Today I took Miranda to our local pool, which she calls going for “swimming lessons”. She sees her brother Owen go there for lessons, so I think that’s why she refers to the pool as swimming lessons. Miranda LOVES the pool, and I want to encourage her in the water, because swimming is said to be good recreation for people with Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva. Low impact exercise, no pressure on the joints, all that sort of good stuff. I have Fridays off work, so I like to take her to the pool sometimes on Fridays.
I always put Miranda’s swimming suit on at home (and mine as well), before we leave, so that we can minimize the amount of time we spend in the change room, with that hard tiled floor… Miranda has a swim suit which is actually a swimming T-shirt along with the bottom of a regular 2 piece outfit. I think it’s better for her to wear a T-shirt, even indoors, because her back looks, well, uneven, and the T-shirt hides that better. Her thick black neoprene headband completes her swimming ensemble.
Upon arrival at the pool, I quickly whipped off our street clothes and we proceeded over to the “tots'” pool. This is a smallish-size pool with extra warm water, and at it’s deepest, it comes up only to Miranda’s mid-chest. It’s really perfect for Miranda. Mostly we just messed around, splashing and squirting with rubber pool toys. However, I’m also trying to get her to try some of the things our physio/swimming teacher is working to teach her, such as floating on her back, and doing a sort of doggie paddle – also on her back. We see this physio once per month, and it’s our good luck that she is also a former swimming teacher, so she was happy to work with Miranda in the pool.
Anyway, our teacher figured out pretty quickly that swimming on her front wouldn’t work out well for Miranda. The extra FOP bone in Miranda’s back and neck cause spinal rigidity which makes it hard for her to hold her head out of the water if she’s trying to swim on her front. Miranda is no-where near being able to swim yet, even on her back, but I’ll be happy for now if she can just learn to float. We practiced the floating position a bit, and she actually did pretty well (though didn’t want me to let go of her!).
Swimming was lots of fun! Others in the pool started at Miranda’s headband, and I can see them wondering what’s wrong with her, but that doesn’t bother me nearly as much as it used to. The only part that wasn’t so great was getting changed afterward in the changing rooms – that floor really scares me; I have visions of Miranda slipping and hitting her body on the tiles. However, Miranda’s getting a lot better about sitting still when I tell her to – maybe that’s the difference between a 4 year old and a 3 year old – and in the end, we got through that part safely and with minimum trouble.
After swimming, I took Miranda to Starbucks, where she loves to get a cold chocolate milk complete whipped cream on the top – yum! I think my gal would count this as a pretty good start to the day…
Here’s a picture of Miss M after we got back home:
Doesn’t she look like excited and full of beans? I love to see that grin on my sweetie’s cute little face!