My hands are settling down this eveing, so I was able to get this put together.
Hope you like it,
Peter looked at both of them and said “I wanted to let you know that the Physical Therapy folks will be coming by today to show you some things that you’ll need to do and others that you’ll need to look for. Because Billy isn’t up running around doing things a child his physical size would normally be doing, you’re going to have to work his limbs through their full range of motion. If you don’t, then he may have some serious problems.” he explained.
“What problems?” Rick asked.
“Well, look at his feet.” Peter answered.
Sharon and Rick looked at Billy’s feet. Laying in his father’s arms, his legs resting over Rick’s right arm, his toes were pointed downward toward the floor.
When they both looked back up at Peter, he told them “See how his feet point down, that’s normal, you and I do the same thing when we lay down or sleep. But we get up and walk on our feet and stretch the Achilles tendon. If you don’t push back on his feet at least once a day, that tendon will shorten, making it very painful to put weight on the foot and he will never walk again.” he said. “PT will show you exactly what you need to do to prevent problems, don’t worry.” he added as he saw the concern on Sharon’s face.
“Also, Speech Therapy will be by. There is a possibility that the Therapist will advise you to take Billy’s Pacifier away, saying that it will make it harder for him to get his speech back. Promise me you will nod your head and smile, and then politely ignore that suggestion. I have great respect for those folks, but unfortunately, they sometimes concentrate on that one area and forget that the child may need the binky for comfort more than he needs to talk clearly right now.” Peter explained with a smile.
Sharon was really thankful that Peter was Billy’s doctor. This man was not just looking at one single area, but all of Billy’s needs. She smiled and told him “Just in case you ever wonder again, you’re not extremely lucky.”.
Rick looked at her with a puzzled expression.
“Peter once told me he was either extremely lucky or extremely good, he didn’t know which. Trust me it’s not lucky.” she explained.
“Thank you, I appreciate that.” he told her with a smile. “Do you have any questions I can answer?” he asked.
“Well, do you have any idea how long before he gets some control over his muscles?” Sharon asked.
“No. There’s no way to predict how long it will take for his body to heal the damage. Rest assured though, I do think he will get back where he belongs though, it will just take a while.” He answered.
“I guess that’s all I have then.” Sharon offered.
“Oh, any ideas on what to do toy wise?” Rick asked.
“Hmmm…we can probably answer that pretty quickly. I advise that you stay away from anything with small parts obviously. Most of the toys that won’t frustrate him will be infant toys. I tell you what, let me make a call and postpone a meeting with the administrator and we can find out.” Peter said.
“I wouldn’t want to keep you…” was all Rick got out before Peter Interrupted.
“Hey, If I can justify putting off listening to someone tell me why I should not push Lucas around like I did the other day, I’ll do it.” he said with a laugh as he started for the door. “I’ll be just a moment.” he added and he was moving toward the nurses station.
“We’re lucky.” was all Sharon could think of to say.
“You’re right.” Rick acknowledged. “But Billy’s the luckiest of all.” he added.
Turning, Sharon looked at her little boy laying in his daddy’s arms looking up. Looking at his diaper, she noticed it was already puffed up with pee. Reaching over and squeezing it between two fingers, she felt the familiar ‘wet sand’ feel and said “Honey, he needs changed again, and beware that little fire hose he’s got hidden in there.” with a laugh.
Rick laughed as he moved to the crib and laid Billy down to change his diaper. “Let’s get that wet dipey changed Baby.” he told Billy.
Peter came back just as Rick was finishing up. “Shall we go?” he asked.
“Where are we going?” Sharon wondered aloud.
“To the therapy room. There’s a bunch of different types of toys there, but more importantly, Brianna is there. She’s a goddess when it comes to knowing just what will and will not work.” he explained.
“A goddess huh?” Rick said with a chuckle.
“Hey, watch it Bub.” Sharon said with an elbow to his ribs.
“Hmmm…perhaps that was a poor choice of words.” Peter said with a laugh.
As they entered the door to the therapy room, Sharon was struck with just how many toys there were. The room was laid out in a long rectangle. More than two thirds of the floor was covered with a thick spongy looking mat that had different sections of graphics printed on it. There were two areas that looked like roads to drive cars around on, two that showed checker boards, and several others with other board games as well. Along one whole long wall toys were stacked neatly on shelves. There were two round tables in one corner, one the perfect height for a toddler, and the other sized more for a ten or twelve year old. Looking further, Sharon noticed they even had a huge doll house to play with, complete with furniture and furnishings.
Sharon’s inspection was interrupted as Peter said “Hi Brianna, this is Rick and Sharon Avery. And this cute little tyke, is Billy.”.
“Hi I’m Brianna, I am the play therapy coordinator here.” Brianna said as she shook first Rick’s and then Sharon’s hand.
Rick blushed despite himself. Brianna was no goddess from a physical standpoint. She was about five feet four inches tall and heavy set. Her red hair was pulled back into a bun. Freckled skin and green eyes made her broad nose stand out a bit. She wasn’t ugly, just not what he could ever cal l a goddess.
“I brought Billy over to see if you could help us figure out what toys would be best for him.” Peter explained.
