Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Christmas Present

Matthew's cast came off today. For me, and I think for Matthew too, it was like Christmas morning. Anticipation was running high. It was a little bit stressful and filled with excitement.

Found a new doctor who was VERY proficient at cast removal. Took it off in two pieces. The way it should be removed.

His foot looks straighter... but the toes, which were not affected by this cast still, to me are pointing inward. Maybe I am too close to the glass. Maybe I am expecting too much. Or maybe, someone will see what I see.

Didn't get a chance to take photos today. Will take some tomorrow and post to see if anyone else sees what I see.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cast Troubles

Matthew's cast was put on to pull the front of his foot to the right. His foot was drifting to the left again. Now, his toes are still pulling to the left, into the cast, causing pain. I was called to the school at lunchtime to see what I could do. I tried trimming, but not sure if I was successful.

Cast removal is next Wednesday.

The kids are counting down for Christmas. I am counting down to cast removal.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Broken Record And Christmas From St. Louis

I know I sound like a broken blogging record when I say I haven't been blogging, I have been busy... but I have been busy. Sorry. Will get back to blogging if not now, at least in the new year. Thank you to all who called, emailed, or called my parents as a virtual kick in the butt. Will try harder...

First things first, Disney was beyond words. I think I have finally finished the movie... will post it here soon. Suffice it to say more fun then ever thought possible, and even more memories.

Second, St. Louis.
Matthew went back to St. Louis to see Dr. Dobbs on the 13th. Went down as always, hoping for the best, preparing for the worst. Didn't even take before photos. For those of you following for a long time, you guessed it, there was a cast. Even despite Matthew's plea

We were lucky enough to have Dr. Dobbs not only look at, but cast his foot. The best news was that because dorsiflexion was good, just the fore foot was drifting (metatarsal drift) he only got a half leg cast(yes, Dr. Dobbs DOES do half leg casts...Christmas colors of course.

As always, the people we see in St. Louis were wonderful. From Jeff who called us to see if we were stuck in the snowstorm, to the family who organized the craft at Haven House, to Kristina and all the staff at the hospital. You made this trip feel like home. And a special call out to Bill, from the Shriner's, who always seems to find us and make things feel more like home.

Matthew's cast will come off on the 22nd. Just in time for Christmas.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Skating - Round 2 And An Update

For the past 5 weeks the boys have been back in skating lessons. They both passed level 2. Will have to see where they want to take this next.

As before, Ryan has more control and what Matthew lacks in control he makes up for in speed. If only he would just slow down...just a little bit...

I tried to attach video but for some reason it won't let me...

Quick update, after two doctor visits, a call to a specialist and some internet research I finally have a referral for Ryan. Hoping we don't have to wait too long to get in.

We are off tomorrow morning to Disney. We are all very excited! The boys and I leave first thing and will spend Friday by the pool soaking up the sun. Daddy is already in the US and will meet us there Friday evening.

I still have a busy day. Pick up the boys, take Matthew to physio, over to the neighbors for dinner, back home to shower the boys and any last minute packing. Then off to bed and up for an early morning flight.

Hope I haven't forgotten anything! Will post photos when we get back.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Excuse Me, Have You Seen My Head?

Wow. I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off these days. Just realized how long it has been since I had time to blog. Not that I even have time right now...

What's up around here? Well, the most exciting news is we are taking the boys to Disneyworld next week. So I have been planning and getting ready for that. Let me tell you, either there is way too much to do there, or I over plan way too much. Suffice it to say I have been very very busy with that. Excited, but very busy.

Also been trying and trying to get Matthew's latest AFO to fit properly. Any of you with kids in an AFO know what I mean. You take your kid out of school for an appointment, the AFO gets adjusted, he wears it a day or two and says it bothers him elsewhere. So you make another appointment, take him out of school, get the AFO adjusted...etc. Sort of like Groundhog Day. Still stuck, still trying...

Also have our next appointment for St. Louis. We are heading back in December.

