We Finally Received Abigail’s Walker!!
After a couple months of frustration and waiting, we received the email on Wednesday evening that Abigail’s walker would be at her therapy appointment today for us to take home!! This is HUGE for her! She will finally get to be a little more independent in her everyday life! This walker gives her enough support so that she can balance and walk without any assistance from Matthew or I. She has been just as excited as we have to receive this piece of equipment!
Abigail has been using a walker, almost identical to her new one, at her weekly therapy sessions. She has been practicing with that walker for for a while now and as soon as her physical therapist, Ms. Kristina, felt that Abigail was ready, she started the process for Abigail to get one for us to take home. The walker is a Kaye Product and it was supplied to us by NuMotion. When choosing and customizing this walker, Ms. Kristina added a few parts to help Abigail’s specific situation. Abigail’s Posterior Walker includes locks on the back two wheels so that they can roll forward but not backwards. This helps Abigail stabilize herself (she does not have a lot of balance while standing) and assists her with turning so that she can safely maneuver. Another feature that was added to her walker was a pelvic stabilizer. This feature looks like a padded, three-sided, open square. This helps Abigail by giving her a comfortable area where she can safely lean while maneuvering and also to help keep her body positioned correctly in the walker. A Walker Swivel Lock and a Walker Swivel Limiter were also added to her walker. These features allow us to limit the amount of turning that the front two wheels of the walker can do. The limiter stops the wheels from free-swiveling while Abigail learns to navigate herself. The locks are easily transitioned from on and off. The locks make the wheels stay in the forward direction. Without the locks on, it allows Abigail to turn the walker without picking up the front two wheels and pivoting, but she can only turn the wheels as much as the limiter will let her. With the similar walker that Abigail was using in PT, we were always practicing with the wheel locks on. Today was the first time that Abigail attempted walking without the locks on, giving her more range of motion, and she did INCREDIBLE. She picked up the motions right away so for now, we will be keeping that feature off!
As soon as Abigail got into the area where she does PT, she immediately saw her walker and told us that she wanted to walk. She did an entire lap around the floor and then returned to the gym, without needing to take any breaks to rest. Ms. Kristina also had Abigail doing a small obstacle course where she had to maneuver her way around two cones in a figure-8 motion and then continue straight through another set of cones. This activity was to help her practice how to move the walker the way that she wanted to walk. Finally, we ended the therapy session with a final walk around the floor where Abigail INSISTED that she wanted to pull a toy wagon with blocks behind her. Ms. Kristina, being as wonderful to Abigail as she always is, tied the handle of the wagon to the back of Abigail’s walker so that Abby could truly pull her wagon with her as she walked. After a long walk (long because she had to show off her wagon to everyone we passed and also to check if her blocks were still safe) we made our complete circle around the floor and headed to the elevators. I gave Abigail the option to be carried but she refused. She loved having the independence to go wherever she wanted to go. She got to press the elevator button and walk in and out of the elevators with minimum help from Matthew and I.
Since we have been home, Abigail has been happily using her walker to get around much easier then before. She is doing absolutely incredible already, and it hasn’t even been a full day. This beautiful girl amazes us on a daily basis. There is nothing in this world that could ever hold her back. We are so thrilled, after almost 3 years, to finally be able to say that Abigail can walk! (Even if it is with the help of her new walker).
Thank you for reading!