Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Kaeo and I just got home from the hospital. Christy was awake and kicking! She gets herself so active it's like she is working out. She has a fan to put on if she starts to perspire. She has days where she's very diaphoretic (medical term for sweaty). One of the Doctors was explaining that when there is damage to the nervous system (All the nerves in the body- also brain & spinal cord), it sometimes affects the area that controls temperature. I talked about this before, but he was saying this is also why her body thinks she's feverish and sweats to cool her. The other part of the sweating is that she is so active, she's generating heat when she flexes her muscles so much. Christy has kicked and kicked so much, that she's broken the boot she wears to keep her foot flexed! (The navy blue boot) There is a thick plastic plate at the bottom, and Christy split the thing in half! Watch out B.J.! The boot is just one single soft shoe-ish device that velcros on. The nurse has to alternate the boot one foot to the other every two hours. It's purpose is to keep her foot in a dorsi-flexed position. See below picture.The reason they want to keep her feet dorsi-flexed is so she does not get "foot drop". See next picture... The problem with this type of foot is that when you are ready to walk on it again, the muscle has shortened & can't be used. It's contracted. A muscle contracture is a permanent shortening of a muscle or tendon. Contractures can't be stretched or exercised away once they occur; they need orthopedic surgery to be corrected. This is one of the reasons why physical therapy is working with her-- to help keep her muscles flexed and lengthened.
So, since Christy broke the boot, the Occupational Therapist is going to bring her a "cast" instead. I'm not sure what it looks like, so I can put a picture up when I know! If you are wondering what an Occupational Therapist is, I'll tell you! Their primary goal is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. They help find a way to mold your environment so you can participate in daily activities. Occupational therapist give the "skills for the job of living" necessary for "living life to its fullest." Right now the occupational Therapist focuses on keeping Christy's limbs supple. They do range of motion--bend the wrist, arms, shoulders, legs, ankles, knees, etc. They are getting her ready for doing exercises she can participate in when she regains consciousness. The O.T. will help her to re-learn activities such as combing her hair, brushing her teeth, taking a bath, and getting dressed. They are different than Physical Therapist. PT are the people you think of when you think rehabilitation. PT develops, maintains & restores maximum movement and functional ability throughout life. Functional movement is a central element in what it means to be healthy.
Although Christy was active today, she was also resting a lot of the day. She needs to rest up to restore energy needed to heal her brain... A continuous infusion of love, family and friends is happening all the time. It is so nice to be around people who love Christy and each other, and talk and tell stories. It's this time together that makes it possible for us to get though another day. We all share the same goal and wish... to get Christy back to being Christy. And we can't wait!