I know it sounds funny, but I’m going to admit something.
Hi, my name is Erika and I’m a therapy equipment junkie.
Don’t get me wrong, the technician from the orthopaedics company knows his stuff.
It is just that I have spent a lot of time thinking about this particular piece of equipment.
I researched all the different brands and models that came into question for Mia.
We tried out the array of options with our orthopaedics consultant.
We even went as far as to survey what other kids in our area have and get feedback from their parents.
And the highlight of my year is the local handicap fair, where I collect brochures from all the therapeutic companies.
I’ve read the owner’s manual from front to back before it even arrived.
I studied the sales manual and went back and forth about the perfect colour to order.
A colour that hopefully will be fun for Mia, and help her identify that this particular piece of equipment belongs to her.
I thought hard about what accessories were needed in order to ensure that Mia is included in as many aspects of our family life as possible.
In short, I’ve placed a lot of faith in this complex contraption made of metal, plastic, webbed straps and fabric.
Each new piece of therapy equipment that we add to our collection builds on the hope that this will be the missing link to whatever therapy goal is currently on the agenda.
Can this stander help Mia maintain her bone mass through weight bearing activity, so that we can avoid structural problems in the future?
Will Mia’s head control improve with the use of this therapeutic seat?
The list goes on, and my hopes for Mia grow.
There is also the investment in emotional energy and physical effort that is attached to each equipment request to the disability insurance.
The uncertainty, will they agree that this is as important for Mia as our therapist and doctors think?
Hopefully, I offer the case reviewer the right arguments concerning the need to upgrade from our current arrangement.
Then once we have the equipment and we start to use it, one of three things happen.
Either Mia’s quality of life greatly improves and we question how we ever lived without this item. When this is the case, often the piece of equipment was long overdue.
Or, the long awaited equipment ends up not being the initial answer to our hopes.
Usually in this situation, it is not that it is the wrong piece of equipment.
In this particular case, it often means that we got the said device at just the right time.
Still there have been cases where all parties involved were convinced that a particular piece of equipment was the right step for Mia, and it just did not work out.
Turning in those items sometimes feels like a small failure. But in the end, we are learning by doing. Where one door closes, another door opens.
Behind this new door is often a snazzy piece of therapy equipment that in the end, is truly the answer to our hopes and dreams for little Mia.
If a venue improved its changing facilities, would you be more likely to visit it with your disabled child?