Last month, I had the amazing opportunity to do another MEDEK/CME intensive with the boys – close to home! There are no dedicated, 100% CME physios in my entire province (that I’m aware of) so I jumped at the chance, especially since it was with the amazing SMILE Therapy for Kids. 🙂
Kelowna, BC is about a 3.5/4 hour drive from Vancouver and the intensive was for a week, so I packed up the Jeep, booked an AirBNB and off we went! My sister-in-law came with to help out since my husband couldn’t get time off work.
It was an exhausting, busy week but as with all therapies, completely worth it!
We first saw SMILE back in May when we flew to Toronto for a 2 week intensive, the first time we’d done any private therapy and we didn’t know much about MEDEK or the boys’ conditions or really anything at all. After that intensive, I have been 100% focused on researching the best therapies for my boys and doing as much as we can to afford as much as we can put them in. Travel expenses are a massive part of that, since there isn’t anything like this close to home, but we will continue to find ways to make this happen.
If you’re not sure what MEDEK physiotherapy is, SMILE has a great summary here.
Again, so lucky this intensive was close to home and that I found out about it!
In the 5 days we had, I was amazed to see the boys’ progress from where we started in May. I of course knew they had progressed since I work with them daily at home, and we do weekly private physiotherapy as well (some CME exercises there, but it’s not a fully CME-focused practice).
The entire SMILE team in Toronto is amazing (I was so happy to see Jess came as well!!), and so is our local private PT (Kids Physio), but after working with several people now, I have realized that Jo-Anne Weltman is Jaxon’s “Golden Ticket”, as I call it. Jaxon is a challenging case. His pull into flexion is SO strong and so far Jo-Anne is one of the only ones to be able to break that pattern and really understand what he needs to move forward. Obviously she has so much experience to make this possible. I truly believe her guidance on Jaxon’s development is the secret to him making progress.
A few standout moments from the week included…
Jaxon pushing up into standing in aerial for the first time ever!
Axel walking just with the support of one hand under him (meaning he was fully controlling his upper body/trunk upright).
And… AXEL SITTING! (About a week after the intensive, he started sitting up fully independently as well. HUGE!!)
Jaxon has also started being able to balance for 20-30 seconds in prop sitting by himself too, which is what Axel was doing several months ago.
And of course, learning our new home program exercises on the last day! I even got Axel in float to stand off the edge of the table (unfortunately no video evidence though, haha). In May I remember being a bit scared to do these exercises and wondered if I could do it, but after working with them at home since our intensive in May, I’m much more confident in handling them. I love our new exercises and was really excited to see how challenging they are compared to our old stuff.
First thing I did after getting home was book our next intensive – back in Toronto for 2 weeks in March 2020. Flying with the boys (and their g-tubes, etc) is tough but again, the skills and knowledge learned at these intensives is worth any travel woes! SO excited.