Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Constraint Induced Therapy

I know Cope has his own page, but I want to do an intro to all the details I will be posting on his page in the following few weeks.

Cope's stroke was massive, affecting a majority of the left side of his brain. Brains work opposite, so his right side is the "affected" side, and his left is the "unaffected." Right now, he rarely uses his affected side. I've been told it's disassociation, in which his hand doesn't feel like it belongs to his body, so he would prefer not to use it. This happens because the left side of his brain is not firing the way it should due to the damage. In order to get his hand to start feeling like it belongs to him, we force him to use it so that his brain will start functioning more. That is what therapy is all about. It helps tell his brain that his hand is still there. I found, after much study and reading on the internet, that there are things that can be done to "jump-start" this process. One of those things is Constraint Induced Therapy.

After several months of fighting with the insurance, and then trying to establish dates we could do it, we are finally starting Constraint Induced Therapy next week with Cope. I'll be in Albuquerque for two weeks. I'm excited for the improvement this will hopefully bring. For updates on exactly what is going on check out Cope's page by clicking on his picture below.

We will start Monday the 23rd. Cope will wear a constraint brace, on his unaffected arm, that runs from his shoulders down past his fingers. It will remain on for 14 consecutive days. (I'll post pictures on his page later so you can see.) During this time it will only be taken off for sleeping and bathing. Even eating he will be required to keep it on, forcing him to eat with his affected hand. The brace will inhibit his ability to use his unaffected hand, forcing him to use his affected one. During the two week period he will be receiving Physical and Occupational therapy. There will be two, two-hour sessions of therapy. They will be continued for five days after which he will get two days off, and then will have five days on. During his two days off he will still wear the brace to encourage continued usage of the affected hand. The hope is that such grueling amounts of therapy and lack of use of his unaffected hand, will jump start his brain and allow for continued progress once he is done with the therapy.

I will post pictures to his page and will notate any progress through-out the two weeks. They tell me it will be a grueling two weeks for both him and I as I will have to deal with his frustration and will have to take the time to help him feed himself with a hand he, as of now, has no control over. I know that, but if it improves his ussage of that hand then I say, "Let the fun begin!" :)

Before we head out we get to meet Madison Steiner, founder of Peaches Neet Feet http://www.peachsneetfeet.blogspot.com/.  Cope's Pediatrician, Dr. Nnebe, sponsored Cope, making it possible for Madison and her team to paint him a pair of their beautiful shoes. We are thrilled to get to meet her and be able to get Cope's shoes. My hope is that these will be the shoes he takes his first steps in, as he is not yet walking. I will post pictures and a post on his page after Friday.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do with my life. My kids are growing so fast and they will always come first, but I need something else as well. The only thing I keep thinking is that I want to help others. I want to be able to "be a part of something bigger then myself" (Smallville). I want to be able to use my talents and and creativity to touch someone else's life. I met a wonderful woman who has found a way to use her talent to enspire others and enspire me. To learn more about her and her cause go to her blog at http://www.peachsneetfeet.blogspot.com/.

I want to be like that. This year Christmas was so amazing. I realized it was because we gave so much. I spent most of my time thinking what I could make or do that would make someone else happy. I want that feeling all the time. The only way I can get it is if I continue to give everything I am, to others. I can't give away all my food or my money as I do have a family, but I can give of myself. I can give my time, my talents, and my enthusiasm. I want this year to be full of giving. I'm going to get involved in everything I can so that life will be as wonderful as Christmas all year round.