Monday, July 26, 2010

Cleared for take-off!

Today was Ortho Clinic follow-up. Summer received a follow-up Xray and it showed that indeed she had a fracture and now it is healed.

It is nothing short of amazing how quickly a child can heal a broken bone. Thankfully we did not have to cast her leg as part of the healing process.

Summer is staying home today with my neighbour. We'll gradually introduce activity. Yesterday she did a little walking and is gaining her strength back very quickly. We also swam in the afternoon - which also seems to be helping her.

We had a really great weekend. Summer's friends Matthew, Eric and Emilie came to visit. There were lots of seadoo rides and a boat ride. They brought their dog Kiki and Summer really enjoyed having her around too. As always, we were sad to seem them go and look forward to our next visit.

Summer looks upto Emilie, just like a big sister.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Baby Steps

Deja vu... Summer had a pretty good week. She and Don went fishing on Thursday. When I asked her if she caught a fish, she said "No, just a bass". So I guess that is yes.

Yesterday Summer said she wanted to try a few steps. After supper she took a few wobbly steps. It is amazing how much of her leg muscles have atrophied over the last two weeks of inactivity. In fact, both of her legs are almost the same size.

We didn't anticipate experiencing Summer's 'first steps' more than once.

We are expecting the Millers to arrive at lunchtime today. Summer is especially excited.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I'm Bored!

How many times did our parents hear this as we grew up? Summer's days of leisure are starting to lose their lustre. I think she is genuinely getting quite bored with all the sitting around. Last evening I suggested we do something and she says "I don't think so, it's boring."

I think we are all longing for her to be up and about. Clearly, her leg does not hurt when she is 'resting'. She was crawling around on the couch last night on her hands and knees and I half expected her to just stand up.

Don's Auntie Bern sent a parcel for Summer, full of little presents, so she has been having a lot of fun, opening one or two each day. Yesterday she was thrilled with the little parachute man (the kind you throw up in the air, and his chute opens as he falls). She couldn't wait to tell me about it when I got home from work.

The Miller's (twins Matthew and Eric, 4 and big sister Emilie, 7) are coming for the weekend. So far the weather forecast looks good and we are all ready.

Then on Thursday, our friends Don and Corrine are coming from Edmonton. They were here when Summer was born and have made the annual pilgrimage for the August long weekend ever since. Though, this year, we are a little apprehensive as Corrine's mom who his 89 (and a half) is not doing very well. But she is determined to live to 90 - what a tough old girl.

In three weeks we'll be in Comox for our annual visit home.

So, Summer might be bored - but I'm not!! I think this summer is going by too fast.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Eye Eye Summer!

Quick trip to Eye Clinic at Sick Kids. We left yesterday after work and headed to Barb & Laurie's. We were on our own, so there was no rush to get there. All was well at their empty house. Summer kept asking where they were. It was pretty funny. I think she really missed seeing them, as did we.

We got on the road into the city at 7:30. We always give ourselves an hour for traffic issues. It is amazing that a 20 minute drive turns into 1-1.5 hours in rush hour. Today it was about 65 minutes.

Eye clinic didn't 'look' busy. We got into see the Orthoptics person quickly. Summer did very well. It is a series of eye tests and patient cooperation is essential. Thankfully, Summer was in the mood to cooperate, mostly.

It took forever to see the Ophthalmologist - our second appointment was for 10:15 and I think we got in there after 11. I was not really watching the clock, since we ran into Jane and Teddy. Teddy is in Summer's class at daycare. Jane is a very down-to-earth woman and is fun to chat with. Teddy has some special needs too, so we share the odd sigh... So, Don entertained Teddy and Summer at the lego table in the waiting room and Jane and I had a little catch up.

So the 45-60 minutes breezed by.

Dr. Tehrani reviewed the Orthoptics report and did an examination on Summer's eyes and concluded that she is 'VERY pleased' with how things are going. She is not changing the prescription for now and we received a 6 month pass. She'll see us again in February.

