Sunday, December 6, 2009

Progress comes at a cost

Two weeks ago our wondergirl took a hard fall out of her walker and got 9 stitches in her chin; one of them was internal because it was such a deep cut. It happened right before bedtime: I was nursing Sam in my PJs, B was getting the girls into theirs, and BOOM. We were running around like the proverbial chickens without heads when we realized how deep a cut it was and that it definitely needed a trip to the ER. Thank God for great neighbors, who drove B and Hannah while I stayed home with Isabelle and Sam. Thankfully it's healing up well and she didn't seem too traumatized by the ordeal (and she had quite the story to share on Thanksgiving). A week later, one day after getting the stitches out, Hannah fell again and this time, she knocked a front tooth loose. It hasn't fallen out yet but it's pretty loose. And in the days in between, she's had lots of other, more minor spills.

It's hard to know exactly what's going on with her and hard also not to totally freak out. I think some of it is probably related to a growth spurt: as she grows, Hannah's muscles don't necessarily lengthen along with the rest of her, thus she gets more tight. And she has to learn how to maneuver a bigger, heavier, longer body. So growing can be a challenge. I also think some of it is due to all of this great stuff that she's been doing lately. With this increased mobility there are more situations when Hannah is at risk for falling. Sometimes I think she is just a hair's width away from stepping right out of her walker and standing or walking on her own, because she is barely holding on. But then she loses her balance and falls like a tree. Another challenge of having CP: Hannah's protective responses/reflexes are just not as good as the rest of ours so she is less apt to throw out her hands or fall on her tush when she falls.

Whatever the reasons, all of this falling has me worked up. Every time I hear a bang or crash I go running, thinking Hannah's hurt herself again. I keep telling her to slow down and be careful, and to pay attention to what she's doing. I need to try to find the balance between fostering her independence and keeping her safe, and it's really a struggle. Hannah was on the phone with my mom the other day and my mom asked what happened with her tooth and Hannah said, "I guess I didn't have such a firm grip on my walker." It breaks my heart to hear how matter-of-fact she is about the limits on her mobility, and I want to give her every opportunity to learn and explore and grow with the minimum amount of encumbrances. But I also don't want to take another trip to the ER...

1 comment:

BusyLizzyMom said...

Ouch, poor kid. I don't know how Elizabeth has not had us running to the ER from one of her falls as they are constant.
Elizabeth really gets wobbly when she grows as well. It is great that Hannah is taking more risks and feeling confident but that is such a big price. Having a new little one is also keeping you busier and not as close to catch her when she falls (a big reason we have not tried yet).