Monday, May 31, 2010

Hit it Daddy!!!

Summer had her first ride on the Seadoo this weekend. At first she was all against it. But we managed to coax her to sit on it with us, and that was it… she wanted to go! We would slow down a little and she would say “hit it Daddy!”

She was full of giggles and delight and definitely has a need for speed. I am sure her teachers and friends at daycare today will get a play-by-play account.

Holding my bucket with my right hand...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Long Weekend Fun!

We had a great long weekend, a blend of work around the house/yard and lots of fun. Don was very busy sanding and staining our dock. He got two sections finished – only four left to go… it looks fantastic, and it was great to have somewhere to sit on Sunday and Monday – but wow, what a lot of work.

Summer had her dancing class on Saturday. Only one more lesson until they go on the big stage at the Capitol Centre. She is excited about the performance and I even saw her at home, practicing her routine. Talk about funny and cute!

Sunday was cooler than expected. Our friends the Shunk’s came out to spend the afternoon and dinner with us. Their girls are 7 and 9 and adore Summer… in fact, we hardly saw the three of them for most of the visit! Summer had a blast. Unfortunately our seadoo would not start, so waterskiing was out… and now it is going into the shop. We didn’t run it last summer so who knows what is wrong with it. I think by the time the Shunk’s left, Summer had all of her toys out on the deck. Apparently, she was ‘moving out’.

The most amazing day for weather was Monday. Hot, hot hot! Summer’s friend Kassie and her parents came out to visit for the afternoon and supper. We did a few boat rides and pulled the tube for a bit too. Of course neither of the kids would get in… Even after the parents set the example.

It was fascintating to watch two 3.5 year olds ‘get along’. As the day wore on and they got a little tired, Summer got less easy going about having a friend on her turf. There was the odd melt down, a couple time-outs, but when all was said and done, at the end of the visit Summer said she didn’t want Kassie to leave. It was great sharing practice, for both of them, since they are both ‘only children’. Even though they see each other regularly at daycare, it is different when you have to share your space, toys, attention, food, etc all in your own home. On the whole, they were very well behaved and enjoyed the day. Summer should get lots of practice over the next few months.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

QUEST Scores Revealed...

Yesterday we received our follow up report from Summer’s QUEST assessment that was completed the week after her cast was removed.

I am pleased to say that the assessment concluded that:

The CIT (casting period) resulted in increased use of her right arm and hand.

Summer demonstrated improvements in all four areas evaluated on the QUEST: Dissociated Movements, Grasps, Weight Bearing and Protective Extension.

The most significant gain in her score was in Grasps and Dissociated Movements.

The assessment also identified that Summer continues to have limitations in her right shoulder external rotation and right forearm supination.

I am relieved that the assessment showed what we continue to see - that Summer made some subtle and some significant gains.

The other day, Summer was ‘playing with her fingers’. She has very loose tendons/muscles in her pointer/index finger of her right hand. She can basically bend it in very unnatural ways. To be honest, it is quite gross… but it does give me an appreciation of why she may find it difficult to pincer grasp with the traditional thumb and index finger.

The next QUEST will be completed in the 3rd week of June (6 weeks after cast removal).

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Two Hands!

Over the last week we have continued to be the 'two hand nazi's', insisting that Summer use two hands whenever possible. We have always done this, but now we seem to be much more cognizant of reminding her. I am sure she is tired of it, but the nagging pays off when we observe new, spontaneous use of her right hand. This week she spontaneously reached for her hair brush on the counter, which was pretty unusual because both hands were 'free'.

Supper time is a great time to get her to use two hands, as you can see, yogurt is a great therapy tool! Also this morning, I had her hold her bowl with two hands while I poured the cereal. You always have to be prepared for spillage,,,, but then, the same is for any kid.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

It is funny how my Mother’s Day has somewhat evolved in the last three years.

The first year was really special, being a new (exhausted) mom. (my mom was visiting from BC – an added bonus). We went out for lunch – baby Summer in tow, and Don made sure I got a sleep in, a nice gift, and a ‘break’.

The second year was similar. And it was great to have a ‘break’, sleep in, breakfast served etc.

This year, something felt different. Mother’s Day landed in the same week as my birthday. So we had dinner out on Friday night – just the three of us, celebrating both events. Sunday, I received the customary sleep in, breakfast served, hugs, kisses and snuggles from Summer and Don. But a ‘break’ I was not seeking.

Summer and I went for a lovely walk in the melting snow and enjoyed each other’s company and conversation. We stopped into a friend’s house to see their kitchen reno and to meet their new puppies. Summer was delighted with their new furry friends. We soaked in some quality time, sunshine – and a bit of mud.