Been dealing with a not so fun problem with Ryan. I think he actually has a medical problem called Encopresis. Things have been getting worse lately so I am trying to get him in to see a specialist. Our GP was not forthcoming with the referral so after some research, I am going back in and getting the referral I want. This kid has had pooping problems since the beginning including 18 months of diarrhea (yes, you read that right 18 long long months). We need to see this doctor.

And Craig leaves tomorrow for a hunting trip. So, that means I get to pack up everything for the boys and myself for the vacation as well as get them to Disney by myself, Craig will meet us there 24 hours later.

Along with regular life and volunteering in the school twice a week has pushed me beyond my limits and time constraints. And as I say that, I have to run and get the boys from school, take them to their hair appointments and then run home to make dinner.

Hope to have some good news about Ryan soon, at least good news in that I will be taking him in to see a doctor that specializes in this condition.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Why I Love Calgary

I know I complain a lot over the lack of heat here the past few summers, but I do really love Calgary. This week, the weather has been beautiful. Many leaves are gone, but some are still clinging tight.

With the nice weather this week, I've been hitting the trails that are 10 minutes from my house.

Up the hills

Down the hills

crossing bridges

It's a great workout, and fantastic at lifting spirits. I mean, how can you not feel great looking down this trail.

The weatherman is calling for 21 C (70 F) tomorrow. I can't wait to hit the trails again. It's days like these that remind me why I love Calgary.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Open Mouth...Insert Foot

I really did not mean to insult anyone who likes pink or has tattoos with my last post. Seems I may have put my foot in my mouth yet again. Not my intent.

What I was getting at was that Steve seems to have become a huge influence in Matthew's life. Not sure if Steve even realizes it. Thankfully he is a great person. Someone worthy of being looked up too.

As for tattoo's, those who know me know that I have waffled, and I do mean waffled, on the subject for years. In fact, my recent mid-life crisis (more on this topic to come for sure) has caused me to rethink the tattoo again. I am again considering one....right now my good friend Jenn is rolling her eyes at me and saying 'yeah right'...but really Jenn this time, I mean it! Maybe.... lol

Anyways, just wanted to clear up that fact. I don't hate tattoo's...but personally not a huge fan of pink...although I seem to own a few pink shirts.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Picture Day

It's picture day at school today. Here are my handsome boys.

Ryan (black eye all gone!)


And of course, my boys can NOT stay serious for too long.

Did you notice Matthew's mauve shirt? He decided that purple and pink are cool to wear. Why? Because Steve wears purple and pink.

Steve is getting a sleeve tattoo this week. Guess who thinks tattoos are really cool now?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Like A Fish To Water

That's how Matthew has taken to daily home E-stim. In fact, the other day, he even asked for the "tinglies". Never a fight. Ever.

I should be high-fiving, and yet I'm not. I am worried that his motivation behind this is to get rid of his AFO. That he hopes by doing this, soon, his foot will work and he can get rid of the brace.

Which, is exactly what I hope for too.

And I worry, that if it doesn't, he will stop wanting to do E-stim.

Guess all we can do is take it one day at a time.

And hope. Always hope.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Look What I Have!

Stopped in at Steve's office yesterday and am currently renting this machine. Most likely we will buy it next week, Matthew seems to be quite content to use it daily.

This was last night. Computer games are a great distraction.

Matthew even consented to using it this morning(we are off camping today after school and I am not bringing the machine). I think having him read Dr. Dobbs' email helped. This is what Dr. Dobbs sent.

I know Kristina has already answered regarding the brace questions.

I just wanted to say Matthew’s foot looks great and I’m pleased that he is getting the E-stim as think he has the potential to benefit from this modality.

Do keep in touch.

Seemed to be very meaningful to Matthew. Seems that Matthew is understanding that what we are doing could stimulate those muscles and allow for more motion then ever before.

