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