That evening, our friends Greg, Becky and Ben came for dinner. Ben is 1 and starting to walk. We hunkered down on the floor with Summer showing off her ‘dance moves’ and watched how fast Ben could approach the stairs.

Maybe I am finally settling into ‘motherhood’ or perhaps there is a bit of contentment that comes with time. Either way – it is all good.

My friend Elise sums motherhood nicely: ‘There is no love like it.’

Happy Mother's Day to all the AMAZING moms!

Friday, May 7, 2010

QUEST Follow Up

Yesterday afternoon we had our follow up QUEST with Ann, our OT. Summer was not in the best form. She seemed to be a little tired and she is getting over a cold. Never a great combination. When she got about 90% of the way through, she decided she was ‘done’.

Ann was as patient as ever (bless her!), and we persevered through as much of it as we could. The remaining two skills assessments I took home with me to complete over the weekend. We were able to get her to complete a few more by me bribing her with a gift that was waiting in the car, that my visiting friend had given me that morning. (Thank you Carolyn!)

The QUEST – Quality of Upper Extremity Skills Test is a collection of fine and gross motor demonstrations. This is quite different from the AHA – Assistive Hand Assessment that we completed at WCH, which is more of a free flowing play assessment, that encourages and measures two handed interactions and spontanious actions with little or no verbal cues.

For the QUEST the OT asks and cues Summer “Let’s try to pick up these peas with your right hand and put them in this jar.” Where with the AHA, one of the games is rolling marbles, several at a time to see if Summer will try to pick up the marbles with both hands without verbal cue.

Ann did not to review the pre-cast QUEST results so that we were not skewed by those scores. Some of the major progress we saw was how straight Summer was able to get her right arm, with a reach, and hand open. Her posture was improved as well. Her weight bearing strength and ability to reach with her right while weight bearing on left, while on all fours was also really good. Once we complete the last couple demonstrations on the weekend, Ann will score and compare it with the pre-cast assessment.

Summer and I also met our new Rehab Assistant Colleen, who will be starting to visit Summer at daycare next week. She is very likable with a great positive energy, and she is excited to be visiting Summer.

I spoke to Summer's daycare director yesterday and we are looking at also having two 1:1 hour sessions weekly for Summer and her teacher Jody to work on retaining her skills and movement quality that she learned during the casting. We have kept the cast so that Summer can wear it during these sessions. – I know she is going to be thrilled with that – not so much…

We are looking forward to a quiet Mother’s day weekend. Dinner out tonight and friends over on Sunday.

Happy Mother's Day Moms!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

CIT - Finished... for now...

Well, I guess we have come catching up to do!

The un-casting went very well. The orthotist tried to put a piece of aluminum between Summer and the cast so that he could use the cast saw. It was too hard to tuck in… so I suggested that he hang on a second. I got a grip on Summers upper arm and applied gentle, constant pressure, pulling the cast off. Then Marc sawed the cast, and made it so that we could put it back on with some tape or Velcro, for therapy. – so that was pretty painless! Summer again requested a pink cupcake for her after-cast-treat.

We headed to Toronto on Saturday morning and stayed with Barb and Laurie in Bolton. Summer provided the usual entertainment before heading to bed and letting the adults play a few hands of cards.

Sunday was a disaster… Summer woke up with a cold and developed a fever during the day. We managed to control the fever, but it wasn’t looking good for her AHA on Monday. We spent most of the day sleeping or watching a DVD. – I think the Barney DVD is now worn out…

Monday, Summer woke up feeling much better, though not 100% by any means. No fever though. I called the Follow Up Clinic to see if they would still see her (hospitals have very strict infection control rules these days). Thankfully, they said that as long as Summer felt ‘up to it’ they would see her. So, off we went.

We bid farewell to Barb and Laurie and headed into the city.

Summer did well for her assessment. We won’t have her scores until later this week, but I saw some subtle improvements from her pre-CIT AHA. I videoed both sessions so I plan to edit them to run task to task, side by side, so that the improvements might appear more obvious.

We had a great chat with Maureen our PT. We talked about the casting period and what will be next. She said that really there are no rules and that we may want to consider continuing her 1:1 time with her teacher a few times per week, when Summer will wear her cast for a couple of hours. Don and I will explore this with her daycare to see if it is a possibility.

I showed Maureen some video of Summer eating last week so that she could see how smooth her movements have become. She was impressed and encouraged us to try to maintain this skill level through practice.

I am sure we will do the CIT again. Summer tolerated it so well. She looked forward to her therapy visitors at daycare and her 1:1 time with Jody.

Summer will receive her follow-up QUEST (Quality of Upper Extremity Skills Test) on Thursday and then in 6 weeks, both assessments again to determine retention.