Maybe he is as hopeful as we are.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Complete 180

Yesterday I was frustrated and confused. So I sent a message last night to Dr. Dobbs and his nurse coordinator Kristina Porter. Told them that Matthew's AFO was bothering him and where. Told them that he has been doing E-stim and that Steve felt Matthew was gaining some slight movement in his toes.

I had a response less then 12 hours later. I can not express how thankful I am to have found this amazing team. They work so hard for all their patients at all times.

They discussed things and gave me some new ideas to take to Matthew's orthotist to work with this AFO.

And the best part, Dr. Dobbs feels that daily E-stim could help and could we get a hold of some equipment for home? Maybe it is the sun shining this morning. Maybe it is the beautiful deep blue fall sky this morning. But I got goose bumps reading that. Maybe, just maybe this is another sign of things moving forward.

For so long we have been stuck in the same treatment for Matthew. Finally, we are off the loop track and walking down the road. It is going to be a long road, but today, it is a beautiful view.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Frustrated And Confused

Since school started, I have been trying to get Matthew to wear his new brace. He goes to school with it, but it is always off by recess time (2 hours later). I can see where it is bothering him. Have taken him in to our orthotist to try and have it adjusted, but the adjustments that can be made are not helping.

The new brace was made straighter and higher at the toe to try and stop the front of his foot from turning in. I completely agree with that.

Comparison of old AFO and new AFO.

But that is where the new AFO is bothering him. You can see how his foot turns right at that spot.



So, the part of his AFO that is to keep his foot from turning, is causing him to remove and not wear his AFO...which will lead to more turning of his foot. Arrrggghhhh!

Simple solution, cut the AFO down at that foot part. But, the purpose of this AFO was to try and stop that foot from turning.

Round and round we go.

I am going to send an email to Dr. Dobbs and Kristina this evening. See what their thoughts are. We don't go back to St. Louis until December.

In the meantime, he has been happily wearing his old AFO.

Oh, and another update...Ryan's eye. A real beauty in the works.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Here Come The Colors

And I don't mean the fall leaves!

10 Days To School Photos

And Ryan got a shiner.

Give it a few days, let the color bloom. I see beautiful blues and purples coming.

Going to be a lovely school photo!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Just In Time

Matthew's foot is healing nicely. Steve took a look and thought it was a minor sprain. Hooked him up to TENS on his foot and E-Stim on his lower leg. Told him to be nice to his foot. He is back in his old brace too. Not sure if the new brace is ever going to work, but that is another story for another day.

So Matthew's foot is feeling a lot better, just in time for winter boot shopping. Let me try to contain my excitement.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Not Broken

Those were the two best words I heard this weekend.

Matthew rolled on his foot. With all the changes with shoes, he has not been wearing his brace and he rolled on his foot. Two days later he was still not putting weight on it so I took him to urgent care.

They were very concerned by the look and shape of his foot until I explained all that has gone on with that little foot. They decided to X-ray both feet to have something to compare.

Good news, there are no fractures that they could see. So most likely a soft tissue injury. He is now in a tensor and back on crutches.

Will be taking him to his regular doctor Monday to have it checked (as per urgent care doctor's advice) and will have Steve take a look on Wednesday to see if he can give us some more information.

Hoping he is off the crutches for school.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Could It Be That Easy?

After spending most of the morning yesterday scouring four different stores, I was able to find 3 pairs of shoes that were non-marking, fit Matthew's brace and could have the sole split. One pair is $68. After adding the lift price to that, they would come to $118. YIKES! The other two pairs were $10 off the clearance rack. But they were not the nicest looking shoes. But, one of the $10 pair fit with his brace AND with his foot. For those of you without AFO's, sometimes a brace will fit in the shoe, but not with the foot in the brace. Hence the three pairs. (Oh, and I hid the expensive pair only to be pulled out if absolutely needed.)

I had a conversation with Matthew's teacher who was so nice. She apologized about even having to mention this and told me (after she found out about the brace and lift) not to worry about it. I told her that having been a teacher, I understood the issue and not to worry, it would all work out.

