Thursday, October 7, 2010
Watch out – Sydney is back on crutches! Today she tried out fore-arm crutches! It is quite the technique to learn how to walk with these crutches. She had to really concentrate to place each crutch at the right time and then take a step while maintaining her balance. As she was precariously taking a few steps she said to Lance, “I hope you don't mind if I don't turn the corner in these” as she was sure she would wipe out! Lance said “what if I do mind?” Then he had her perform a U-Turn right in the middle of the hall! He also had her slowly take a few steps backward to her wheelchair! She was amazed she could do this without falling! She went 108 feet in the crutches and was completely exhausted from the exertion of balancing by the time she was done! But she was so excited to be on crutches!
The other PT session was focused on strengthening exercises. She practiced sitting up, lying flat and using her elbows to prop her up, and for the first time he had her lie on her stomach (although he was careful to not strain her back). In OT Sydney worked her arms with big elastic bands.
We are learning in the morning sessions, that “hydration is key” (a favorite saying of Sydney's nurse Janet!) With spinal cord injury patients, it is a challenge to maintain high enough blood pressure. When Sydney gets up in the morning she is very light-headed and weak. We have to make sure she has been drinking enough to keep her pressure up, and we also wrap her legs in “grandma tights” and ACE bandages to force the blood back up to her upper body. If her blood pressure drops too low, she takes some medicine to increase it. This will improve as she gets more mobile.
Overall it was an exciting day! As a reward for her hard work, she ate dinner in the cafeteria with Grandma, rather than having a tray in her room. Much more social and fun! Tomorrow she has a big day planned – it will be her first “outing”! Check back to see how it goes!