29 May 2011

The Most Beautiful Laugh I've Ever Heard

So blogger.com's been down for nearly half of the week.  I'm not sure how I've survived . . . thank goodness for word documents and cut-and-paste.  So, I'm finally caught up on all the silly misadventures of my week.

27 May 2011
Being a therapist is like being a parent . . . you shouldn't have favorites, but sometimes you do . . . and no matter how hard you try to hide it, sometimes you just can't (don't worry mom, we'll let Mike keep thinking it's him . . . for now).

That's right, you guessed it.  This is another post about Little B.  I don't know what it is, but this kiddo lights up my day.  He's awesome!  When I first started treating him, nearly a month ago, he wouldn't give me the time of day . . . I'd walk in the room and he'd turn to face the wall.  I'd come near him and he would jab his little finger at me to poke me.  But then the more I'd stretch him and work with him and the more movement he'd regain, he started to pull some of the walls down.

Earlier this week, I got my first smile out of him.  That's right, the very first smile after a month.  It was a HUGE victory for me.

So this morning during dressing changes, I had one of the guys I work with (who speaks French and Hausa) ask him why he never says anything.  He didn't answer, so the guy asked him if he can speak.  He shook his head, no.  At first I had thought I had heard him whisper once or twice, but maybe I was mistaken.

This afternoon when I went to get him for our playtime . . . I mean, therapy . . . Granny decided she'd stay in his room and he could go by himself.  It was like having a completely different kid.  He smiled through the whole thing!  While he was theraputty-ing he caught a glimpse of us in the mirror . . . he tapped me on the arm and pointed at himself, wearing nothing but an enormous grin.

After my disaster with the bubbles I felt I owed it to him to have at least one good bubble-blowing-session this week (since we really blow bubbles to work on forearm supination and elbow flexion in order to fight against contractures forming after his fullthickness burns).  So I brought in one of the WonderBubblesTub long wands to be able to access the little bit of store-bought bubbles left at the bottom of their container (where the built-in-the-cap short wand couldn't reach).  I was so proud of my bubble-trouble solution . . . and Little B. had a hopeful look on his face.

I took the long wand in for a swan dive.  But it's diameter was too large for the plastic jar.

And then a miracle happened.

Little B. started to giggle.

So I tried again.  Crash.

He giggled harder.

I did it again.  Crash.

This time, it was full blown laughter.

It was the most beautiful sound I've heard in a long time.  His little voice was full of joy.  There was no reserve or hesitation in his laugh.  He was letting out what was inside . . . and it was pouring out of him.  We went on giggling and laughing for far longer than it was funny, but something tells me that Little B. has been wanting to laugh for some time.

I don't know why he is so afraid to laugh, or even to smile.  But I am thankful that now he knows there is a safe place . . . there is a place where he can be a little boy . . . a place where he can experience joy.  And that my friends, is why I'm an OT.  And why I've moved to Niger.


Leah Long said...

and why you put up with ridiculous marriage proposals, and why you kill spiders you'd rather wish away, and why you just get over not being able to buy ziplock bags or wear pants or...or...so great to have your cup refilled! Thank you, God, and good job you!

Deb. said...

Yes . . . 'cup refilled' . . . EXACTLY!!  (how much longer are vous êtes en France?)