Then, I looked at Matthew's outdoor shoes. I tried to get them to mark my kitchen floor... my poor floor...nothing. Hmmmmm. Could I just switch his indoor shoes for his outdoor shoes?

I sent them this morning with a note to his teacher to let me know if these shoes mark the floor.

Could it really be that easy? Maybe I should buy a lotto ticket.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Did anyone hear that? That loud crash a few hours ago? That was my train...coming off the track. Just when I thought I had everything under control.

I got an email from Matthew's teacher after coming home from Matthew's physio appointment.

I hate to request this because I know they are brand new shoes, but unfortunately Matthew’s shoes are leaving black marks all over the floor and our caretaker is feeling a bit out of sorts about it. I was wondering if he has a pair of shoes with white soles at home instead that he can use at school?

Thank you


I thought I had it. I was so excited to have two pair of shoes that could have a lift put in, fit the brace, and Matthew liked. Forgot the last parameter. Marking the gym floor.


Guess I know what my day is tomorrow. Off to the shoe stores. Find a pair of shoes that fits his brace, has a sole that can be split, and is non-marking. Oh... and that the kid likes, at least some what.

Wish me luck.

Back To School

The boys went back to school last week. Things have gone really well. Better then ever before. Yay!

The pain in Ryan's face is from the sunshine, just goes to show how little of it we actually saw this summer.

Ahhhh, shade. Much better.

Back to school means all new stuff. Which always means new shoes for Matthew. Always a struggle to find a shoe that he likes AND fits the brace. AND now one that can have the sole split and a lift added. AND it adds $50 to each pair of shoes. I don't even want to add up how much money is in this photo. And I thought girl's shoes would be expensive.

That should do it for foot wear... until the snow flies. Or until his next growth spurt...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Another Weekend, Another Hike

It's been tough finding rain free weekends. Lucked out again on Saturday so we hiked C-Level Cirque. A little shorter then the last hike, a little higher then the last hike.

View of Lake Minnewanka.

Is that the road way down there?

What a view!

From both sides!

A little goofing off before heading back down.


Looking forward to the next hike.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I am so disappointed by the horrid summer we had. Only one day of 30+ C (86 F). And, here it is Sept 1 and the temperature is dropping to near freezing at night. Awful.

One positive to this time of year...fresh mixed green salads from the backyard.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Summer Hike

Before we had kids, we loved to hike in the mountains. We wondered if we would still be able to hike when we had kids. Then, Matthew was born. We wondered if he would even walk properly. Then, when he did, we wondered what he would and would not be able to do. Then, he started to do everything. We stopped wondering if he would do things, and started to wonder when he would do things.

This past weekend, we did a big hike. We took the boys to the Plain of the Six Glaciers at Lake Louise, better known as the Teahouse Hike. Here are the stats.

distance 5.5 km (3.4 miles) to the teahouse - 11 km (6.8 miles) roundtrip
elevation gain of 420 m (1380 ft)
time 2 hours up, 1 1/2 hours down

Both boys did this no problem and are asking what hike we can do next.

So, for those of you with kids with clubfoot, or leg length discrepancies, or anyone interested, here are some pictures.

Coming round the end of the lake. Chateau Lake Louise in the background.

Taking a breather...maybe Matthew is catching a nap.

Some of the wildlife

A rare family photo with the lake and chateau in the background

enjoying some hot chocolate at the teahouse

more wildlife...well, maybe not too wild

getting ready to head back down

And to end our day

Thursday, August 19, 2010

In The Yard

Sharing a few pictures from around the yard and garden.

My first cauliflower crop.

The weather has been very cool here so everything is late, but still growing.


Green pepper trying hard to grow

Green leaf lettuce

red leaf lettuce

head lettuce


Ivy Geraniums

Can never remember the name of these flowers

My clematis grows like a weed. I just love it.