Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Cast is OFF!

Well, I still have a lot of writing to do about our Spica cast experience as I did not post alot the last several weeks.... been alittle busy! However, it is worthy to post that Simon's cast has come off!


He was admitted to Shriner's hospital for Rehab 4 days ago, but had a very short stay and actually got to go home on pass overnight and we never spent the night. That was nice since I need to pack most of his food because of his allergies, and he would have been bored and stir crazy (and made everyone else crazy too!).

Unexpected events.... alot of pain when the cast came off. I didn't really expect this. Someone moved him - very carefully, but his knee did bend and that could have been what started the pain. He was "frozen" and afraid to move for over an hour. He was given Loritab (vicodin). He calmed somewhat and we coaxed him to get into the big tub (which was GREAT!). Once he was in the warm water and his leg moved on it's own - he realized he was OK! After that he did great. He went down for rehab and actually walked about 15 feet! That was the second shocker! I didn't even think he'd be able to sit up on his own let alone walk the first day. That was great.

However, we did get alittle too excited I think because that night at home, he wanted to walk all the time and although I was right behind him ALL THE TIME, I turned my head for a second to talk to someone and he ended up falling. He tried to make a 180 degree turn and could turn his leg fast enough. Luckily he was not hurt - just surprised and scared for a minute, but did get up a few minutes later and walked more.

Since that first night he is alittle more resistant to walking. I think he is sore and the novelty has worn off. He is moving ALOT more though and that is progress. He moves all around on the couch or in bed and we have been swimming twice and he is getting some good range of motion in the water. I bribe him to walk from the living room to the kitchen for treats and he can do it without alot of pain. I'm going to start getting creative next week with "where" we go walking to make it more interesting and not just "rehab" or "practice" - because to a 4 year old you know "that's boring"! I did get out his tricycle and was surprised that he could ride it! And at a pretty good clip in the garage. So that's definately doing some good.

Sleep got alittle harder with the cast off. He had been sleeping fine through the night with the cast on - could flip all around and didn't need me after the first 3 weeks. But with the cast off - he is more exposed to pain and it is not as easy to move and he gets stiff. What really helps is we put a small camping pillow between his legs and he is much more comfortable. The therapist at the hospital told us too that if their knees are touching, it can be painful.

Here are some pics of the cast coming off!

Here is the cool "bath tub" they put him in which completely relaxed him and allowed him to start moving. They used this gurney to load him up in from the room and wheeled it right to the bath tub. They then put the gurney over the bathtub and the bathtub actually raised up to make him go under the water very slowly. The bar he held onto gave him the security he needed as he was very nervous at first. But then loved it.

He liked going to "the gym" for rehab.

Keeping busy the last few weeks was not easy. We were both bored and some days quite lazy (at least Mom was!) But we tried to find things to do and we made it through. Here are some pics of things we did:

1. Having a beanbag handy was very helpful. You can bring it almost anywhere and plop them down in it. We brought it downstairs to our playroom as well as outside as pictured below playing with the bubble machine by the swing set. He could also play on his stomach on the bean bag.

He played constantly on this homemade roller board which was his main way to get around the house. The wheelchair was quite large due to the cast and not nearly as fun as this zippy toy.

He painted on the floor (sometimes literally!) as well as helped bake things that were done floor level so he could help.

Though it was a bit of a pain for the "grown-ups" (rather mom I should say), Simon helped with some planting and watering in his wheelchair and got alittle "rare" bit of Oregon March sun.

We went to the mall a few times which was fun, but could get into some power struggles with a 4 year old at the controls of a wheelchair! We tried not to run anyone over! His favorite store was the remote control car store and it was very quite so he got to play

Stay tuned for more info on Rehab! I also plan to write a long article on the Spica cast experience, tips, and things to do while in a spica cast.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Best Thing Ever....

I never realize how wonderful the disabled parking cards were.... until now. I feel more guilty than ever for that annoying feeling I would occasionally get in the past when all the parking spots were full at Target lets say - except there would be several empty disabled parking spots free. I'd have to park more than a block away... in the rain... two small kids.... seemed like a pain.

But now I realize how much these parking spots allow people to get out and about. I don't know if I would go out with Simon as much as I do if I did not have a temporary disabled parking permit. Today we went to Ben and Jerry's ice cream in a very trendy part of town with very little parking and we were allowed to park right in front of the shop! We usually have to walk blocks and blocks. We have made several quick trips to the grocery store as well because I knew I could easily find parking and get in and out without a hassle (especially now when it's raining so bad and I can't get his cast wet!)

The nice thing about parking in these spaces is that there is usually a space next to the spot for loading into a wheelchair (or stroller) where you are not in risk of getting hit by another parking car.

How do you get one? It's easy. Go online to your state DMV and see if you can download the forms. They are fairly easy to fill out - though you do need a doctor's signature. In Oregon, we needed to bring the signed doctor form to any DMV office and we got the disability plaque immediately. Be sure you have your doctor put their license number on the form! I've heard that some DMV's won't accept it without. Ours is good for 6 months.