This was going to be a downer of a post. Saturday Claire had an episode while we were driving and it hit me hard. Later that day I actually strained my neck muscles from crying so hard. Instead of going on about my fears of her funeral, I have something much better to talk about, physical therapy! We took the last two weeks of the year off as her physical therapist went on vacation. On the last day of her vacation, she fell, that caused her to have surgery on her arm. I can't say that I was excited to hear that Sue would be out for an unknown period of time. I knew that in some way or another, it would work out, that kept me from panicking. Imagine my surprise when I got a call on the first day back to school, it was Sue and Claire could come in for her time on the treadmill. You see, Dave, Sue's boss was going to be her hands. Dave is the guy in charge of the CCS unit that we work with and is also a physical therapist, he just typically does more office related stuff, being the boss and all. He is the guy who signed off on Claire's eye gaze computer and the particular mounting system that we got for it, pretty important office related stuff! Back to my story, that day Sue coached Dave on what she does with Claire on the treadmill. It takes a very special balance of support and backing off at the same time to help her walk and I was certainly impressed to see how quickly Dave picked it up. Today was our fifth session with him and we had a wildly successful time on the treadmill. At the end Claire didn't want to stand up, that's how I knew that she was really pushing hard even though she made it look easy. Before we left, Dave brought out a new toy of sorts for Claire to try. He was thinking about what we were working on and thought it was worth a try with a walker that she could rest her arms on. We tried it out and although it wasn't perfect, it was good, very very good. More importantly, she loved it. We have plans to try out other configurations with it tomorrow and I am hopeful that we will figure something out. The whole thing makes me excited. Excited that Claire is continuing to progress and excited that dispite some random circumstances, it is all working out well. Three weeks ago I would have told you that I couldn't imagine having to switch physical therapist as we have been in such a great groove lately. Yet with a fresh set of hands and eyes came a little different perspective and maybe yet another path that could lead to our goal. No, I'm still not glad that Claire has Rett syndrome but I am encouraged in it, so we will go on another day and look forward to the other unexpected stuff that we will have to be excited about, it's out there.