Moving to Rick, she reached out and said “Let me have him for a second.”.
Rick, a little shocked at how quickly she got right to things, transferred Billy into her arms. She moved toward an area neither of them had noticed. It contained a raised platform about six feet long by four feet with rails all around. The padded surface she laid Billy on was about four feet off the ground. As he lay there on his back, she looked directly into his eyes. “And how are you this afternoon, little boy?” she asked sweetly. “Do you want to play with some toys?” she asked him.
Almost instantly, Billy started kicking his legs.
“I take it that’s a yes” she said to Billy.
“Actually, that’s exactly what it means. Kicking means yes, arms moving means no.” Peter told her.
“How old is he?” Brianna asked.
“Nine.” Peter answered.
“Nine?” she asked him surprised.
“Nine.” he answered.
“OK, help me understand what he had done and where he’s at.” Brianna told the three of them.
Quickly, Peter explained what had taken place, including that he had wanted to be a baby. He included this because he didn’t want Brianna to rule out infantile toys just because he was actually nine.
“OK, that helps a lot.” she said as she went to pick up several things.
When she came back to Billy, she set them on a table next to the platform. Moving Billy over, she laid down a long quilt like pad that had all different kinds of materials on one end. Picking Billy up, turning him over and laying him down on his tummy with his arms on either side of his head, she stood back a bit and said “Can you pick your head up for me Baby?”
Billy tried to pick his head up, all he managed to do was to move it side to side. Trying again, he got it just up off the quilt, only to fall back down.
Placing a hand on Billy’s back, Brianna said “Just relax, You did great!”. Lifting him and turning him back over on his back, she held a bright red plastic ring out a foot from the front of his face. “Can you take this from me Sweety?” she asked him.
Billy reached for the ring, hitting it with his right hand, but not able to get his fingers to grasp it. He tried again.
“Very good Baby. Now lets try another one.” Brianna told him.
This time she picked up an infant’s gym. Placing it over Billy’s chest. Pulling his leg straight, she placed a second one right at the end of his reach with his feet. “OK Baby, can you kick your feet for me?” She asked.
Billy was getting a bit frustrated. He had tried to do what she said and nothing worked. With the frustration came the difficulty with concentration. That brought the loss of emotional control, and just as he was reaching his limit and about to cry, giving up on trying to make sense of anything, he kicked his legs out and heard a pretty sound. He was so happy that he could actually have some affect on the world around him, he smiled a big smile, and let out a huge giggle. Kicking again, the toy gave a different sound and he giggled again.
As Billy continued to make the device make sound, Sharon couldn’t help but laugh at his sweet giggling. She was so happy he had found a way to interact with his world, she had tears in her eyes. She found herself feeling immensely proud of his little accomplishment, only to feel silly a moment later. She didn’t feel so silly when she heard Brianna’s next statement.
“There you go Baby! I am so proud of you!” Brianna told Billy with a big smile as she bent and gave him a gentle kiss on his head. Then, turning to the other three she said “I was concerned there for a bit. I could see he was starting to get really frustrated.”.
Peter moved next to Billy, looking him in the eye and said “Billy, I need you to listen to me for a second. Can you do that?”.
Billy stopped kicking the toy for a moment, and then kicked once to answer yes. His feet hit the toy and it made a really silly sound. Billy couldn’t help it, he giggled again.
Everyone including Peter laughed at that. “OK Baby, I want you to listen to me.” he said as he reached down and turned the toy off. “You like being Mommy’s baby don’t you?”.
Billy kicked several times to show just how much he liked that.
“Good. Your body is going to be like a baby’s for a little while, so the only toys that you are going to be able to play with are baby toys. If we gave you anything else, it would frustrate you or be dangerous, understand?” Peter asked.
Billy answered with a kick.
“Great. Can you tell me if you feel like a baby sometimes? I don’t mean physically so much as having a hard time concentrating, finding yourself distracted easily. Does that happen?”.
Again Billy kicked.
“OK, I need you to tell me how often it happens. It’s not all the time or you wouldn’t be able to follow what I’m saying. Is it half the time?”.
Billy pushed his arms out.
“Only a little bit?”.
Billy pushed his arms out again, twice this time.
“Most of the time?” Peter continued with the question.
Billy kicked out.
“This is good actually. It will give you time to be able to play with baby toys and enjoy them while your body heals itself. I think your concentration will get better at pretty much the same rate as your coordination. So as you can think clearer, you should be able to do more. But until then, I really want you to do something for me. I want you to enjoy this time, play with your toys, snuggle as much as you can, and giggle till you wet your dipey. Can you do that for me?” he said with a smile.
Billy giggled and kicked his legs out several times.
Leaning down, Peter kissed him on his cheek and whispered “Have fun baby boy, enjoy being a baby.”. Standing, he said "I need to get up to see the administrator. He’ll be fine. Brianna can you see what else might interest him so they can have these things on hand when they bring him home tomorrow?. He asked her.
Smiling with misty eyes, Brianna said “Sure I can. And Peter,” she said as he started to walk away, “that was probably the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard a doctor say to a patient.” as she wiped her eyes.
Sharon stood wiping hers as well, nodding her agreement to that statement.