Restoring a drowned child is a marathon not a sprint. In our drive to help our kiddos heal, it is critical to remember that healing consumes a large amount of energy. These kiddos need love, good nutrition and lots of rest.
The body can only do what the brain is ready to do. The brain must heal first. Doing excessive therapy, before the brain is ready, is a waste of time and money and the associated fatigue can delay healing and cause illness. You know your child best. If you think your kiddo is ‘strung out’ from their level of activity, they are. Slow down. Feelings of guilt or fear of prognosis are not reasons to push a child. It’s okay to take a break from therapy to rest and regroup. Isn’t that the same reason we take vacations from work?
Robert still sleeps 10+ hours a night. Most weekdays he does an hour or two of light, home based therapy with his mom or sister. This therapy is incorporated into his play. He sees his MNRI therapist once a week. He sees his chiropractor once a week. He sees his functional neurologist once a month. We do HBOT, at home, prior to his twice yearly stem cell ‘campaigns’. We do a week long neurological intensive after each stem cell campaign. That’s it. We’ve always done therapies sequentially, with rest periods between. While we may have wanted to do more and more quickly, we were prevented from this in the early days by a lack of finances. We were also encouraged by Dr. Harch to schedule enforced rest. In hindsight, this was providential protection as we have watched kiddos be pushed to exhaustion and stall or regress due to infections and sickness.
The balance of Robert’s day is spent playing by himself, playing with his brothers and doing ‘chores’. Robert loves to help and is very helpful. He has been helping around the house since he could first slide around on his back. Even before Robert was mobile we made it a point to include him in activities – some mundane (going to the store, being in the kitchen during meal prep, etc.) and some more exciting (trips to the zoo, beach, library, etc.). These regular daily activities are how our kiddos learn organically and are the building blocks to bringing them back cognitively. We do not have TV in our home.
What is good for the goose is also good for the gander. Not only do injured brains need rest but so do parent caregivers. We take many of the same supportive supplements that we give to Robert. We try to grab extra sleep when we can.
Part of rest is a happy home life. The one area where we have failed is in recognizing that our other children need Mom and Dad as much as Robert does. Robert’s injury affects his siblings in ways that are unseen and may not manifest fully for years. While they love their brother and want to help where they can, they are still children dealing with the stresses of growing up. Proper communication, love and rest gives us the opportunity to be the parents that they need us to be. We are working hard on spending more ‘quantity’ time with each of them.