Wednesday, July 3, 2013

My daughter C meets the Hart Walker. Not very heart warming.

Physiotherapist and I
make adjustments to Hart Walker
Three years ago, I first  pleaded with C.'s school physiotherapist for a chance to try out the Hart Walker on C.. She told me "nothing doing" because C. was too tall.

This year I mentioned it again to a different physiotherapist who informed me that the Hart Walker company has raised the height bar. C. was now eligible. Also, provided C. demonstrated independent stepping, the Health Ministry would now subsidize the exorbitant cost.

Then last week, the long-awaited day arrived; the Hartwalker team were visiting C.'s school to assess new candidates and adjust the walkers already in use.

C. may have sensed my anxiety, because she  tensed up and twitched the way she does when she has a mild fever. Even though she didn't seem hot, I lay her down in the school's physiotherapy room and zapped her with Advil and cold compresses.

After an hour, she was somewhat calmer and gave a walking demo, MEDEK-style. Not a peak performance, but passable.

Walking C.
Finally C. was strapped into a Hart Walker. I had had sublime visions of her walking down the school corridor independently the moment she was in the device.

Needless to say, those dreams were dashed. Apparently stressed by the unfamiliarity of it all, C. had her right leg in an iron-clad knee lock; her left leg was not much better.

I wrenched her knees open and moved each leg forward. Surely she would relax eventually and step the way she normally does? 

Well actually, no.

After a half hour of struggle, I counted a total of four good steps. All the rest were passive.

Perhaps eventually she could relax and improve. But we'll have to wait to find out.

In 3 months, we will be loaned a Hart Walker for one month to see how she adapts. You can be sure I will try to reign in my optimism this time.

I've had enough disappointments for a while.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It seems that the stem of the device is too low and leaned backwards, instead of forwards. Her knees are too much bended. May I advise you to have the device readjusted by an expert? All the luck and best wishes to you and your daghter C.