Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Quick Decision...

This morning when Leah woke up, I noticed that her cast was really loose. Luckily, Lisa, our OT had scheduled therapy for this morning. When she got here she also commented on loose and soft the cast was. Since she has not really worked with this material too much, she said it looked fine and should stay on, but that she didn't really know how well.

After every cast, the casting specialist and our OT always tell us to watch the thumb. If for any reason we can't see the thumb the cast needs to be removed right away. This is because the way they are positioning the cast and circulation issues. Well, all day I was checking the cast because I knew it was loose...then tonight I watched Leah pull her thumb out and pop it back in place. She did this a few times and I started to get worried.

Also, this entire time Leah has not complained once about the cast and tonight she was definitely telling us that something was not right with it. I'm not sure if she was uncomfortable or if she thought it felt funny because it was sliding off or what. I called Lisa as soon as this all happened and she basically left the choice up to us. She said she thought it would be hard for her to slip out of the cast but since her thumb is going in we should watch it and if it goes completely in we should remove it.

After the phone call, I watched Leah for a bit and noticed that her thumb was in, so we made the quick decision to remove the cast. I was too nervous to let her sleep that way, not knowing where the cast may be cutting off circulation. Lucky for us, this material was peel off, so I grabbed the tape at the end and unraveled the whole cast.

I'm feeling pretty bummed out that we had to take it off early, but my mommy instinct is telling me that it was the right thing too do. Ideally we would get into the OT to get her casted again right away and that would be Tuesday morning, but we have a Physiatrist appointment then. Hopefully, Tuesday afternoon--if not, we'll try for Wednesday. Our OT has assured me that these couple of days without it, won't effect Leah overall. I'm just upset because she was doing so well. I'm looking forward to getting her casted again...asap!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What A Sight!

Today Leah got her cast removed and a new one placed on. At first I was pretty disappointed that we had to remove it and I really wanted it to just be left on for the whole time. But today, I was very happy we removed it, it was really smelly! Plus, once removed we noticed that Leah had a bit of a heat rash under the cast. We were able to wash her arm (with lots of soap!) and then we put some baby powder on it to help with the rash. It went away pretty much, so we decided to go ahead with the casting.

The casting specialist and our OT have been using Leah as a guinea pig and trying out some different materials. The first round we used a thinner material, which made removing the cast very easy with scissors! So, we didn't have to use the saw...woo hoo! The material we used this time, is peel-off. So next week when we are ready to remove it, they will literally just unravel the whole thing! Works for me, again I'm thrilled with no saw!

So, Leah got the cast removed and I took her to wash her stinky arm. While we were there she started playing in the sink, she took her left (effected) hand and started washing her right with it! She was playing in the water with 2 hands, but mainly using her left! It was the best sight!! I mean after ONE week, that is the results we are seeing--AMAZING! I am fully aware that had she been out of the cast longer she may not continue to use it that much, but even the awareness she has been gaining is HUGE! I'm so impressed with constraint induced movement therapy right now! This is so exciting!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

CIMT, Videos and Update

Well, we are one day away from Leah having the cast on for a week! Yay, we made it a week! Tomorrow, the cast will come off, we will uni-valve it, wash Leah's arm (WOO HOO!) and put a new cast on! We'll see how Leah does with the saw, should be interesting. I'm looking forward to a new non-smelly cast. We have been playing at the park everyday and Leah has certainly been sweating, so the cast is not pretty. Bath time has been hard, Leah wants to play and we want to make sure the cast doesn't get wet.
Other then bath our biggest challenge is eating. Leah is working so hard on her grasp and she just doesn't have it yet. Which makes eating challenging for her. She does well holding something, and tries to bring it to her mouth. Therapy has been great. Leah had an extra OT session on Monday where her therapist, Lisa, was super impressed. We also had our regularly scheduled OT session today. Lisa, was even more impressed and said she saw total improvements from Monday! Leah's focus is incredible. She is trying so hard to get things done. She does well with only a bit of assistance. You can really see how determined she is in her face. I am so unbelievably proud.

Here are some short videos of OT, then a cute video of Leah being Leah!

You can see in this video the pieces for the toy were a bit too big for Leah to hold. Leah gets easily frustrated when she can't do something right away, that's why she says "all done". Although, her movements were focused with just a little help from Lisa...Leah did a great job of turning the handle, which is annoyingly on the wrong side!

Leah did great closing this toy...she had some trouble opening it, but eventually did it herself! Yay!

The play-doh is very motivating for Leah (most of the time). She was too funny looking in the cup! She was able to grab the play-doh to play with it! It was great!

My favorite thing that Leah is doing thus far, is really using her left hand to do things! She now blows kisses with that hand, but struggles with supination. She will also give you a high five with lefty! It's great because just last week NONE of this was happening. She has gained SO MUCH awareness already. We are looking forward to seeing how she progresses in the next couple weeks! I'm thrilled already with the things she is doing! And as you can see in the video, the cast does not stop her!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

CIMT--Day 3

I'm so glad people still check in here, thanks for all the comments!

