Archive | December, 2009

Gait Lab

22 Dec

On Monday, we had S’s long awaited appointment at the Gait Laboratory at the Royal Children’s Hospital here in Melbourne.

We started down the path of a Gait lab appointment because S has developed a habit of dragging (dropping) his feet when he walks in his walker, especially his right foot.

The question then needed to be asked – is he doing it because of tightness in his muscles? weakness? Some other complication related to an aspect of his brain injury? Or is it just plain old fashioned laziness because it’s just an easier way to walk?

I knew that whatever the case, we are really lucky to have access to the high tech Gait Lab at the RCH where we could get some expert advice on just what is going on with his walking.

I had envisioned that he would be wired up with electronic sensors that would analyse his movements, but as it was, all he had to do was walk up and down a long walkway several times, firstly in his kaye walker, with and then without his piedro boots) and then on his own (which  included many stumbles as he’s not managing that many independent steps without falls).

They had several cameras honed in on him that were recording his every moment from different angles.

All of this footage will then be analysed to look at just what is going on with his  walking. I didn’t ask too many questions (was too busy keeping S entertained us he walked up and down) but they recorded from several different angles and there were ‘plates’ in the floor that I imagine were also recording data about the way he was walking. All of this will later be able to construct a clear image of just how S is walking and what we can possibly do to improve his gait.

Very promising was the intial assessment of the lovely physio who ran the clinic. She believes that the Kaye walker (which S has used since he was 2) is probably just too easy for him now and he’s taking the lazy way out. This was the best case scenario we could have hoped for.

She also took some measurements of his hips, his foot movement etc but she was very happy with the flexibility that he has in his feet and agrees that there’s little sign of tightness.

We won’t get the detailed analysis until well into 2010 (the physio said possibly not until Feb because of Christmas, hols etc), but she has suggested that next year we should be looking into trying out some crutches or sticks with S.

I worry a little about how well co-ordinated his arms are to manage something like this, but will definitely be willing to give it a try.

Sorry there are no pics. I took the camera, but forgot the memory card. Yes, I really am nearly 36 weeks pregnant ;-). This ‘virtual tour’ at least gives you a bit of an idea about what it looks like.

S was very happy to do everything that was asked of him, and was rewarded at the end with a very cute Santa hat with flashing stars on it.

And for us, that means an end to appointments for 2009. Woohoo! Bring on Christmas, my birthday, New Years, new house, new baby – all before the end of January 2010……

Christmas party time!

11 Dec

This year is the first year that S has been REALLY excited about Christmas. And I mean REALLY excited.

As he tells me about a hundred times a day ‘I can’t wait’.

We have done very little to instill him with such Christmas spirit. My husband, being from a different country, different culture and different religion doesn’t have much Christmas cheer and whilst I like Christmas, I think it’s best celebrated as a low key family affair.

So I can only assume that his very enthusiastic Christmas spirit has come from external sources – kindergarten, TV, local shops, friends. Who knows where else…..

As much as I haven’t done much to fill him with the joy of Christmas, I won’t say that I mind. I love seeing his excitement, his enthusiasm and his passion. For one, it’s totally age appropriate and I LOVE that. I love seeing him share the same excitement of other kids his age. I know I shouldn’t, but I do still find myself ‘checking’ to see that he’s keeping up with his peers.

M, on the other hand, is terrified of Santa. Won’t go near him. He also has no interest in any present that’s put his way. This thrills S who gets to open TWO sets of presents at Christmas parties.

And we’ve had several Christmas parties to attend of late.

A birthday party that doubled as a Christmas party because the grand-dad of the birthday boy is a professional Santa (how cool is that grand-dad!)

Then it was dad’s work Christmas party

We forgot to take our camera to the CPEC Christmas party but there was another Santa, lots of mirth and a wonderful Christmas play put on by some of the CPEC kids – so amazing to watch the kids, some with very limited mobility and speech use Voice devices, walking frames and a bit of help from a parent or carer to put on a nativity play and a Santa play. They’d been practicing for weeks and their enthusiasm was priceless! One of my fave ever performances!

Then this week, it was the kinder Christmas concert and party. S surprised me by his ability to stand unassisted for several songs, jingling his bells happily along with the other kids.

There was a bow at the end

And then LOTS and LOTS of Christmas party food (S was the last to leave the table!)

And because we can’t get M into the Christmas spirit (yet), here’s a few pics showing what he does LOVE – animals.

His first horse-ride

Cuddles with a bunny

And patting baby guinea pigs

Christmas cheer to all!


7 Dec

8 days of good blood sugar readings. Woohoo!!

I have been such a good girl (OK with the exception of yesterday at my husband’s work Christmas party where I did eat a few naughty things!).

I have stuck to the low GI diet and been very diligent with my exercise. I’ve been rewarded with not only low good blood sugar readings but also with more energy and a real sense of satisfaction. AND I’ve lost a kg  (don’t worry, I’d already gained 11kg so losing a couple at this stage is not a problem!)

I wouldn’t go as far to say that I have gestational diabetes beaten – it apparently can get harder to maintain lower blood sugar levels as a pregnancy progresses, but at 33 weeks now at least I kind of feel like I am on the home stretch.

Still have to survive a few more Christmas parties, Christmas itself of course and then my birthday, but I am staying as positive as I can that I will keep things as under control as they are now.

And just for a bit of hilarious irony, guess who won a 3 kg block of chocolate today at the CPEC Christmas party.

Yep. It was me!

Really, I’ve just got to laugh (and hope that there’s at least a little of it left after the baby arrives) !!! ;-) .


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