Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 18 Months

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Steven has started Electrostimulation or e-stim therapy. He has only had 2 sessions so far so I haven't yet formed an opinion to it's effectiveness for him. I have high hopes but we will have to wait and see... We go to the therapy office about 40 minutes from where we live 2-3 times a week for this treatment. I have heard from other families about getting a take home device to use daily. I plan to ask Steven's doctors about this when we are there for his check up in 2 weeks.
Last week Lillian (our 3 year old daughter) was pretending to be a doctor and fix Steven's arm. She is a wonderful little girl and she loves her brother with all of her heart. She understands things that most others her age wouldn't.  I wish it was truly that simple. I wish we could just take him to the doctor and they would "fix" it. Broken bones can be fixed, but Brachial Plexus Injuries are never actually "fixed" just treated. This is a hard concept for even adults to grasp. The truth is, you can't fully understand something until you go through it and you research and research and research some more...  Steven is climbing everything! He likes to crawl through the tunnel we bought him but he's still not quite strong enough to "wheel barrel walk." We keep trying, and know that someday he will. He can now reach the sink to put a cup or bowl in there, it's hard work for Righty, but he can do it! Both kids have been having a ball playing with all their new toys they got for Christmas. Steven got a ride on tractor and loves to push Lilly around the house on it, and it's great for working those muscles too. He had OT yesterday and enjoyed putting weighted balls in the basketball goal they have there, we are now looking to get him one for home too. I know both kids will enjoy it and every bit of "therapy" we can sneak in without him noticing is well worth it.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Aquatic Therapy-16 Months

 Steven is now 16 months old and doing great! He loves trucks/tractors/cars and anything else that says "VRROOOOM!" He tends to use his injured arm (Right) first and then if he can't get it to do what he wants he will switch to his Left.  I'm interested to find out if he will choose to be Right handed or Left handed.  It doesn't matter either way, of course, but we are curious. He still has a slight elbow contracture. It isn't getting any worse but it's also not getting better.  He started Aquatic therapy a few weeks ago.  The first 4 sessions he cried the entire 30 minutes, but this last time he actually started to enjoy it!! I think it's separation anxiety from Mommy more than anything else.  I have noticed a difference since his 2nd session, he seems less stiff and more able to reach high without overcompensating with his body.  This week is Brachial Plexus Injury awareness week. We made T-Shirts to raise awareness and we are going to the walk to raise money for the BPI Center at Cincinnati Children's hospital this weekend.  I have shared this blog with the local news and also pregnancy websites to hopefully spread the word.  I pray that our efforts will spare another child from this injury. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

14 months old

Steven is now 14 months old! He is constantly on the move now that he is walking and climbing everything! He has gone from having OT every week to once a month and we are adding Aquatic therapy. There is definitely a need for more Aquatic therapy programs in Indiana! We have only found 2 and have to wait a month for it to start. It's once a week for 7 weeks. It's about an hour away from us. Meanwhile, we are doing therapy at home like always and doing some in our small pool here at home too. Steven has a slight elbow contracture. That means his elbow will not fully extend out. I can straighten it by pulling it straight, but it's uncomfortable for him so he doesn't let me do it easily.  It's a daily part of therapy now.  I hope it doesn't turn into a big issue. For now his doctors don't think it's going to cause any issues but it could in the future. His doctors said if it gets any worse he could wear a splint for a few hours during the day or at night time. It's crazy how this injury works... when he was first born, we prayed and prayed for that little elbow to bend!! Now we are praying for it to straighten! Most people don't understand all that happens throughout the process of a Brachial Plexus Injury. It's not just a "healing" process and then his arm is "fixed".  After we get past one hurdle, there is another one on the other side to get past.  It amazes me how my little man is so happy even though he has to go through pain and uncomfortable situations during therapy and everyday life. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

One year old

Steven is one and Lillian is three! Where has the time gone? Steven is doing new things constantly now. He still has limited range of motion, especially with lifting his arm above his head and external rotation. His Occupational Therapist did some tests with him today and he is doing everything age appropriate and beyond! We are so proud of him! He is standing up alone and walking as long as he is pushing something. He is getting ready to start Aquatic Therapy in a few weeks, we are excited to see how he enjoys it. With Steven becoming "Mr. Independent" therapy is becoming more difficult. :( I hope he has fun with doing therapy in a pool, he LOVES swimming! I love it now that Lillian and Steven are playing together more, they are becoming buddies! She likes to help him do things and doesn't like it when Mommy makes him cry during therapy and stretching.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Moving and Grooving!

Both hands!!

Steven is pulling up on everything!

REACH! Working really hard to reach this high :)
Steven is pulling up on everything and "cruising" along side furniture. He is crawling hands and knees all the time now and never army crawls anymore.  He still gets pretty tired and his right arm gets sore after a while, but he is getting stronger and stronger everyday.  It's hard to believe he will be 1 next month, where has the time gone?  He is saying Ma-ma, Da-da, La-la (Lilly), Nana (Banana), and bye-bye. He absolutely loves bananas!!! He wants to eat them all the time. He loves to dance too. His big sister, Lilly, loves music and dancing and so he gets plenty of opportunities to dance! Our next appointment with the BPI Specialist is in July. We hope to continue to hear good news. :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Steven is Crawling!

Steven crawled for the first time April 18th 2012! We are so proud of our little guy! He has been "army crawling" for a while now but I never expected him to just take off crawling on his hands and knees when he did!  Now he is attempting to pull up on the play table, couch, chairs, and anything else that's eye level.  He is unstoppable!

Friday, March 23, 2012

9 Months Old

Steven is now 9 months old. He is quickly getting places he wants to go with army crawling, but not yet crawling on his hands and knees.  He shifts his weight on his right side without being prompted now!  We went to Cincinnati Brachial Plexus center this week for his 9 month check-up.  They said he is "recovering well enough that surgery is not recommended at this time"!  Yay! Wonderful news!  We are so proud of our little man and how far he has come.  I often wonder what he must be thinking when Mommy and Daddy are constantly messing with his right arm...  Someday he will understand ;)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Shifting Weight on Right Side

Steven is now 8 months old and he is starting to "army crawl" and briefly push up on his knees and elbows. We have been working on weight shifting on the right side and trying to push up into crawling position with elbows straight.  He is starting to shift his weight on his right side to pick up toys with his left hand. We give him subtle reminders by "tapping" on his right arm to remind him to use it.  He is getting too smart! He has realized that it is easier to use his left arm/hand. Gentle tapping on his right arm works amazingly!

Strong Grip at 7 Months Old


Steven is now 7 months old and making wonderful progress!  He is able to lift his arm up to about eye level while sitting.  His grip in his right hand is getting stronger and stronger.  He is able to pick up small objects and even feed himself puffs and tiny pieces of food. He LOVES bananas! I let him feed himself a chopped up banana almost everyday! 
Although he often compensates by shifting his body to the left in order to lift his right arm, he still keeps his balance very well while sitting.  We have to constantly watch out for torticollis, which is basically a stiff neck from lack of movement. When he was only a few months old he had mild torticollis and we had to do special exercises everyday to correct it and also to prevent him from getting a flat spot (Plagiocephaly).

Reaching at 6 Months

Steven is now able to reach up behind his head  and touch the floor when he is laying on his back! He still isn't able to reach past his chest while sitting. He rolls around to get toys and things he wants to play with. He can now prop himself up on his forearms and lift his head all the way up. We are so happy with his progress! He is such a happy little boy and we are so proud of him and how hard he has to work everyday. He is so strong and determined to get to things he wants, one way or another!