"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity,
it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path."
~ Agatha Christie

Alex, Cole and Braden - At 2 years, 2 months

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Hot Rod and The Boots

Little B has his little helpers, and they are here tonight to say hello!  When they were introduced, as a mommy, I fought the urge to tell them they weren't welcome in my normal baby's life. After they stayed awhile, I realized that they will only be here for a short time...and that, I can live with if they help him to walk. 

The PT, "Miss Pat", recommended the first - The Hot Rod.  It's a posterior walker, meaning (I think) that it gives him support by his posterior and gives him the most important feeling and need to keep balance, momentum and control over his forward movement.  It doesn't let him lean on it forward, just upright.  So, it allows him to get up and basically teaches him to walk with the problems he has on his right side.  I guess it's pretty common for kids with CP to use one of these, especially to jump start walking.  It even has red handles and red tape holding the wheels together!  lol

The Hot Rod

He has learned to walk with it - even to run, actually!  He can keep up with his brother and sister, though his feet are angling outward and he sometimes runs on tippy toes.  He still drags his right foot, but is amazingly starting to pick it up now. It's been an incredible help to him, and he really doesn't even like to crawl anymore - he crawls only to this walker and then zoom, zoom, zoom!  He picks it up to go over minor steps in the floor, picks it up to turn it out of corners and even picks it up to avoid the ridiculous amount of toys littering the floor.  He is downright giddy and good with it.  I know he never would have been able to take the unaided steps he has without this walker and that's why it's his Hot Rod.  

The other half of the supporting cast in Braden's Walking Production are some cute and plastic little boots. Or "oots" as they are so loving called.  He will say "oot, on?" when it's time to put them on...so cute.   They are officially AFOs, or Ankle-Foot-Orthosis, a common treatment for those such as B-Man.  Orthotics that are custom molded to his feet, to stretch back his foot on a more constant basis.  Mike and I and the therapists that are here three times a week have been stretching his feet religiously for months now with moderate improvement in tone.  But it just wasn't enough. He keeps his toes perpetually pointed because it hurts him to flex his foot and therefore his extremely tight hamstring in the process.  It's just more comfortable for him to stay pointed all day long and curl his toes down.  

So, these orthotics will help to keep stretching him in his sleep - all night and during his naps. And it has already made a big difference, I think.  He is getting new orthotics to help keep his feet, toes and knees in the right positions in order to learn to correctly walk.  Those will hopefully be coming soon, now that we have the CP diagnosis.  And they will be a third helper in the arsenal of weapons we have to beat this thing.  

Unfortunately, these are really uncomfortable for him, always stretching him in the way he avoids, for hours and hours, and sometimes his tolerance snaps and he needs them off - now! Who could blame him?  But, they look worse (and smell worse) than they really are.  He's really been great at handling them. Should we be surprised?  

Here's a pic of the Trooper in uniform...

They are actually really cute - allowing us to pick from a gazillion designs for the straps and foam... we went with his green, some blue and a green and blue dino print.  Very boy-ish.  When did we have a boy instead of a baby here?

...and yes, those are my blue Christmas socks below the stinky plastic.  What a mother wouldn't do...


YKDWhat? said...

Just stopping by from BSU. I love that you can pick the color of the straps and designs and whatnot.

Good call on the dino colors! :)

Have a great day.

Aunt Roey said...

WAY TO GO BRADEN !!!! (Mom & Dad too) Keep practicing & we'll have races when I'm home visiting in Feb