Spring update from GFPD Patient Ambassador, Anna Violet

Anna Violet says “Happy Spring Time” to all of her PBD family! Anna Violet has a lot of things going on and is making some serious strides! Every week she gets visits from some of her favorite therapists. She has physical therapy on Mondays, occupational therapy on Fridays and now that Anna has passed her swallow study she gets to include speech therapy as well.In physical therapy, Anna Violet really gets to flex her muscles as she works on sitting unsupported. She has made a lot of progress but Anna knows there is a lot more work to do. She is also working on building up her core strength so that she can get up on her hands and knees easier and for longer periods of time. Anna really loves to work on physical therapy because her therapist makes a game out of it. She makes it fun for her so even though she is exhausted when her visit is over, she still smiles and squeals!Anna’s occupational therapist is working on many different things at once, so she never gets bored! She is working on getting better at grasping, pulling and pushing. However, because her vision is impaired, it makes it more challenging for Anna Violet. She has to figure out where she is in space, what is in front of and around her. She also is learning cause and effect. If she pulls on an object once she has located it, she has to figure out if she can play with it or not. If she can play with it, and she pushes it away from her, then she can’t play with it anymore. All of this can be a lot to learn, but she never gives up. She is currently trying her best to learn how to reach up while on her belly to find objects. This is difficult, but she always keeps trying! If that isn’t a full schedule for such a tiny person, we are not done yet. Anna Violet has passed her swallow study so now we get to really have some fun at speech therapy. Here, Anna will begin to learn how to eat properly. We were so excited to see her try her first real bite of food. The look on Anna’s face when she got a mouthful of sweet potato was absolutely amazing. The speech therapist wants to take things slowly so that we don’t accidentally create any aversions to anything. We have to be patient and just like with everything else, we make progress on Anna Violet’s time. So far, we have found out that she likes sweet potatoes and green beans but pears are just ok. We have lots of new tastes and textures for her to try in upcoming weeks so stay tuned for a list of her faves.As if all that wasn’t enough, Anna Violet got herself a brand spanking new set of wheels; an new adaptive stroller! She absolutely loves being able to sit up tall in her stroller, which is very comfortable and will grow with her for the next several years. However, we have found a few bumps in the road with her new stroller. This thing is big and very heavy. Even folded up it can be difficult to get in and out of the car. Unfortunately, there are people out there who do not respect handicap parking. They park way too close or they take up our spots altogether. So sometimes, even if we really want to use her new stroller, we have to keep her old stroller handy in case of an emergency. Hopefully, since it is springtime, the weather will start to warm up and we can take her for walks or to the park. It will give her a chance to feel the sun on her face or a breeze in her hair.

Recently, Anna Violet really surprised us when we found out she was close to cutting two baby teeth at the same time! She has two little white teeth at bottom of her mouth that are just waiting to break through. I know Anna will feel much better when those come in, but it will give us something new to take care of! We have to keep those pearly whites as long as we can for her!

So until the next check in, please stay safe, take care of each other and WASH YOUR HANDS! Happy Spring 2020 from the Day Family!