Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Our new routine!

It's hard to believe that tomorrow our little angel will be 15 months old. It seems like just yesterday she was only a few months old. No one can prepare you for being a parent and all the joy that brings to your life. It also brings routines that are constantly changing as they grow older and experience new things. We have recently had to change our routine but it is for the better.

As many of you know Gracie was diagnosed with Hemi-peligia Cerebral Palsy in Jan. This was caused by a stroke in utero that damaged a part of the left side of her brain. This in turn has affected her right motor skills (look for detailed explanation in my Jan. posting). It has been a learning experience for us over the past 6 months but an encouraging journey. She is doing VERY well. She has seen many specialist and they are all amazed at what she is able to accomplish. She started crawling at 12 months which was a huge milestone. She has since been pulling herself up on everything and cruising. Her newest feat is crawling all 14 steps in our home. Her therapists say she will probably be walking very soon.

She has PT and OT once a week and has met almost all of her current goals. She was recently casted/fitted for an AFO (ankle foot osolater) for her right foot (the weak side) and an SMO (not sure what this stands for) for her left foot. The AFO comes halfway up the back of her calve and helps her keep her ankle locked down. She tends to want to stand on her toes on her right side. One of the purposes for this splint is to keep her heel locked down to make it easier for her to walk. The left SMO is much smaller and fits primarily in her shoe. This is to help her keep her left foot turned out...she tends to turn it in and support most of her weight. After her left foot gets stronger and use to supporting its weight correctly, we will no longer need this splint.

So yesterday, Matt and I went to the Splint Clinic for some adjustments. The AFO and SMO weren't fitting right according to her Physical Therapist. They were able to make the adjustments to the AFO but needed to re-order the SMO in a side bigger. Gracie has some wide feet and fat ankles. But the great thing is we are able to let her start wearing and getting use to the AFO. They have a wear schedule where she wears it for an hour then we take it off to see if there is any redness or irritation and then if not she goes up to two hours and then to four hours. So far we have done the one hour and there was some redness but nothing too bad and it went away within the time they said it should. So now after her morning nap we are going for round two and see how her foot/ankle looks then. I'm praying we don't have to keep going back for adjustments and that this will work because the faster she gets use to it the more she will be able to do.

I must admit it is going to take some time to get use to. Our daily routine will change. Gracie has never liked to wear shoes but now with these splints she has to wear shoes at all times. So we went out last night shoe shopping. The therapist and splint specialist all said don't invest a lot of money is shoes because the brace is what is doing all the supporting and the work. So we looked at Target and at Payless and it's very hard to find a place that makes "wide" shoes. We finally found a little pair of white and pink champion tennis shoes and guess the size?? We had to go up to a size 6 wide. This is twice the size she would be in if she wasn't wearing the splints. Too funny. And I was only able to find one pair of shoes that would fit for now. So, if anyone is out and looking in the kids shoes section and sees a size 6 wide please, please let me know where. A girl has got to have more than one pair of shoes, right? hahahaha!

I promise to post pics of Gracie sporting her new AFO soon. It's quite cute. We got to pick out the colors and the design on the strap. We went with purple and the strap has green polk-a-dots.
At least they make them fun. I'm just so thankful that the Lord is working out all the details. It was really emotional and hard for me at first because I didn't want her to have to wear them. I didn't want her to feel different or struggle with getting use to them. But so far so good and I don't believe she is going to let them hold her back. If anything, I believe she will be able to do more of what she wants now with them.

Thanks again for all your prayers, concerns, and thoughts. We are daily learning more and more and just praising the Lord for blessing us with such a wonderful child.

I hear alt east once a week when we are out and about that she looks like the Gerber baby so I'm thinking of sending her pic into Gerber and asking if they want a new spokes model! :)


Mrs. Barno said...

You might have already checked this out, but Stride Rite sells children's shoes in different widths! They were always my mother's go-to place for our funny foot sizes!

Alicia said...

I will keep a look out for shoes...oh bummer, shoe shopping ;)

Looking forward to seeing you and gracie this week!

Anonymous said...

yay! i am finally able to post a comment on your blog! happy to hear all things are going well. i will be on the look-out for some shoes! love ya girl!

AngelGirl said...

yay!!! i can leave a comment!!!
glad to know grace is oing so well!! she is such a trooper! i will also keep a lookout for shoes:)

The Rileys said...

Can't wait to see the new accessory!! I am sure she looks adorable with it on. We need to get together and go have some coffee!!!