The past 2 days have gone well. Leah is not really doing much with her left hand, but she's not complaining about the cast so that is positive.

Our OT pretty much told me I need to "chill out" (but wayyyy nicer) about Leah getting a grasp. I've been really uber-paranoid that it's just not going to happen and really stressing out about it to our OT. I was talking to her on Friday and told her that I was concerned (yet again) about the grasp and she said that we need to not focus on the grasp this week and work on Leah's overall awareness. It's hard for me because so many of the blogs I read have hemi-kids really using there effected hand and Leah does not...ever. I know she is still so young and that it can happen, but I'm so afraid that it may never happen.

As far as the casting, Leah has been doing well. Her balance is great and she is not falling at all, which is something we were really worried about. Leah had a fantastic PT session on Friday, I thought it was going to be awful because she had gotten up at 5:30 that morning. Thankfully, she was her happy self. After PT was another story as she was exhausted and quite a handful!

Eating is something we are really struggling with. She does not feed herself with the cast on. She will try and get something to her mouth if I put it in her hand, but needs a lot of help. Doing this she gets so frustrated because she is hungry and she knows it's hard for her. I'm constantly trying to help her, but also trying to make sure she is eating enough! She had a rough night last night, so I'm hoping tonight is better. I'm not sure if she is uncomfortable with the cast on or it's just that she is teething. Either way, it's no fun for any of us!

This afternoon we went to the park and Leah had a great time! She was really afraid of the swing, which she normally loves. I think because she did not have the security of her right hand she was nervous on it.

This video was taken about 2 hours after Leah was casted. She got a sticker from her OT, that I decided to put on the cast to see what she would do!

I can't wait to see the other things Leah does! I'm going to try to stop stressing about the grasp and just see what happens. Our OT says she thinks she will get some sort of grasp, but it may not be for a little while longer. So, we'll see!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

CIMT--Day 1

Not sure if anyone really checks this anymore, but for my own records I'm gonna write Leah's progress!

The cast was put on at 2:00 today! I was so nervous about them putting it on her, thankfully it went REALLY well! Leah only cried twice for very short periods of time! I was thrilled!!

After the cast was finished she wanted to walk around. So I put her down and she walked away and proceeded to fall...which made us all really nervous! She only fell that once, so that was good. She was great with the cast on and didn't complain at all.

The rest of the afternoon we went to go get ice cream and went to the park. It was great, Leah did a really good job.

Dinner tonight was very difficult, but Leah was extremely exhausted. She hardly napped today and was tired from the cast, so I didn't force her to work as hard. I did help her put the sandwich in her left hand and she did a nice job getting it into her mouth, except for the supination! Grr! After dinner, she was pretty upset. She would look at me and go "Mama, all done, all done" while showing me the cast. She was really tired so I put her to bed early and she didn't fight me one bit.

I'm hoping tomorrow is a bit easier for her, she is a bit frustrated but I'm hoping with a good nights sleep things with be ok.

I'm so proud of her and how she is reacting. It's great to see!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

10 on Tuesday!

1) I'm feeling good about casting Leah this week. Nervous, very very nervous but overall good. The hardest part will be getting the cast on, I know Leah is going to hate it.

2) I'm praying that after this round we get some sort of active grasp. She is so close and I'm so afraid that we are going to hit the point where it's too late for her to develop a grasp. Our OT has assured us that it is not too late...but I can't help but be worried.

3) I'm loving that Leah is walking and am looking so forward to summer! We already go to parks and ice cream all the time and it's just so much fun!

4) Leah does not want to sit in the stroller or cart anymore, this makes shopping VERY difficult!!

5) Leah loves to run! I must say while I am thrilled with her gait while walking, her gait while running is far from graceful. It's almost as if you can see her mind working faster then her legs which usually results in her falling! Lots of scraped knees and boo-boos already!

6) Leah loves to march and jump these days!! She can't exactly get off the ground when she jumps, but boy is it funny to watch!

7) We have settled nicely into our new place. We are living in a condo building now and we are right across the hall from our good friends who have a daughter a bit older then Leah. They are adorable together!

8) Leah is doing great in her braces. I keep them on for most of the day. I find that she falls so much more without them.

9) I need to update my blog more frequently! Maybe it's the nicer weather (or the fact that everyone is on facebook!), but I just haven't been in the mood to update lately!

10) Mother's Day was great! We took Leah to see Sesame Street Live. It was great!! Leah LOVED it!!! She was screaming with excitement! Then we went to a BBQ with my family, where Leah and Avi got me a new laptop! Yay!

Wish us luck with the casting!! I'll update after we get the cast! Ahhh, I'm nervous...but excited!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Major Bummer!:(

Turns out Leah will not be getting casted this Thursday... :(

There was a scheduling conflict at the clinic and her casting needs to be post-poned until next week!

I was getting excited and nervous today and then got the call from Leah's OT!

Bummer, I was ready for it! Oh well, now we wait until next week!!