Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cautiously Good News

I got a response from Dr. Dobbs about Matthew's in toeing. I am going to take it as good news for now but am being very cautious as you clubfoot mommies know. Regression could be right around the corner.

This was his response

Thanks for the e-mail. The video looks pretty good. Has the therapist noted any concerns? It does take awhile to get the gait back to baseline after casting.

I think you are doing all the right things with the stretching and formal physical therapy.

Please keep in touch and let me know if further concerns arise.

So for now, status qou.

Will be offline for a week. Heading out to visit the in-laws. Will update when we return.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Do You See What I See?

I finally got the video running on my camera and then got Matthew to agree to walk for the video. The result is rather crappy as he didn't want to do it (we had just come home from p/t) and the quality seems poor when I uploaded to You Tube. Am going to see if it is any better on here.

So, I ask the question. Do you see what I see? When he walks back towards the camera, even in his AFO he takes a few steps on the outside of his foot with his toes inward. He was conscience of the video and was trying not to. Clubfoot mommies... honest opinions please. Regression?

I am sending an email to Dr. Dobbs anyways. Just see what he thinks. If there is any other p/t we can be or should be doing.

Btw, his p/t said we are achieving 10-12 degrees dorsiflexion with knee bent, 5-7 degrees dorsiflexion with straight knee. We are gaining grounds there.

And, another video because I absolutely can not resist sharing this one!

Doesn't this just make you go AWWWWWWWW and toss in a worm or some regurgitated bugs?


What a great surprise this morning!

Monday, June 22, 2009


Yes, I got me a new camera. It is the newest version of the old burnt one. I wondered if that was wise, but after seeing the shock and surprise in every single person I told, I think the spontaneous combustion of said camera was a rare occurrence. My old memory card works in it and it recognized all photos and video. Spent the morning downloading the latest software then uploading the handful of photos I have taken.

Still have not taken photos and video of Matthew's foot. Been to busy with year end at school and getting ready to head to the in-laws house for a week. That, and some times it is easier to just forget about things for a few days. We see his p/t tomorrow. Will see if she has some more perspective on things. If she is concerned, I will get those photos and video and send it down to Dr Dobbs.

I do have this to share from the weekend. Took the boys to see Spiderman (the REAL Spiderman) who was make a special appearance. They were thrilled! I LOVE this photo!

These kids crack me up.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I Need A New Camera

Sadly, my old camera has been laid to rest. There is no hope in fixing it. If you didn't read my last post, it caught on fire a few days ago while I was using it. Inside the battery compartment there is evidence of the damage. Also, one of the rechargeable batteries also has the tell tale signs of the fire. We tried new batteries with no luck. The camera has shorted out/fried/burnt use whatever term you wish. Not sure if the battery shorted the camera, or the camera shorted and burnt the battery. The proverbial which came first discussion, but really, it doesn't matter. The outcome is still the same, I need a new camera.

And I need it now.

Why the urgency? I would love to say because I need to capture every moment of my boys for prosperity, but no. I have some potentially bad news.

I first saw it Tuesday. Then again Wednesday. I mentioned it to Matthew's p/t Wednesday afternoon. She didn't catch it at first but after I pointed it out she saw it too.

Matthew's left foot is in toeing when he walks. Not when he runs. At least not yet. But it is there when he walks. And his active dorsiflexion is no longer straight up. It pulls slightly to the side, again.

His p/t was unsure if his foot is turning, or his leg is turning in. I said, true, but does that really matter? Even if it is just his leg, it will stretch the outside of his foot and tighten the inside. Opposite of what we want. She agreed.

She suggested a twister type device to wear with his brace that wraps around the leg and pulls the foot outwards for daytime and night time. I just said no. Not yet. Poor kid, my heart breaks at the thought of him wearing more stuff on his foot/leg this summer.

I thought about getting a night time stretcher, but not sure if that would hold his foot from turning in or just keep the dorsiflexion, which by the way we are maintaining AND increasing weekly.

So, I need a camera. I need to take photos and video and send it to Dr. Dobbs. Get his professional opinion.

So off I go this afternoon to buy a camera. No searching around for the right one, the fun one, the one that has the funky bells and whistles, I just need one. Now.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sorry there are no photos, my camera was on fire

Alright. That must sound like the worst excuse ever, right up there with the dog ate my homework.

I took the boys out today for a bike ride. As of yesterday morning, both boys were still with training wheels. I took Matthew to the park yesterday, took of the training wheels, sent him down a small grassy hill and voila! I have a 2 wheeler rider! He still has trouble if he is leaning to the left. His left foot is not strong enough to balance a fall. But he is learning to fall to his right. The training wheels will never go back on that bike again.

Ryan really really wanted to try today so we went to the park, took off his training wheels, sent him down a grassy hill and voila! I have another without training wheels! He is still very wobbly and when riding on the path can only go about 50-60 feet before riding into the grass and jumping off. But it won't be long. Give it a few days.

Matthew was so proud of his brother he cheered, clapped and gave him a high five. So sweet!

So I took video with my camera of both boys. Planned to send it to Grandma and Grandpa when I smelled that horrid electric fire smell and noticed smoke coming from my camera! I popped open the battery compartment and dropped the batteries. One was melted and the contact inside the camera doesn't look good.

So the memory stick should be safe, but I have no other way to use it at the moment. Ok, that is a lie. I am sure my computer could do it some how and I KNOW my printer has a memory stick port, but I am not sure how to do it.

Maybe I will attempt new batteries in my camera tomorrow. Will have to share the video soon!

Yay to my bike riders!

Crossing My Fingers

I have been meaning to 'pimp my blog' for months now. Everyone else has such lovely looking blogs and mine... well, nuff said.

I am worried I will mess it all up and loose everything, but am going to take that step.

Crossing my fingers.


Half way done and have to get the kids. Looks like it will have to stay like this until I can find some more time. Good news is, I didn't mess it up. Yay!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Busy in the Backyard

What a busy weekend in the yard. I am completely exhausted and very proud of what I accomplished. My husband helped only in transferring of some blocks. I did the rest myself.

This is what the back of our deck looked like Thursday afternoon with the garden hose marking my intentions.

After a lot of work which included carrying 60 bricks, 14 lbs apiece from the store to the truck to the backyard, this is what it looks like now.

A little bit of child labor never hurt anyone.

The finished wall.

Of course it really isn't finished. I still need to add the edging to the back, more soil and then plant my sweet peas that have been patiently waiting in their little plastic boxes on the patio. But then, when is a yard truly finished?

By the way, I wasn't the only Mommy who was busy this weekend.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Let's Celebrate!

No, not because it is Friday and the sun is supposed to shine all weekend (although around here that in itself is worth a celebration), but because of something more monumental.

Matthew has sensory issues. I wouldn't call it full blown sensory processing disorder, but he definitely has his sensitivities and would score rather high in some areas such as auditory, smell, and tactile. I blogged about an incident here if you didn't see it.

Last year, he worked once a week with an O/T and was in regular contact with a child psychiatrist. We were all working on reducing his hypersensitivities to tactile stimulus. Brushing teeth was a nightmare in the past...don't even think about toothpaste. We were able to conquer that one. Yay!

But the wiping after a bowl movement has alluded us. Been working on that one for about 1 1/2 yrs. Won't even start to address the smell that makes him retch but the sound of the bathroom fan makes him scream. Oiy.

Just before casting started at the end of March, we had gotten to the point where he would wipe (only with me present and only with loud protests) and then I was to check and make sure it was completely clean. Then, he refused to dress until he had seen that it was clean. I took away hand mirrors to stop it but then he just climbed on the counter and looked with the bathroom mirror. Crafty little kid.

When he was casted, it was awkward to sit with the cast, then he injured his finger on his right hand. We were back to square one. Since he got the cast off 3 weeks ago, I have been working (aka fighting) with him to start again.

Which brings us to today. I sent them upstairs to dress and brush teeth for school. Matthew said he had to poop and up he went. He came down about 10 minutes later dressed and ready for school.

"Are you ready for school? Did you brush your teeth?"

"yes Mommy. I just need my brace and stretches."

"I thought you had to poop?"

He said so casually "I did Mommy."

I swear I heard angels singing. Either that or it was Ryan yelling for his socks.

He did it. He wiped all by himself. Without me in the room. Without me passing him the wipes. Without him complaining and yelling about it. Without me having to check after. Without me... at all!

I gave him a huge hug and told him I was so proud of him. And with that grin, you could tell he was proud too.

Celebration to commence after school. Perhaps a bowl of ice cream on the deck followed by a game of water balloon tag. And maybe, a glass of frozen margarita for me.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Yesterday was dreaded physio day. Matthew really does hate it and how can I blame him. Someone takes his tender foot and stretches it to where it really hurts, then holds it in that position over and over and over again for the better part of 30 min. Then, said person has him do exercises on sore foot.

And apparently I need to work harder on my stretching position to include his calcaneus (heel bone). I need to make sure it is being moved outward as his front foot is turned out and the foot is stretched upwards. Feeling like a degree in p/t would help me out greatly.


The good side of it all is that she was able to get him into what looked to me like 20 degrees about neutral. I could be wrong, but even she was pleased with it. And, to Matthew's horror, she held it in that position for 30 sec numerous times.

Maybe it was the Advil I gave him an hour before, maybe it is finally loosing up. Either way, we will keep at it at home and with sessions. Hopefully we will be raising it to twice a week as soon as the funds filter through in a few weeks.

She was very impressed with his gait this week. She could not believe the difference in a week. When walking, you hardly notice a gait difference. When running, he has stopped his 'Terry Fox Hop' as we call it and his gait looks fairly normal. However, on the gym floor you could hear that he is still favoring it. Gotta love the sound of a gym floor. No hiding gait discrepancies there.

By the way, I looked into taking Physiotherapy for myself. It is 25 month, course based Masters degree after you have a B.SC., which I have. Problem is the closest post secondary school to offer this is 3 hours away.

Still thinking about this one...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

When's The Baby Shower?

For almost an hour this morning, this is what we saw out the back door.

Then, of course we saw some of this.

Then, when the boys went upstairs to get dressed and brush their teeth, I noticed the robin leave the nest and head to the neighbors yard. I peeked at our yard. No robin. So I took a chance. Carefully, opened the door a few inches, stood on a chair and reached out with the camera (maybe 8 inches from the door) and snapped a quick picture.

Don't worry, she was back on the nest a few minutes later and is again there now. I am not going to push my luck for another photo although I am dying to find out how many eggs there are.

No BBQ for us tonight, I will be cooking the chops in the oven.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Some Days I Feel Like A Cat

Do you ever get that feeling that things are careening out of control and you are going to fall only at the last minute you flip and land on your feet? Today is one of those days.

I found out last week that our insurance for p/t was running out fast so I was looking into if he had any left for his mild to moderate funding through school. I got a call on Friday to say that Matthew still had $2400 left. What? And that p/t had not submitted any receipts. What?

Fumble. Some one dropped the ball.

So I called his p/t and left a message saying there was a lot of funding left over, but that we could only access it until the end June. I stewed about it all weekend.

Started the phone calls fresh this morning. Looking to see if they would let us use the funding for the next few weeks off-site (not at the school). After chatting with the women who deals out the funds, she felt so bad she said they would allow for him to not only access the funding off site but if his p/t was willing, to write these were make up sessions, we could continue to use the funds through out the summer. AND if we submit our receipts they will reimburse us.

It feels good to have my feet under me again.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

New Neighbors Revisited

The Robins are back!

I am not sure if it is the SAME pair of Robins, I'm afraid that all Robins look alike to me.

We are amazed. First, we had a dump of snow early Saturday morning. Yes. You read that right. Snow in June. And not just a light dusting, we had about 2 inches on the deck and it kept up off and on all day. (I apologize, I didn't take any photos. I was so darn tired. Ryan woke gasping and barking Friday night. Couldn't get it under control with ventolin and cold air so we spent a number of hours at the hospital. Got home at 4, up at 8. Yawn. Good news, he is doing fantastic now.)

