When Max started physical therapy, he was given a set of three goals. Once he reaches all of these goals, he'll be allowed to do a little more physical activity. Setting goals + Reaching goals = Increased Activity. That's the pattern for the next six months to a year. Right now Max is in the "Red Zone." Once he can reaches the first set of goals, he'll be in the "Yellow Zone."
Needless to say, he is very motivated.
The key factor to success is doing the daily hour or so of exercises at home. Neal is Max's am/pm workout buddy. It's a job that takes patience and stamina (not to mention a lot of time) and Neal does it beautifully.
Then we have the twice weekly appointments with Ly (Physical Therapist). She checks Max's progress and makes sure he's doing the exercises correctly.
Here are the current goals (I could not do any of these and my back is fine):
- Bend all the way backwards
- Straighten both legs at 90 degree angles
- Standing up, be able to touch the floor with your knuckles
On Friday, Max reached goal #3:
Here he has his fingertips on the floor, then he did knuckles. But Mom and her iPhone weren't quick enough to get the shot.
He is getting very close on goal #2:
Goal #1 is the toughest. But I know he'll get there.
Ly always tells Max she is impressed with his progress and that he works harder than most of her teenage patients. On Friday, we met one of her teenage patients. Ly introduced her to Max like this, "This is Max. He's seven. He's kicking your butt on the exercises."
The teenager had a sheepish grin on her face. Max was grinning from ear to ear.