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!!


Popcorn House said...

What your OT said is exactly what my OT told me as well. That awareness is the first step, then a primitive type grasp, then a more refined grasp like a pincher grasp, then supination. These will come, I have learned to accept that Sammy's grasps won't be as fluid as right hand or as quick and natural.

A few months after we got Sammy's dx. I ran into two hemi people at the store. One was a teenage boy(15-16) who was a cashier at Wal-Mart over the summer. He was a left hemi like our kiddos. OH he chatted and chatted.....I loved seeing how social he was. He was more involved then Sammy is, I could tell that pretty quickly. But he had great functional use of his left hand. While he would scan the merchandise with his right hand he would open the bags with his left hand, you could tell he had therapy by the way he was moving his left hand in a sweeping type motion, using all four fingers together. It was VERY functional for him. Anyways, I gave him my stack of coupons and as we were talking I was WATCHING HIM VERY CLOSELY to see how he would scan my coupons. He passed the scanner over to his left hand while he would move the coupons with his right hand. Again super functional for him. You could just tell that he had gone to years and years of therapy. I left Wal-Mart feeling really happy and so grateful for that experience.

The next cashier was again at Wal-Mart probably in her thirties also she was a left hemi. She did everything without even once using her left arm/hand. She held it up in a protective "birdie" position. I would say hands down she was one of the fastest cashiers I have had, she was amazing with her right hand. I gave her my stack of coupons and she set down the scanner each time to move the coupons. Never once using her left hand. I left feeling heartbroken for her and for my sweet baby boy.

I told my OT of both of these encounters and asked her how we could prevent Sammy from establishing bad habits like the older girl cashier had. She said therapy and more therapy. She reminded me of the age difference between the two cashiers. The boy was younger and therapy had advanced so much over the years. Now we know that they can learn to use their hands/arms. The boy like I said obviously had years of therapy, by his grasp and motions I could just see how they came up with a workable grasp for him. My OT reminded me that now 16 years later, we are starting therapy earlier we are constantly reminding him at home to use "two hands" "use lefy". She said all of these things are going to make Sammy better off then even the teenage boy.

I think we need to set high realistic goals for our kids. I used to feel bad about that. I didn't want Sammy to feel like I was pushing him too much. But I don't feel bad anymore. I feel bad that he even has to deal with this. But I want the best life for him, PERIOD. I want him to be a functional, happy man. So I think that starts now, today. For me lately, it has been hard to watch him use his left arm/hand less and less. Still much more then before we were casted, but I watched him for six weeks do everything with his left hand. I know he can do it, but without the cast on he does what is easier for him. It makes me sad, but yet hopeful that one day it will click for him and he will realize that he can rely on his left hand too.

You may have to guide her movements for the first couple weeks, but I bet you see some amazing results by the end of this. Keep setting those high goals, but don't feel discourage when she doesn't reach it now too. One of my goals for Sammy during our CIT was a pincher grasp. We did get A pincher grasp by the end. He likes to use his pointer finger and thumb best together. While it isn't "normal" it is super functional for him and he does great with it. Am I going to give up on a true pincher grasp, NO....but I also feel grateful for Sammy's pincher too. I hope all of this makes sense????

Love hearing her cute voice, she is so beautiful and so smart!!! I am always so impressed with her and you!

Popcorn House said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Popcorn House said...

Sorry, I was rereading and noticed an error. He likes to use his MIDDLE finger and thumb together.

Domestic Diva In-Training said...

Your video is adorable! Leah is super cute! I know that wasn't what you blogged about but I had to say it. My Older daughter watched it and asked were I got the movie of her...I have no idea why she though it was her, but she did.

Barbara said...

Hang in there! You're just beginning - she'll make progress and there will be more opportunities as time goes by. It's easier said than done, that's for sure!

Erin said...

Amanda hang in there. Leah is doing great and will continue to amaze you. Don't worry:) Lets get together how is next week?