I don't know if we have mentioned this before but Shannon has really had a hard time about not being "allowed" to rollerblade. It has been a very big issue and in fact, we heard about it several times a day until she had seen all the doctors who could possibly give her permission and they had all said no! But at each doctor, she would ask, with her goal oriented determination, "what exactly do I have to do to be able to rollerblade?" She wouldn't take a simple "wait and we'll see" answer but had to have some specifics. One of the specifics was to work on her balance by walking a straight line heel to toe without losing her balance. Well, she has worked hard on that but we all know there would be more to the approval of rollerblading than just that--or so we thought! Once again, Shannon's sheer determination has proven us wrong. Read to the end...
Today we had an appointment with Dr. SuchNeibar, the Rehab doc. She last saw Shannon a month ago. Just 4 weeks ago, Shannon was mad and upset the whole time at the doctor's office. There was no way Dr. SuchNeibar would think for a second that Shannon liked her at all. It was not a good experience for any of us! However, Shannon has made some drastic improvements in 4 weeks. Today, she didn't show any hostilities, sat rather quiet, responded well to questioning, etc. Dr. SuchNiebar was amazed! Then it was my turn to be amazed as well. When the doctor did an exam on Shannon, it was truly amazing to see how much she had improved!! It was easy to recall how she had performed at the last appointment even with the muscle strength testing. Wow! Shan has made a lot of great progress! Dr. SuchNeibar kept saying “wow” as she would test her strength in different areas. She then, had her do the heel toe walk. Well, since Shannon has practiced that so much, she did very well. She didn’t do as well standing on one leg but kept telling SuchNeibar that she could do it better. It was pretty normal….6-10 seconds with minimal wobbling. After the exam, Dr. SuchNeibar said, “Shannon I think it is time that we get you doing some other activities. What would you like to do?” Shannon looked at her funny, wondering what she was talking about and said, “What do you mean?” Dr said, “Well, like biking…” before she could say another word, Shannon, with great hopeful anticipation, spat out, “rollerblading?” ! I don’t know how the Dr could have said no! So we talked about it for a while and Dr SuchNeibar said that the purpose was to help her work more on balance with a different kind of activity and so she would allow rollerblading with certain limitations. The limitations included using all safety equipment (Shannon said, "well, ya, DUH!"), no hills, tricks, jumps, etc. until approved by parents and it must be done under supervision! Shannon was elated! We finally saw a smile out of her!!
I think the only thing that could compare to her excitement was her call from Brian Regan!! As soon as we got in the car, she started calling people to tell them the great news! It was fun to listen to her but I still had my apprehensions. And it sounded like most of those she called did too as they would make comments showing concern for her safety!
We weren't in the door at home 5 minutes before she had her blades on and was ready to go. She had another appointment at 4:00 o'clock and so really only had 15 minutes. We went out on to the flat area of our driveway. I was right there as well as another friend. I didn't quite know what to expect. Although she was a bit off, she said that it felt like it always did. She had always played basketball on her rollerblades so after a few minutes had to have the ball. Again, I kept myself within arms reach as best I could! She made several baskets and I would retrieve the ball for her. After about 6 minutes or so, she began to tire a little. She went after the ball once, hit the grass, and promptly landed on her bum! I told her she could land on her bum all she wanted just no place else!! A few minutes later she was by the grass again and fell again. Within the next couple of minutes she had lost her balance twice more. But she always landed on her bum. This is really going to be a great exercise for her balance but scary for her mom!! We definitely will take it VERY SLOWLY! She isn't as in control as she needs to be but if we take it slow and work on it frequently, it will come. It was great to have her be able to do something that she has wanted to do so badly since the accident. Oh those sweet tender mercies.... Of all the things that I am learning through this whole ordeal, I think recognizing how much God is in the details of our lives is the most important for we have experienced those tender mercies so often. And so we have hit another milestone...back on rollerblades!