23 March 2005

therapy and parties

Monday was Miss C's weekly appointment with her physical therapist, Jeff. He first watches for a few minutes to see how she moves on her own. From this, he can tell how far her range is in stretching her arm to her side or trying to lift it onto her chest or anything else may do. Then, he begins to do some stretches on her arm and can feel which way she 'wants' to move it. I notice this, too. There is almost a resistance to go all directions but one, and that one way is an easily assisted move. Apparently, this is her brain sending a message to her arm to move, but the muscles is not strong enough and the nerve is not firing sufficiently, so by assisting her movement, we send the message back to her brain that the move is effective. This process helps her brain register what the nerve is still not quite able to tell it. We are also developing the muscles and training them to function in a normal pattern.

There are two things in particular that we are watching for at this point. One is supination of the wrist. Basically, if you look at her, she keeps her palms face down all the time. We want her to voluntarily move them face up. Second is shoulder flexion, which is essentially raising her arm above her head. Jeff was trying to encourage this with gravity assistance (allowing gravity to make her job easier by adjusting her position). He said he could feel one of the three necessary muscles flexing beneath his fingertips...yay! It's just not strong enough yet to carry through with the movement.

Miss C does not bend her elbow much yet, either. Mostly, she keeps her arm straight. If she is on her right side, the left arm will move more (it's not pulling against gravity to move, thus making it easier for her, but still using the necessary muscles), and her elbow will bend some as she tries to learn her way. However, the elbow uses the bicep to move and that is the easiest muscle to build...it will voluntarily begin to work more as the others get stronger, so it is not a major concern right now.

On another note, my little boy turned four! Wow...he's growing up so fast. I swear it was just yesterday that he was the size of his sister...only he woke up a lot more in the night. Still does, for that matter! But he is absolutely the best four year old I could dream up. Most days. haha! We had a little birthday party for him over the weekend. It was just warm enough for the kids to go out and play in the yard. We kept things as simple as possible...no specific games...time slot that allowed for cake and ice cream but no other foods...and a maid to clean the house a few days prior...I could not have gotten this house ready on my own...I've just barely been feeling myself in the past two weeks as it is. But, we felt Little B really needed a special day for himself. He chose a Nemo theme. That meant Nemo on the cake, the party hats (forgotten upstairs until everyone was gone...oh well), party favor bags and two things in the bags, table cloth and invites and thank you notes. That was it. I even got ice cream cups so everything was completely disposable. I was still exhausted at the end of the day and truth be told, I really just sat and visited except to get out ice cream and take a couple pictures. And nurse Miss C.

Speaking of Miss C...she's fussing...off to mommy land!

No comments: