Saturday, March 27, 2010

Viruses, Allergies, & Recovery

The end of February and the first half of March were plagued by illness and allergies. There were lots of long nights, but only one very scary one where Neavey's airway became seriously compromised.

Neavey was at her dad's house, and luckily her step mom saw the trouble Neavey was having breathing and had dad call Keith and me. It was definitely an episode that was going to take a team response. Within 10 minutes of the call Keith and I were on our way to his house, driving through an almost surreal 2 AM fog, armed with suction machine, pulse-oximeter and other various bits. The best bit was a simple tongue blade. You know, the "say ahhh" thing. Neavey's pediatrician has coached me on how to help Neavey recover her airway when it is "clogged" with excessive mucus. Inducing a gag reflex to encourage vomiting is the best way to clear the upper and even lower airway in some cases. It is much less invasive than sending a catheter down her throat to "suck it out". The gagging and vomiting worked like a charm. She spewed up at least 100 mls of thick yellow mucus that was clogging her upper airway. Her pulse-ox went from 80% to 94% within minutes. If you don't know, at 80% pulse-ox you are pretty much ashen or blue in color. Thank goodness for my mom's foresight to get Neavey a Pulse oximeter for Christmas. It might sound like an odd gift, but so helpful! YAY for Grandma RN.

That was how the second virus went down. The third (plus the onset of allergies) is about two weeks behind us now... We are hoping for an uneventful summer! The slide show above is from pictures taken of her between virus 2 and 3. Keith and I got her this the adjustable bench like the one she uses with Jacy (PT) for Christmas. She has been doing a great job of bearing weight through her arms as she works at the bench.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Groovy Hand & Wrist Splints

New custom Benik hand & wrist splint

Neavey's new custom hand & wrist splints are not only fashionably pink like her wheelchair, they also make her look like a rad rocker. Don't you think? Although she does come from a line of drummers, (me, my baby brother and my dad) she is not wearing them due to injury sustained while playing the skins. Since Neavey uses her hands less and less these days, her wrists have started deviating toward her ulna (the outside bone in the forearm). In order to reduce the chance of muscular contractures, she wears her left (less functional hand) Benik for 8 hours during the day and the right one for 8 hours at night. They have metal stays on the top and bottom and a hard plastic stay along the ulna to keep her hand and wrist in neutral. She doesn't seem bothered by them at all. I think she looks rather tough in them!

She was fitted for these along with new ankle foot orthotics and a new nite splint in January when I realized she had outgrown her old ones. Our awesome orthotist, Jason, at Dynamic Orthotics confirmed that she had at least an inch of growth since May of last year. I have only a few inches left on her. YIKES!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Havin a ball!

In January Neavey had another visit from Jacy's supervisor, Brian. No, not as in the uncle variety. This Brian subbed for Jacy back in November and tried some different things out with Neavey that I wanted him to do again and show both Jacy and me how to pull it off. Becasue, if you didn't notice those ginormous guns on Brian, then my photography is lame. However, he was hoisting Neavey up onto this giant therapy ball and rolling her and that ball around like they were wiffely. I would never have guessed Neavey would like the upside down business etc.. But she does! YAY Brian, for showing something to add to Neavey's therapy arsenal. Jacy has incorporated the "ball" work into Neavey's physical therapy regiment and it's going great.