a blog about raising a daughter with cerebral palsy and learning unexpected lessons along the way

Friday, July 9, 2010

Serial Casting: Day 4

Four days into serial casting. Casts are signed and little toenails are painted red. That sweet little face is still smiling. Maybe my patience level is still quite high but this isn't all that bad...right now at least.

Oia's go-with-the-flow attitude is a real blessing. She has asked me just one time what was on her legs by gesturing to her feet and saying "wha's tha'?". After my answer of "Those are your new casts", she has not again paid any attention to them. Amazing.

Days 1 and 2, combined, Oia maybe walked a total of 20 steps, reluctantly and with much assistance. She just wasn't confident about her stability and who can blame her. The sensation she gets from having her feet positioned at 90 degrees is very awkward to her. Obviously, it's the correct alignment but her brain and body registers the new alignment as 'off'.

Yesterday was the third day and we had our first PT session since casted. Together, our PT and I had Oia walking again. She walked between the two of us for short distances which is a wonderful start. At the end of the day when Rob got home, she walked to greet him at the door, which is part of her routine and something Rob looks forward to. Proud Papa he was.

PT and I had a lengthy discussion about how to properly stretch Oia with the casts on. Since one muscle is connected to that muscle and that muscle to that bone and so forth...well, we realize more than ever now that everything in her legs are tight. Namely, the hamstrings and adductors as well as her hip flexors. Oia has a slight forward tilt in her hips while standing because of some tightness in her hip muscles and adductors and her knees do not fully straighten due to tightness in her hamstrings. We have to stretch her to maintain the flexibility she has now, which is still pretty good, all things considered. Still, the scariest of all this is that even with all the stretching and therapy we do on a daily basis, the tightness just has a way of getting worse despite our best efforts. Encouraging Oia to walk with the casts on will make her use those tighter muscles which will naturally provide some stretching as well.

Stretch for right hamstring; this is as straight as right leg gets

Stretch for right hip flexor

I'll leave you with a video of Miss Determination as she was getting her walking legs back yesterday. My ice cold glass of orange soda played no part in her desire to walk. (wink, wink) You'll notice that she is still up on her right toes some as this foot is casted just shy of 90 degrees. I suspect that Righty will need to be recasted after we complete these first two weeks since this is her more affected side.


  1. She is such a darling. I love that smile as she comes your way. I am totally impressed with her determination and positive outlook. What a girl!

  2. Oh my goodness. She is the sweetest! Awesome to see her walking, she looks great. I'm glad that it's going so well in the casts. I love coming to your blog to see how she's doing. She just looks like a bundle of sunshine.

  3. Excellent stretching technique, MO! My compliments to you and to your PT. Barbara

  4. Oia is FLYING in her casts! What a tremendous spirit in that girl - gets it from her mother! As I've told you time and time again, you inspire me to be a better mother - you truly need to turn this blog into a book - so, so inspirational! Love and miss you gals!

  5. Have Oia watch some TV lying on her tummy! Great hip flexor stretch. Love the vid!

  6. I admire your patience and her determination is such a wonderful thing to watch!! I appreciate your blog and video. :) Thanks for sharing.