So we are not sure if it was the terrible weather or some other reason that brought them back, but they have been busy over the last two days adding more wet grass and mud to the nest.

Will keep you posted on their progress.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Back to Physio

Matthew was back at p/t on Wednesday. Gosh, I really hate p/t and I am not even the one receiving it. He hates it because it hurts and he has to take time from fun stuff to do it. And he has to continue to do it for quite some time. Hard to make a 6 yr old understand the benefits. Impossible to tell him to suck it up.

Anyways. His p/t was impressed with the shape and mobility of his foot. She measured him before she started stretching and she was able to get him to 10 degrees past neutral, possibly even 15. Yay! That is awesome! Sad news is she did have to push to get him there... but a few short months ago he could barely be stretched to neutral.

I got a few other things to try at home to add to our day. Yay. Sorry, not too thrilled about it. It means more pushing him to do more of what he hates. Generally sets up negativity and anger between the two of us. I need to work on that.

We discussed the prescription I was given for the p/t. Turns out that it doesn't matter, there is no Alberta healthcare funding for children unless they are post-op...which we were so thrilled he was able to avoid. She is looking into it to see if there is ANYTHING for post serial casting, but highly doubtful. So we are back to paying out of pocket. Craig has some funds through work, but we have almost finished Matthew's allotted amount already. Not much else we can do. He needs it so we will need to pay for it.

If we can do enough at home, Matthew can see her once a week for awhile. Crossing my fingers I can step up to the plate on that one.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Power Of One

If you haven't seen or heard of this yet, it is a must see.

At a recent music festival in Washington, Collin Wynter (from Calgary) did what many do. He felt the music and he got up and danced. Not unusual at a music festival. His dance moves were unconventional and I am sure that the person who started videotaping it was doing so in order to ridicule him.

What was unusual, and what I find uplifting and inspirational is what happened next.

If I had a wish today, it would be that this leads our thoughts and our actions. Instead of worrying what others think, we do. We embrace others uniqueness, and join in.

The power of one.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Thanks For The Memories

Last night, I had to go out our backdoor to start our BBQ. I spooked the poor Robin who was sitting on the nest. While we ate dinner, we saw her sitting on one of the trees in the back yard, surveying, deciding.

At bedtime last night, there was no sign of our newest neighbors. Likewise this morning. I think they have decided that being inches from our backdoor was not the best real estate in town and have moved on. I checked the nest and there were no eggs thank goodness. I would have felt really bad had there been.

Even though they were only there for the day, it made a huge impact on the boys. This morning they played baby bird, first being eggs

Then slowly hatching

And peeping

I am saddened that they were not able to stay, hopeful they will find a better place, and thankful for the brief encounter that impacted us all in such a wonderful way.

Monday, June 1, 2009

New Neighbor Dilemma

This morning, while we were eating breakfast, I noticed something new on our deck.

Ok, not on our deck, but rather right beside our back door and on our light.

The boys are thrilled with our new neighbors. We watched them for about 20 minutes working away. Carrying beak-fulls of grasses and carefully weaving it into a nest. It has started loads of questions and observations. And it is a beautiful sight.

You have to wonder though about this new bird family and their choice of real estate. If you were to draw a circle with a 200 foot radius from our backdoor, you would not find another child living in a house. And I may even be estimating conservatively.

Our yard is the noisiest, most active yard in this area of our neighborhood and these poor unsuspecting newly weds have chosen to live and raise their children here.

So, here is my dilemma. Do we let the birds continue to build and lay their eggs only to have them dive bomb us daily as we attempt to use our backyard retreat? Or worse, have them abandon the eggs due to unusual traffic? Or do we try to live in peace for the 12-14 day incubation period and then the 14-16 days before they fly away.

Maybe, if we are lucky, these two are seasoned urbanites who appreciate the fact that there are children in this yard playing and scaring away the magpies and crows.

I hope so. I don't the boys will let me send them packing.