Couple things to be thankful for: no patching required, no new prescription, no surgery on the visible horizon (no pun intended).

I guess if we are going to get a break here and there, eyesight is a good one.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Productive, yet relaxing weekend

The weekend was beautiful. Summer is still laid-up, so we went for a nice stroller walk with my neighbour April and her cousin Bev and then stopped in for a visit with our other neighbours. It was a hot and breezy day. We spent the latter part of the afternoon on the dock. Summer wanted to 'fish' and even went in for a wee dip. Her enthusiasm was tempered, none of the giggling and screeching she normally does. I think she (and we) were just being careful not to hurt her leg. So she bobbed around a bit in her life jacket and then decided a seadoo ride was in order. So off we went for a little cruise.

Sunday, Summer spent most of the time reading books on the deck and watching a little TV while Don and I got a few yard tasks done. Don spent most of the weekend cutting down trees and clearing and area for Summer's playset. The job became a bit complicated when we decided to remove a rock... and though it is not connected to the Canadian Shield... it is going to be a big job to move it. Once it is moved, construction can begin.

We are off to Toronto this evening. Summer has an Eye appt at Sick Kids in the morning, then we'll turn around and head back home right after.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Another Day of Couch Potatoeing...

Yesterday Summer had another quiet day at home. Our neighbour Barb stopped in to visit the patient. After an hour I am sure she got her fill of Franklin, The Wiggles and whatever else was on the TV menu.

I noticed that Summer's leg feels warmer around the tibial head. So I googled the symptom this morning and found this is sign of fracture. Any swelling she had is now gone, but she is still not willing to stand. The area also still seems to be tender.

Luckily, I also read that these are among the quickest to heal.

So, we'll have to wait and see what the Xray on the 26th shows. Hopefully she will be well on the way to a full mend and they won't want to puta plaster cast on her.

Since we usually carpool as a family daily, it has been a bit of a treat to drive in to town on my own. I have been out the door at 6:25 all week, enjoy a quiet drive, knock back my americano, listen to the radio (instead of Summer's CD), skip the daycare drop off routine and start my day in record time.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Yesterday Summer and Don had a good recovery day at home. Mid afternoon, Don called me at the office from the bathroom - Summer was splashing around in the tub. He had carefully removed her splint and she was a little nervous. He managed to get her bathed.

When I arrived home from work, Summer was resting on the couch – with her let propped up and an icepack on her knee – sans splint. I asked her about her bath, and she replied with a “smell me!”

She did not require any pain medication during the day yesterday, but we gave her some Advil before bed. She went to bed without the splint, as he has a very hard time sleeping with it on.

She slept most of the night, except for 2-4:30 – she was awake, but not uncomfortable.

I suspect her knee is sprained, but of course we’ll find out more in two weeks with follow up Xrays. We don’t plan to even try to get her to stand on it until at least the weekend.

Summer was delighted to receive a Get Well card from her friend Olivia and her family – along with a colouring book. Thank you also, for the movie library and 254 Sticker collection from Marg, and a few more movies on loan from Kassie.

Thank you very much – Summer (and we) really appreciate your kind gestures.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Don = Super Dad!

Another rough night under our belt, and hopefully a day closer to Summer feeling better. Summer spent most of yesterday chilling out on the couch. I think she made a dent in her 'shows' on the PVR. Thankfully one of our therapists is lending us her kids movie library - will pick up today.

Don did an amazing job of catering to her needs and keeping her happy and relaxed. Thankfully, he is able to take a couple of days off work so that Summer can have the week to recover.

He did look a little relieved to see me at the end of the day. I know how demanding Summer can be, especially when she is not feeling well.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lucky Non-Break - so far...

Don, Summer and I spent the better part of the afternoon at the Ortho Clinic. Don showed up well prepared; cooler full of snacks and drinks.

Summer had a repeat X-ray and a consult with the Orthopod. He cut the splint off that the Emerg Dr. had put on yesterday to see how tender she was.

