Individualized Supports Independent Services For Lauren Noelle Saulenas

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Physical Therapy 03 title

Here I am at Children's Hospital in Peabody, Fae and I are visiting my orthopedic surgeon Dr. Seymour Zimbler.  Dr. Zimbler is checking my  x-rays and explaining to us that the rods, wires, screws and plates which are components of the spinal fusion that I had when I was sixteen  years old are still in place and holding my back in good alignment. He also checks my pelvic x-rays to make sure that my hips are not starting to dislocate...I had three hip surgeries when I was five years old and I have never had to repeat those procedures. This is very unusual because many people with cerebral palsy  have the same surgery REPEATED two or more times in their lifetime. Dr. Zimbler taught Fae and me that there is a direct relationship between quality intervention and extraordinary outcomes. HE IS OUR HERO !! ISIS provides me daily with the opportunity to work with staff that are trained, carefully supervised and have the focus necessary to assist me in maintaining my high level of physical acuity while always striving for new levels of achievement. 


This picture of Fae and me was taken in the "procedure room" at Children's Hospital, Peabody on April  26 , 2005. Dr. Zimbler had just injected several sites on my right arm with BOTOX. Botulinum toxin type A (BOTOX) is a neuromuscular blocker. What this means for me is that some of my tightest muscles can be put to sleep for a few months and during that time I can work on stretching and splinting to increase my range of motion and the functional use of my hand. The reason my arm is wrapped in bandages is because the wrapping is holding in place multiple ice packs that serve to minimize swelling from the injections. Fae is helping me to keep my arm elevated for the same reason.  Dr. Zimbler did a really good job and the anesthetic cream that they put on my arm before the BOTOX injections worked REALLY, REALLY well. I didn't feel a thing!!!!


  Here I am with Fae and John Wall of Wall Prosthetics and Orthotics inc. John is a physical therapist in addition to being certified as an orthotist. He also is a surprisingly good vocalist and he knows all my favorite songs from the "Sound Of Music".  This of course makes my time with him more entertaining and much less stressful than it would ordinarily be. In this picture, John is placing the cotton sleeve over my hand and  arm prior to wrapping them in fiberglass. I am very tactilely defensive when anyone touches my hands. it is the nature of my spastic cerebral palsy. John sings to me while he works and this serves to diminish my spastic tone and allows for greater relaxation. This is the first step in creating the mold from which my new orthotic device is made and it is very important that I relax enough to allow for a good casting to be taken.  


 In this picture John Wall is cutting off my fiberglass cast which will then be used to create the mold for my new bivalved hand splint. I have to remain very still during this process so that John can cut a straight line. Fae helps out by stabilizing my arm so that I won't get tired. We all sing during this procedure and that is why I can forget about being scared and just have fun!!


This is the BIG MOMENT when I get to try on my newly made right hand splint. John Wall is very careful and meticulous in the fitting process. He wants to be very sure that I am comfortable in my new splint. We try it on several times and make adjustments until everything is just right. Back in the old days splints only came in one color (boring white). Today they are available in a wide variety of colors with interesting patterns. We chose a cosmic pattern against a blue background. I have shooting stars and celestial planets  covering my splints. We think it really fits with our philosophy of -  the sky's the limit.


Three weeks after receiving my new hand splint and here I am returning all smiles to see my best buddy John Wall so that he can make me a matching splint for my left hand.  If you observe carefully you'll be able to see the white headphone wires  going to my brand new ipod. That was my reward for doing a good job with my right hand splint. I am already able to wear it for two hours at a time with no red marks. Fae thinks that is wonderful!!! I think it is pretty great too. If you need splints you should visit John. You can find him at:

Wall Prosthetics & Orthotics, Inc.

400 Highland Avenue, Suite 4

Salem, MA 01907

Phone: (978) 745-3500

Fax: (978) 745-7727o.


I am an old pro now and all the steps in casting my left hand go smoothly. I feel so comfortable that I can even joke around with Fae and John.


In this picture, John is using one of his special measuring devices to determine the exact length of my fingers.

This is the cast of my left hand with excellent wrist extension. Fae was really happy about this because it's not so easy for someone with spastic cerebral palsy to be able to do this . The goal for me is to be able to achieve this position with my right hand  where the muscles are much tighter.  If I use my new splint everyday and increase the amount of time that I wear it then John will be able to make a new cast with more correction and this will help me to be able to continue to use my hands for playing the piano and strumming my guitars. I have two guitars, my acoustic guitar is named Choloe and my rock guitar is named Zoe.  



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