Day 22 – Feldenkrais with Josipa

Where do I begin …. what an emotional day … our last day with Josipa. Someone who has become part of our family, someone who we have spent nearly every day with for the last four weeks. It is just crazy… and sad to think we aren’t going to wake up and see her for a session next week.

So much was discussed today and so many tears were cried… let me take you through our session.

Owen began with sitting, he was sitting well, right up on his sitting bones, he was chatting, moving his head around, lifting and replacing his feet and showing such good differentiation. He had an audience which helped, Vince, Aunty Bec, Kiera and myself. There is no doubt in our minds that this sitting is learnt – looking back to how Owen would have sat at the beginning of the sessions with Josipa – he needed someone in front and behind him as he would fall so quickly. As soon as he would rock or lift his feet he would lose balance – this is so different now, he is SOOO much more in control. We are constantly testing him with distractions and toys and poking and talking – we are doing our best to challenge Owen and his balance and movement at each moment…and he is doing so well. Josipa explained how important this is for when she goes now and that we are constantly around him in everyday life that we are not doing too much for him because he can do it himself. I think I will be carrying this blue bench around with me everywhere so we can continue to do this in every situation and get Owen used to always sitting on his own. Practise makes perfect right?

During the sitting exercise Josipa began to tell me what Doc. dr. sc. Hrvoje Hećimović her Neurologist said to her after seeing Owen’s MRI. There was just over 800 images of Owen’s MRI that Josipa had shared with Doc. dr. sc. Hrvoje Hećimović. She began to talk in so much detail that the focus was then taken from Owen. In short she explained how not normal Owen’s brain was….that there were so many variables that were not right, not in the right position, both structurally and functionally. It really doesn’t make sense to what she has experienced with him and his learnings over the last month. She said she was glad she didn’t see the images prior to the sessions as it may have clouded her judgment on what was achievable for Owen. We were getting distracted from Owen’s sitting so we decided to turn the focus back to Owen and his movements. We only had limited time being the last session so we wanted to focus strongly on Owen.

We began standing and he was great, full surface of foot – heels down. shifting his weight and he made it look so effortless. He began stepping and continued stepping all the way to Josipa’s bedroom. Usually Owen would take a few times to warm up. Standing and lowering a few times and then taking only a few steps and then starting again…. today he was up and straight to the bedroom. Again so cute when he came to the mirror…wanting to kiss himself and get closer to the mirror was just adorable…. until he hit his head on the mirror a few too many times.

After such good stepping and Josipa talking us through it so well I wanted to have a try – and it wasn’t as easy as she makes it look directing him. I felt comfortable in the rising from froggy and then in the standing position. It was incredible to realise the soft touch that was needed to help Owen stand. He really was just standing on his own, I was hardly doing anything – just there with the softest touch. Then we began to step I found this really hard. Hard to not just do it for Owen or help him too much because it was like when we wanted to push him he just stopped all together.  It’s amazing how much if you just wait – Owen will do it….but waiting and giving him the nudge is the key. This is something I really have to work on – and Vince too as he tried also. I tended to support Owen too much on the upper part of the torso so he just took to it. we need to realise the more we give him the more he will take so we need to not support him too much as HE CAN do it on his own. It was really tough and I found this a little emotional for me, it was as though…crap … Josipa is leaving and I don’t know how to continue this and I want the best for Owen so I need to learn fast etc – but i think Owen could even pick up on that energy from me, it was like he even had a little confused look on his face like – hey you don’t usually do this and Josipa is in front of me instead of behind. I need to learn to take it slowly, and wait for Owen’s lead and then right assist – I remember Josipa saying in our very first session – we just need to be his shadow as he is capable – we just need to be there…..a lot easier said than done. Vince and I tried a few more times with a slight improvement but still proving to be quite difficult.

Josipa wanted to continue one last stepping sequence with her before the end of the session, it was so strange…it was like Owen knew…and he became so sad. Stepping and crying…he has never done this before, and it wasn’t a normal I’m pissed off cry – it was a real sad – ‘I know you’re leaving’ kinda cry… poor little man.

Of course this then set everyone off… there was not a dry eye in the house.

Who would have thought that someone from a completely different country who we have only just met could have such an impact on us as a family.

We had to drop Josipa off after class to another Feldenkrais practitioner, so we also had the chance to talk in the car also. We were all very quiet initially – more tears and Josipa spent some time with Owen in the back. For a short while he sat there just holding her hand, he was still a little sad, but so still being with her.

I asked Josipa whether we could speak about Owen’s MRI again but she suggest we discuss another time as we were all so emotional after our last session. I will have to update you another time on that!

I don’t really know how else to describe this feeling but the connection and bond we have created is something so amazing. We can’t thank Josipa enough for coming to Australia to work with our kids…especially our little man, and again thank you to Sanja again for providing this opportunity that we have got to meet Josipa and that now we can build that connection with her that you so strongly did with Adrian.

I know this is not the end and that we will have many late night conversations on Skype, Viber, Messenger and again hopefully in person soon and more and more often if possible. Meeting Josipa has been such a blessing.

Wow what a month…. crazy, joy, passion, love, encouragement, belief, satisfaction, courage, enthusiasm, independence, mind boggling and most of all SO MUCH LOVE for our little man.

Thank you to all of you reading this – wherever in the world – you are sharing in this with us. Some nights it has been hard to write the blog post after a full on day… but I am so glad I have and got through it! Tonight I could probably could write for hours but I must leave it there…. wish me luck in getting to sleep tonight! Thank you so much again as everyone’s words of encouragement for Our Young Warrior and us as a family have been incredible.

Most of all – THANK YOU – JOSIPA ……until next time… we love you XOXO

Quote of the day from Josipa “I am not some miracle worker, Owen truely is a miracle himself”

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  • Janet January 29, 2016   Reply →

    Wow I feel the emotion in every word written. Josipa has had an amazing influence in Owen’s life and all who surround him. We are blessed to have your influence in our young mans life. Thank you so much Xx Owen is a true little warrior and Taryn and Vince are amazing parents!! 😍😍😍

  • Fiona January 31, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you for sharing the journey, Taryn. Owen has made amazing progress. You have a wonderful team of support around you. Xx

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