The X-ray did not reveal a fracture. Summer was decidedly shy and very emotional as she did not sleep very well last night. We are all in need of a good night sleep.

The Dr. recommended that we keep the splint on for two weeks and come back for a re-check. This is the best possible news for us.

In two weeks they may be able to see more on the X-ray if the bone starts to calcify around a hairline fracture. Otherwise, it may be a bruise and sprain.

Don will be staying home with Summer for the rest of the week and plenty of rest is on the agenda.

We may have to rent some movies for Summer. Don and I are at our limit of watching Toy Story 2 and Franklin’s Turtle Lake.

Broken Leg - Broken Heart

I wouldn't say we are over protective parents, but some would. I don't let Summer wear necklaces - she might hang her self. I don't leave her along with small objects she might choke on. She is never left unsupervised - except maybe when I take a shower. OK - yes, we are over-protective. But no one would blame us.

So, on occasion there are times when you think - Let's lengthen the apron strings a little and let her 'have fun' - and then, it backfires.

Sunday was an imperfect end to an otherwise normal weekend. We attended a birthday party for one of Summer's little friends at a gymnastics club. Summer was jumping on the trampoline - under the supervision of the 'teachers', and landed on her leg (the GOOD one) funny. She cried and cried, and normally she shakes is off and that is that, but she continued to cry and would not weight bear on her leg.

So off to emerg we go.

Several Xrays and 3 hours later (yes - only 3 hours!), the Dr. suspected a buckle fracture in her tibia. He was not 100% sure, so he said we need wait until Monday. He splinted her leg and sent us home for the night. Judging by the discomfort Summer was in over night, will be very surprised if it is not broken.

Considering just a few weeks ago we were saying No Way - to a 'therapeutic' casting of her right leg - I am wondering if this is a slap in the face by Karma.

We'll see the Orthopod today at 12:30 and find out what is next.

Cross your fingers for us...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Matthew Gets a Cast!!

We are so blessed to have become close friends with the Miller’s. Elise and I met in the ‘pump room’ at Women’s College Hospital the day before Summer was transferred to Sick Kids and her shunting was immanent. (Now, it seems weird to ‘meet’ someone while hooked up to a human milking machine, but you’d be surprised how many friendships are formed there!)

Matthew was already at Sick Kids and Eric remained at WCH. Although only blocks between the hospitals, I could not imagine how hard it was for them. I can certainly acknowledge it now, but at the time we each had our own hardships to deal with.

Over the last 4 years we have grown a cherished friendship. Matthew also has a shunt and where Summer is a right hemi – he is left. Mirroring each other, we said from the start – these two are betrothed! Eric, Matthew’s identical twin, was fortunate that his bleed did not result in hydrocephalus or CP. But, like all premies, you never know what the future will show from the trauma they survived.

Matthew is currently doing a CT Camp at Grandview Children’s Treatment Centre. I am pleased to show off his cast and some comments from his Mom, Elise.

“Matthew received Botox injections last week and his cast this Tuesday. He has a camp next week with other kids that have casts and are getting the same therapy. They have a cast on his good arm to help with the function of his weak arm. He is doing really well.

I am surprised that his not getting that frustrated. It was funny as soon as they put it on and we were leaving he said "mommy take it off how am I going to play my guitar and drums?" you can tell what is important to him : )

It is hard for him to eat but even within 24 hrs he has improved. The first night we made all the kids eat with their non-dominant hand, it was pretty funny. I have a picture here of him and Eric (although it is dark). He couldn't pick up his cup to drink so I looked over and Eric was holding his cup for him. It was so cute. I let Eric know that it was so nice of him to help his brother but he has to try to let Matthew do things with his helper hand so it can get stronger : )

I want to share with you what Matthew said the other day. The kids always do summersaults and we tell them Matthew can't do them. So the other day out of the blue Matthew says to me “Mommy when will I get my shunt out so I can do summersaults?” So I had to explain to him that he will always have his shunt. Then he said "Summer can't do summersaults either right mommy?" Isn't that sweet? It is so nice that he has someone so close to him that is the same as him.”

