Having returned to our own bed has been wonderful in a lot of ways. For the last few weeks our home has felt as though it was reduced to an apartment of sorts. We spent most of our time in the living room and kitchen. Our couch had become a bed, and we became all too comfortable with an air mattress (while quite excellent, is not meant to be a long term sleeping arrangement). Getting back our bed has also meant that we have reclaimed our house, everything feels more spacious again. I am really happy to see Delaney using her crib and making use of the room that we put so much work into. I wasn't sure that was ever going to happen and it feels very rewarding. I feel more motivated to complete the mural that I was previously so excited about. She deserves to have all of the cute amenities we had planned.
Yesterday we received the last of four visits from our OT. She has been very kind and gentle with Delaney, I think it's cute that she made a point to use her name - most usually refer to her has 'baby', 'honey', 'sweetie', which are all endearing but it's good to hear her name which we are so proud of. She was impressed with how alert she and how much spontaneous movement there was during the session. I expressed some concern about Delaney's toes and feet that appear to be getting 'tight' and curling slightly. She recommended that we massage her feet and apply gentle stretching. I certainly don't mind pampering her in this way she deserves to be spoiled a bit. She also said that she would be looking into whether it would be advisable to have braces made to prevent her feet from tightening up, we may or may not pursue this (more later).
One of the most impressive experiences through all of this would be taking a trip to the Aikido dojo in Sterling Heights. I have mentioned Ki before and have been lucky to have my brother Sean available to administer some healing energy to Delaney and even saw some impact. I wasn't quite prepared for how amazing it was to see Sensei in action and receive the treatment from a very powerful practitioner. We arrived at the dojo and were greeted by some students, Patrick, and eventually Sensei himself. I had to fill out a form agreeing to treatment and signing off that any techniques learned would only be utilized as indicated. On the form I shared that we wanted our daughter to be seen and for what reasons. We placed this on the desk and awaited our turn.
Eventually we were called over to the mat and Sensei began preparations for treatment. You could hear his rhythmic breathing and muttering to himself in Japanese. Intermixed we saw him touch his own head with a pensive look on his face as he stated "this-a paht, uh ok" then moving his hand slightly to a different part of his head "this-a paht, uh not ok'. He was mimicking on his own head where he sensed that Delaney was having problems. He then focused his attention, gesturing to his own chest. Again indicating a concern about her health and in particular her heart. The key here is that no one told him that she was having heart issues. The sheet that we filled out was never shown to him. He just knew.
From there he called over my mother, who trained with Sensei some years ago. He asked her to place left hand on a particular part of Delaney's head and then asked her to take her right hand touching her thumb to her ring finger holding them strongly together. Sensei then attempted to separate her fingers. In areas that showed weakness, Sensei could easily pull my mom's fingers apart. Conversely areas that were strong in Delaney he could not separate her fingers. Take it for what it's worth, but something was happening. He then focused on the treatments, he had mapped out where to focus his energy, his healing Ki. This went on for a good forty minutes and Delaney was relaxed and comfortable the whole time. She was breathing very easily and open. Her hands which at times are clenched were open and soft. She seemed to be soaking the energy in, much the way she was when Sean administers Ki. Sensei spent some time with her and alternated with his fellow practitioner Patrick. It has been noted that when Patrick and Sensei travel to Japan, that many people line up to see him - they feel his power in a different way than Sensei. After the treatment was completed, we asked him how often he should see Delaney. He very quickly said "ebery day you can do". And after what we experienced later that night, I will do my best to get her there as often as possible.
Later that day when we were home, I could see that Delaney was much more energized than she has been. Her eyes were very active as we have seen before, but this time the seemed much more purposeful. She definitely appeared to select what she was looking at, even if for just brief periods of time - more than I had seen previously. We were very encouraged by this but much later into the evening she seemed a bit agitated. Her heart rate increased and we could see that she was a bit irritable. In some ways, I like seeing the emotion. Her getting a little angry is a good thing, it's that fight that only our Tenacious D can muster. However this seemed to tip the scales a bit more than we would like so we administered some meds to calm her down. Within in a few minutes her heart rate calmed and she was fast asleep.
Today, we were visited by the Feldenkrais practitioner for the second time. Lisa has been wonderful with Delaney and we were excited to see what this next session would have in store. What I really like about Lisa is that she has a very positive spirit, you can tell that she is passionate about what she does. She is purposeful in her attention to detail and the behavior she is trying to stimulate in her. Each action is in tune with what Delaney is giving her. She takes the direction that she's going and alters it slightly. Encouraging the connection to larger movements, and the combination of limbs, muscle groups, and reflexes that will hopefully help her to regain strength and control. The practice is centered around retraining the brain to make the connections of movement necessary to get her back on track. Today we focused on tummy time, "discovering" facial features, and getting comfortable with rolling over. Lisa didn't disappoint and the more that I watch her in action the more I feel I can get Delaney in a routine of practicing these exercises.
From there we had a wonderful visit from our friend Nicki. She came along with baked goods to snack on and her spunky attitude for some light conversation and laughs. She also decided to come along and witness the Ki treatment for herself. Today, when we went we got a special treat of a brief Ki demonstration. She was even able to participate, despite not "knowing" exactly what she was looking it I'm sure it was neat to see Sensei in action as a "first timer". He is a very impressive man, entertaining at the very least. He is an excellent teacher and following the treatment with Delaney he was able to teach me some of the technique and how I should be using it while away from the dojo. I won't get into the details, but it was fascinating and I could definitely feel the energy in my hands and gut. I was sitting quietly and still, sweating like you wouldn't believe - very much an indicator of feeling and sharing the energy. I'm not sure my energy will feel quite as strong at home, but it certainly can't hurt. She always loves when I stroke her back and hold her in my arms, so a little more attention along with my own Ki can't be a bad thing.
When I held Delaney this evening I was just giddy. Her eyes were moving a lot and she even cracked a little of the "Elvis" smile that I like to call it. Sort of this half smirk for brief moments. It reminds me of when we first had her home and she would smile in my arms. I so long for that to return, and perhaps we are seeing some glimmer of her old self returning! As I stared at her beautiful baby blues, I decided to play with her gaze a bit to see what might happen if I covered up her field of vision. In the past it didn't matter what you did, she appeared to stare off in the same direction. What was different tonight is that when I covered up part of her field of vision, she slowly ever-so-slightly moved her eyes to "see around". As if to say "hey, your blocking my view!". She didn't do it every time, but I definitely saw something I hadn't seen before in the weeks we've been home from Children's.
I know that our prayers are being answered. Particularly those requesting that we continue to 'surround ourselves with wonderful people, so that wonderful things happen'. Sensei and Patrick are wonderful people. Had I not been centered in myself and my faith, and my belief that I will do everything in my power to help Delaney in every way, we would not have gone for the Ki treatment. If I had allowed doubt to enter into the equation, we would have stayed home. On the wall of the dojo there is a simple poster - "Ki is love". I believe that.
So the next time you send your positive energy to our family, perhaps you will be sending some Ki of your own.
B & L & d