Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cartwheels and Neuropathy

Yes, I realize that is an odd title. But in our world, the two have merged. You see, the first one is helping the second one.

Emma was diagnosed with neuropathy a few months ago. It is in her hands, and it basically means she has zero strength in that area. For instance, on the physical therapist's little "squeeze machine", most girls Emma's age can squeeze 27 lbs. of pressure. Emma could squeeze 5. This was concerning for several reason, though obviously only for quality of life purposes. (I am going somewhere with this, so hang on!)

The neuropathy isn't a new thing. She had it throughout most of her treatment, especially in her feet. She did overcome the foot issue with physical therapy long ago. The hand issue is something we all assumed was getting better, but realized recently that it wasn't. So she did a little physical therapy, mostly at home but in a PT facility as well.

This week she got it in her head that she was going to do a cartwheel. I smiled and nodded my encouragement, but truthfully, inside, I had my doubts. Emma is weak, I told myself. Emma doesn't have any hand/arm strength or any core strength. Emma is going to fail.

And do you know what happened? She did not fail. Oh, she did the first twenty times. But that kid...she just didn't give up, bless her. She kept on, and on, and on. She is still keeping on, and it's been three days now. She is almost 100% there. She can launch herself forward, and she gets her feet almost all the way up now.

What a lesson for me. While I know she couldn't have done that a couple months ago, with the PT we've been doing every single day for at least 90 days, she has developed the strength to do something she couldn't have done back then.

Facing something hard? Feel free to tell me about it.

And don't. Give. Up. Keep. Trying. Keep. Trying. Keep. Trying.


  1. Wow, that's really awesome! And although she might not be very strong in the hands, it sounds like she is very strong in the mind and a very determined little girl. And that will help carry her through any of her short comings in life. Way to go, Emma!

  2. We are very proud of her :). Thanks for stopping by, Al!