This is one instance of many where Matthew shows what a sensitive and bright little boy he is. We are so proud of you Matthew!!!

Heat Wave

We are in the middle of a heat wave here! Yesterday it was 32 but felt like 38… and a little sticky. After working all day in the A/C, it seems all the hotter when we head home at night. Summer and I got home in reasonable time and waited for Don to return from Toronto where he was on business.

We had a quick supper and headed to the beach to cool off. Summer and Don played in the water and I hauled some buckets to the gardens to give them a good drink. We all had a swim. It was a still evening and the water has warmed significantly in the last two days, and it was pretty much like a bath.

Summer is eagerly awaiting the weekend. Her friend Kassie will come for a play date on Saturday. In two weeks The Boys are coming (Summer’s twin friends Matthew and Eric), she is constantly asking if they are coming ‘tomorrow’. I guess a month to a kid is a long time to wait.

I hear some relief from the heat is on the horizon, but honestly, I love it, after all, it IS summer :-)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Great Satisfaction

It is hard to express how satisfying and motivating this is:

Summer met with her PT yesterday and I received this great report:

“What a GREAT job you are doing of stretching Summer’s right ankle and hamstrings. During our session she got her heel to the ground consistently with or without knee hyperextension when standing without her brace on. Her forefoot looked so relaxed as well!

She allowed a lot of handling as I tried to work on weight shifts to the right in standing.

I will consult with a couple of PT’s here at work to help me come up with activities that will be fun for Sum.

Her gait was good with her brace on. She has some heel toe action and her foot is oriented forward.

I did not note any vaulting and she gave me quite a show of her ability to hop and skip.

Much less effort going into hopping.

Whatever you are doing, keep on doing it!”

It is my experience that growth spurts are very difficult for a kid like Summer. Growing more than an inch in 1.5 months – May/June, has been tough. Her tone increases in her leg, foot, hand and arm. She tires out quicker. She is crankier. She stutters. She eats us out of house and home.

Then she catches up and the ‘growing symptoms’ seem to dissipate. I hope we are on the back end of this one!

Her leg length discrepancy is still of concern to us and she receives her new AFO next week. But the stretches are working. Lately I have been giving her a choice of where she would like her stretches to occur. Most of the time she picks her bed – so that she can get a few ‘bounces’ in, before and after the stretches.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Just another day... paradise.

It seems we spend a lot of the year waiting for weekends like this. They seem so few when we are shovelling snow, scraping ice, stoking the fire, enduring -20, walking ON the lake, being chased by blackflies, slapping on insect repellant and pulling on the bug shirts... and then, alas, summer arrives. We count out the number of weekends we have to enjoy, and they seem so few. But after days and weekends like these, it is worth the wait. It is special to share this with Summer and for her to experience the wonder of growing up on a lake. For when we are running here and there, to home, to work, to home to work, weekends like these, time seems to stand still.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day!

We are about to start our Canada Day festivities. In our house, that means at 8am we will open up all the windows and greet our neighbours with Big Sugar's rendition of a very loud Oh Canada.

The weather is forecasted to be sunny and warm (only 20). We'll hit the beach this afternoon, maybe a seadoo ride will be in order, an early happy hour - we'll crack a Canadian, and see how many cottagers have come up for the long weekend to enjoy the lake. Usually the May long weekend kicks off a lot of lake traffic and ambient evening 'noise' but it has been somewhat quiet this year, in spite of the great weather we have been having.

On the Summer front, we received a good report from Summer's PT on Friday. She saw Summer at daycare and they worked on her stretches. Our PT gave Summer a choice of a million second, five hundred second, or twenty second stretch.... Summer chose twenty seconds. Smart kid. She said that she could see a small improvement. So we'll keep working at it. We have four days off together at home - we'll be working hard, between all the play!

Happy Canada Day!