In the last blog I posed the question "what next ?" and while we have some control over what's next, in many ways we have none at all. Over the last few months we have tried to introduce more and more "non-physio physio". The intention being to try and introduce some variety - Ev is an 8 year old boy after all and the response of "boooooooring" has started to be uttered from time to time.
So, once a week, Ev goes up to a friend's stable to ride on their horse, Whitney (ex-dressage competition horse). This is largely "weather permitting" although he has done this from time to time wearing his rain poncho that usually covers the wheelchair on weather affected school runs.
We have also swapped some of the physio for a one-to-one swimming lesson (which, at 8:15 on a Saturday morning, means one less sleep-in opportunity, but no problem with that - just a large cup of tea required to help kickstart Loup who would admit herself isnt an early-bird). This has had a massive impact, not least with his confidence, and in the last few weeks he has made some great progress - to the point where he decided to just dive-in - to the great surprise of everyone watching. "I just decided to do it...." Ev replied when asked where that had come from. "I just decided to do it - and I did!!!"
The last "new stuff" which I have mentioned previously is the wheelchair racing - even though he has only been to a couple of sessions i'm loving the opportunity to get him doing something like this. Even if, for now, all he does is wheel himself up and down the 100 metre lanes his competitive streak is incredibly evident and while celebratory Krispy Kreme do-nuts on the way home for a new personal bests are a treat i'm not sure if my waistline can cope (well, it would be rude to not join in with him....)
However, there are still some niggling frustrations. All of this is all well and good. And it is good, very good - but Ev still seems a long way off properly walking independently - he has all of the "nuts&bolts", all the techniques, to do this but his confidence still seems a long way off. Yes, we mainly post the happy pictures, the positive updates and the occasionally inspiring video or celebratory tweet but for each of these there is a frustrating physio session where he can't get himself going, times when Loup (who bears a lot of the physio activity) gets upset when he'll only walk with her directly behind him so he can see she's still there and times when we simply wonder how much an eight year old can take.
Times when big progress seems to far away.
If only he would do something as small as walk from one sofa to another - a challenge Stephen (Ev's physio) has presented to him. It's nothing - four steps. He's done thousand plus steps in one go, he's walked to collect the Paralympic flame in front of a crowd, but if he would only walk these four steps it would be a massive thing for us.
Maybe we are being greedy.
But, almost out of nowhere, Ev decided to set himself this as a new challenge and - well, of course, seeing as i'm writing this blog about it - he did it. Not once, not twice, but perhaps twenty times. Good walking as well - not the couple of steps and then a lurch that he has been doing but good walking, hands down, and well controlled.
And then, well, he got so giddy, inspired by himself that he decided that wasnt enough. So he did this........
It seemed so ordinary, so matter of fact, and he did it over and over again.
A few small steps - but so much more than that.
Whatever next....... ?