On Thursday, my friend Chelsey and I loaded the kids up and took off for Kentucky and Jovia’s first visit with the orthopedic specialists at Shriners Hospital. The kids did great on the ride down. Thankfully we have a DVD player in the car and that kept everyone occupied for much of the 5+ hour drive. We got to Kentucky that evening and spent the night in a hotel near the hospital. Friday morning we all headed over for her evaluations.
The goal of the appointment was for us to find out exactly what we should be doing for Jovia at this point and what our “next steps” are for her. She was evaluated by orthopedic specialists, had x-rays taken and saw physical and occupational therapists. We had anticipated also seeing the prosthetic clinic but that didn’t happen. The orthopedic specialist advised us that prosthetics aren’t going to be much help for our little Jovia. They said definitely no for legs as she has very little bone in her leg stumps. They also said it was unlikely she’ll ever be able to stand/sit on her own as it would be like balancing on jello. :/ They said it may be possible for her to consider arm prosthetics “someday” but they said not right now, as they would be more of a hindrance than a help to her at this point. Not what we expected but at least we have some idea of what to expect and we could move on. I asked them what our next steps were for making sure Jovie had as much independence as we could give her and they said we start looking at adaptive equipment and a wheelchair. So off we went with occupational therapy.
The occupational therapist we saw was just great. She made Jovia an arm cuff right then and there so that she can start learning to feed herself and can color/draw with a crayon or marker. Jovie is going to LOVE that. We talked about other equipment that we’ll start looking at as Jovia gets bigger to make it easier for her to do things on her own and easier for us to care for her. Our biggest adventure right now is going to be Jovie’s new wheelchair!
Jovia is going to soon be the new owner of her very own, hot pink electric wheelchair! A Permobil K450 MX for anyone wondering.
OK – maybe not so soon, we’re told ordering can take anywhere from 4-6 months to complete but we’ve started the process and are so excited for her! Jovia had the opportunity to try out a chair while we were there and it was soooo cute to see her in it. It will take some practice for her to learn to maneuver but we’re told that this is the perfect age to start learning. She seems excited about it too. They had to strap her into the wheelchair with a gate belt because this one didn’t have a shoulder harness and she wasn’t crazy about that, but really seemed to like being able to move the chair and we’re so excited to see how quickly she learns how to use it and to see her get around on her own!
We are so proud of and excited for our sweet girl!