Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A drainage pipe in my living room

Last week at therapy I asked Ava's Physical Therapist for some ideas for what we could do at home to help strengthen her legs to start bearing more weight and eventually being able to walk. Pictured below is a device used at her therapy place for this very purpose, so the therapist took a polaroid picture of it so I could try to duplicate it at home.

Someone asked me if Ava is anywhere close to being able to walk, and the short answer is "no". The long answer is, she has several things working against her. Tiny little feet, extremely flat arches, wobbly ankles, low tone, a tendency to step on her toes instead of her heels, delayed reflexes, poor balance, and an upper body that is twice as big as her lower body. She also has weak quad muscles, therefore when she does have the opportunity to stand up, she wants to lean way forward and hold onto something instead of standing up straight on her legs. It is very cute but very awkward.

I had been searching on Ebay, Craigslist, at Toys R Us, Petsmart (looking for a giant cat scratching device) and I had no luck finding anything remotely close to this big sturdy tunnel looking thing.

So over the Christmas holidays we had the opportunity to spend some time with John's engingeering-minded uncle. He and his wife just moved into a new house that they recently built, and he happened to have this giant PVC pipe-looking thing in his storage barn. With a foam mattress from the attic tucked inside, it is absolutely perfect! She can stand in it upright, and she even, for the first time, attempted to move her feet around to play peek-a-boo with me hiding behind her last night. This is a little game we are playing, called, hit-the-kitty-cat. It's fun to swat it on the floor and make mom go chasing after it.




Of course, this drainage pipe is quite an eye-sore in the middle of my living room all by itself, but with this cute little toddler inside it suddenly it looks very beautiful and seems to go with the decor very well. Don't you think?

18 comments:

Jester 5 said...

cute (with the toddler inside of course), effective, and cheap. . .can't get much better than than

Christina said...

What a great way to improvise! She is just adorable!!!

Carson's Mom said...

That was a great idea. She looks like she enjoys being in there too.

Kayla

Cammie Heflin said...

That is awesome! Way to go Ava!

Tim Rovenstine said...

There sge stands,,another first for Ava. Hurray, hurrah...

Christina L said...

Very Cool. Not what you really want taking up your living room, but very ingenious.

WheresMyAngels said...

That is so cool!

Ok, it has been a few weeks since I visited, maybe a month, but OHmygosh, she is looking alot older.

Becoming Me said...

With that sweet girl in the middle...nothing is an eye sore! Very clever

markay714 said...

Hey, what's wrong with drainage pipe? These are the kind of toys I think are cool. Now, y'all can really have fun painting and decorating it to fit the new Urban home decor! That would be a really fun project! That'll be fun to see how great it works! Perhaps you'll need a concrete culvert next year - for the yard!

Rich, Andrea, Reece & Owen said...

What an amazing difference in her, in such a short period of time. And you know where to find me when you're ready for another one! :) LOVE YOU!---Andrea

Stephanie said...

Paint it!!!! What a fun art project!!! You are so artistic and the kids NEED art enrichment right?!? I bet you could make it really cute! And if you made a cover for the foam pad, like a big pillow case, it would be completely washable and cute!

Jill said...

We could use something like that for Keith...I'll have to show this picture to my engineer husband!

Anonymous said...

VERY cool device to get her on her feet safely. I am assuming she has good footwear for support. She WILL walk. She has come so far in a year. I guess burned in my mind is the memory of helping my low tone sibling learn to walk. There was alot of therapy that went into just about every milestone he achieved. Hang in there, have a bonfire for all those useless xmas toys. I experience that kind of letdown after the holidays sometimes. People are more important than things. Blessings!!!!! Lisa A

Shea said...

She looks so cute standing up!!!

Dalene said...

Yes...it does fit the decor well. Ava makes EVERYTHING beautiful!!!

My name is Sarah said...

This is Joyce. I love it. Ava looks so happy standing in there too. I remember when Sarah was little she walked so nicely with a walkway at early intervention so I made her one at home with cheap,white PVC pipe. I'll have to dig out a picture of that. We could start a book of plumbing pipe helps. Have a Happy and Safe New Year.

Mandy said...

Very inventive! Wonder if that would work to "contain" our Ukrainian? LOL
Gosh she's just stinkin cute - does she ever get into trouble?

Anonymous said...

I love Ava. I love your family for loving Ava. What a wonderful job you are doing!!
Sharon