Friday, February 27, 2009

Other health professionals...

Thursday and today have been filled with visits from the Physiotherapist (PT), Occupational Therapist (OT), and even a Play Therapist.

The PT here tends to work with mostly the bottom half; from the hips down to the toes. They move and exercise the body and improve mobility. The OT tend to mostly work on the top half of the body and are trained to assist people to overcome various limitations in order to live more independent lives, working with whatever mobility a person does have. They've been showing us exercises to do to stretch Jojo's muscles, and how to massage properly. They've also both had special "splints" (like a moulded kind of cast) made up for each arm and leg.

The splints work off the same principle; to stop the muscle shortening. So, the arm splints are kept on for around 12 hours over night. Josh (or most patients with Josh's damage) tend to curl and keep their fingers closed up. The fingers and hand can also twist a little. Almost from day one of being in the hospital, we have kept something in each of Joey's hands - a soft toy, a plastic toy etc. This splint simply requires that he lay his hand out over the moulded plastic (he wears a stocking thing so his hands don't sweat and stick), and it velcro-straps in so that his fingers and thumb are a bit flatter. Much like holding on to say the arm of a lounge.

The aim of the foot splint is to keep the foot at 90 degrees. That normally stays on for 2 hours , and then comes off for two hours, but when the PT comes back on Monday, we'll have to get her to have another look, because they've been giving Josh pressure sores in places, so we've stopped using them for now.

They look a bit like this:

The Play Therapists role is to get kids talking about any problems or issues through playing. The lady that came to speak to Kayla and Kane suggested Playdoh as her first play item to get them talking, and John and I knew that that would work! They LOVE Playdoh. She was with them for about an hour, just in the courtyard outside our room. Afterwards, she told us they they had opened up quite well to her, but that they seemed very stable, and seemed to understand much of what was going on, which she credits to us talking about things with them without trying to complicate things. We were happy that Kayla's concern of "daddy blowing into Josh" (which we didn't know she had a question about) was voiced, and now she understands that what daddy was doing was actually a good thing. At one point during her chat with us, Kane came bursting in to the room crying, and the Play Therapist said "Oh! Josh just opened his eyes at that!", but we didn't see it, because we were looking at Kane. Today, she came and told us (whether it was because we mentioned it to a nurse or something), someone apparently took her aside and questioned her about it, and asked her if she stood by what she said. She told us what she told them; that she's no Doctor but she knows what she saw.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is so exciting he opened his eyes when he heard his brother.


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