She rode a bike!
Last week, Jian did an intensive week of physical therapy. She went Monday-Thursday for 3 hrs per day. Besides a lot of exercise and strengthening and weight bearing through her left leg, her one big goal was to ride a bike. There is a bike at the therapy gym that has been modified with sturdy training wheels and velcro straps around the food pedals. It also has different gears so that you can pedal it both forward and backwards. Many months ago, she attempted to ride this bike and could not do it. She got discouraged and didn’t try for a long time. She practiced last Tuesday and was able to do it! She used the backward pedaling feature to sort of “rachet” the pedals and ride it mostly using her right leg. On Wednesday, she worked on other things. On Thursday, she got back on the bike and almost rode it “normally.” She pused forward with her right food, pushed all the way around with her left foot (not really sure how since she supposedly has few muscles in that leg that are innervated) and pushed forward again with the right. She got about 1 inch away from going all the way around and then started the racheting movement again. She is so close, though! She will get it in no time, and I think by next summer will be riding with no training wheels. Unbelievable! I told her that now she can swim, run with her crutches and ride a bike–she’s a triathlete!
As far as stretching her left hip into alignment so that she can bear weight and be more independent with walking, we are still waiting. Approval went to the owner of the bracing company in Pennsylvania. He wanted to look at all of her Xrays and records and make sure of his decision before going forward with it. He happened to be scheduled to speak at a conference in Paris, France last week with the world’s best orthotists and therapists, and he took Jian’s case to gather input there! I just smiled and shook my head when I heard this. The Lord is certainly moving mountains for our girl. I will feel sure that whatever decision is made about the brace is the right one for us. And in the meantime, we will keep swimming, playing, and enjoing the summer.