldn’t be able to do as much as we wanted because there simply wasn’t enough hours in the day.
We changed our approach and just did what we were able which was generally standing frame activities and hidden therapy through play which we were able to sneak in several times each day.
We are now coming out the other side.
After 6 months of no hands on contact from our professional team, we are now able to access hands on conductive education session, aquatic therapy and NHS physio again and have continue doing a second conductive education session via Zoom.
Whilst Annabelle has had a lot of gains over the 6 months she has also deteriorated in other areas.
As a therapy parent it is very easy to focus on the therapy your child enjoys rather than those parts which are harder and less enjoyable.
Getting a balance somewhere between is not easy.
Having hands on therapy sessions helps with this as there is additional equipment available which means more variety and different therapy exercises from those we do at home which helps give Annabelle a full stretch and works on all those muscles that she has less desire to work on home.
Being in the pool is so important for Annabelle, 6 months without this, led to her body becoming tighter by the day and harder to stretch.
We are hoping that therapy isn’t restricted again any time soon, but as there is no guarantee we are making the most of every session available to us and trying to reduce the tightness throughout Annabelle’s body that creep in during lockdown!