>Today shall go down in history as Day 1 in my life. It’s truly a new beginning.
I got up, got the testing finished up for Cushing’s at the hospital lab, and headed off to feeding therapy. I waited for a half hour once I got there (hey, the service is incredible, so I’m not going to complain). Christine, the OT, called me back and did some muscle testing with me and found that I have slightly low tone, but nothing to be worried about. Then, she mentioned that she noticed that I move very stiffly. Instead of moving individual parts of my upper body, I keep it all connected. She showed me how to stretch my neck and shoulders, one muscle at at a time. Then we did an activity where I keep my feet facing front, reach across my body, and hit her hand behind me on the opposite side. It was to practice crossing midline and turning my body. She wants me to practice these exercises at home, too, and I will.
Amy (the ST) came in and set up the table for us to eat. First, we each got a baby carrot. We touched it with one finger, then two fingers, then held it, then put it on the back of our hands, then rolled it between our hands, then walked it up to our shoulders, then held it on top of our heads, then touched it to our cheeks, then to our lips, then painted our lips with it, then touched front teeth, back teeth, and all the teeth in between, then put dents it in with our teeth, then took a bite and spit it out, then took a bite and chewed it and spit it out… and that’s as far as I got. I couldn’t swallow the carrot.
Next we took a lemon and did everything up to holding it in our teeth. We did honeydew (they called them “green squares”) and I swallowed that, even though I didn’t really like it. Then we took a break and did a preferred food, rice cakes. Next we did mandarin oranges, which I liked and swallowed, with great effort. After that it was back to a preferred foot, this time Babybel cheese. Finally, we did apple, and I chewed and swallowed that. We practice “losing” the food in our mouths and collecting it back together and swallowing it. Because I don’t chew well, I lose food easily in my mouth, and it makes me nervous, especially so when it’s a nonpreferred food. But practicing, knowing I could spit it out at any time, really helped.
After that I went to the autism research study and did attention training on the computer, which is boring. I get tired of it and tell them when I’m done. I found out about another study they’re doing with fMRIs and I was really, really interested… but darn it, my IQ is too high. It’s not even that high! Gosh. Why are they afraid of a little IQ, eh? Also, they won’t take me because of my diabetes and my insulin pump. Ridiculous. I really wanted to do that study.
Finally, I met my friend Becky at the mall. She lives almost an hour away, so we don’t see each other too often. But we went shopping! I found cat salt and pepper shakers and a cat clock, which I promptly told my mom I want in my apartment someday. Then we spent ages shopping for plain black leggings. I wanted some to wear under skirts and pants, to block the feeling of the pants, and just to wear around the house, because of how comfortable they are. It took us 4 or 5 stores, but we found them.
When I got home, after dinner, I wanted to show my mom how I could do the oranges. She started to cry! She said she wished my dad could see me (I called him, then). My stepdad insisted that I would be able to eat a carrot if I dipped it in peanut butter… Mom said, that’s gross, don’t do that. He said, “Humor me,” so I did it, and I swallowed that little bugger!