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Living in Lockstep - wolfhirschhorn.org

Moms, dads, grandparents, caregivers – how are your backs holding up? Our Elsa isn’t walking yet, so that means lots of lifting. As a result, our backs often are aching and in need of stretching and TLC.

Elsa is 5 years old and 36 pounds. A great size. A healthy size. No complaints there whatsoever. Her g-tube has enabled us to keep her growing (up and out), and we’re grateful that she presently has some extra lb’s on her – a nice cushion, in case illness should strike.

But with every pound she gains, there’s more of her to move.

  • Up and down the stairs.
  • In and out of the car.
  • In and out of the wheelchair.
  • In and out of the bath tub.

When my husband is home, I clock out of Elsa-lifting duty. Whew, what a relief. I know I’m very blessed and fortunate to have this luxury.

It’s not that Elsa is crazy heavy, so much as that she doesn’t hold on to whomever is carrying her. Sometimes, she even leans back – into door frames, corners, shelving, appliances. Her reaching has improved, which is woooonderful. But trying to keep my balance as I come up the stairs with her, when she’s swiping at pictures hanging on the wall, can be tricky.

As life gets a little more exciting in the summer (pool time, boating, hiking, etc.) facilitating movement can become a challenge. We are committed to making sure that she’s always included, it just takes extra planning and, sometimes, some pretty awkward maneuvering.

Here’s a video of us at a park. I like her to help her access the playground in any way I can. Stairs, slides, whatever we can manage. She doesn’t always love it… as you’ll see…

It’s work, right? A lot of work. My husband and I spend a lot of time hunched over, like in this video. I’m not sure if we are doing long-term damage to our backs or not. But we do NOT want Elsa to get too comfortable in that wheelchair of hers, if there’s a chance she might walk.

Have any of you experienced “tipping points” with your kiddos, in their progress towards walking? If so, please share what’s worked in the comments section below.

Therapy techniques? Equipment? Motivators? Anything at all would be helpful.

To gather up advice and recommendations, social shares of this post (on Facebook and Twitter) are very appreciated!

Elsa’s mom Anitra also blogs about family life at www.anitraroweschulte.com/blog.


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