Queena is a Survivor.Queena is undertaking the challenge of Suit Therapy/TheraSuit at Pediatric Therapy Services in Lakeland. Queena’s family and supportive community have made this opportunity available to her by their continued support.
Suit Therapy is an intensive therapy program that expects Queena to work constantly with a team of trained physical therapists for 3 hours a day, 5 days a week for 3 weeks. The goal for Queena during Suit Therapy is to teach her to be able to “call up the muscles of her body” so that her body can function better as a whole rather than in pieces.
The first week of Suit Therapy at Pediatric Therapy Services (PTS), Queena was evaluated and began to go through the paces. She showed the PTS team that her strengths were her spirit, a strong will, a sense of humor and the ability to concentrate while pushing herself forward to the next challenge.
Queena furrowed her brow when trying to make a muscle move or while keeping her head at the top of her body. She quickly understood that her head was her responsibility and that it leads the rest of her body. Queena’s body often has spasms and is full of “tone” making it hard for her to move individual muscles. The Suit helps her connect her head to her neck, neck to shoulders and chest, chest to trunk and pelvis and hips to knees and feet. By attaching the cords in a specific way for what Queena needs, the therapist is able to help Queena move.
Suit therapy is different for Queena. She is expected to learn what she can make her body do, not what others can make it do for her. Queena learned that by blowing with her lips that her head can better stay in the middle of her body and that her eyes can become better centered. She learned that by having her head and upper body move in different patterns that she could breathe deeper and focus her senses. When the Suit was on, Queena was able to sit with her feet flat on the floor. She turned her head to help with rolling her body and brought her left leg across her body with help. Learning to roll by herself is extremely important to help Queena move her own body in her bed and help with her dressing.
Nearing the end of the first week, Queena experienced the “spider” while wearing the Suit. By attaching a waist belt to her and then attaching bungees to the universal exercise unit Queena’s body is able to be lifted. This makes it is easier for Queena to move. Queena indicated which direction she wanted her body to move and initiated the movement herself!
Queena’s patience is amazing as she waits for her team to transfer her, put the Suit on and figure out the best way to make things work. She has not wavered in her energy and has not taken one break from her week of challenge. She has shown frustration, a tad of anger at her team (well deserved) and compassion and caring for those working with her.
The first week has shown Queena that she “can do” and has shown her team that believing is everything.
Denise Kilburn, PT
Denise Kilburn, PT
Denise Kilburn is Queena's Physical Therapist and is co-owner of Pediatric Therapy Services, Inc. in Lakeland, Fl.
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