Strip just from the bottom half
We went to collect Zack's new wheels, a Tom Cross Stroller from Wheelchair Services. It took a while for them to set it up as they had to make sure all the seating was set right for his measurements.
The buggy is a special needs buggy aimed at supporting Zack in a better position and I have to admit once he was in it, he was extremely happy, sat upright, looking around at the world. He even smiled at us all.
I on the other hand found it slightly upsetting. The buggy is bigger than I imagined and it was a bit of a shock to see him with a little chest strap on in this small chair surrounded by a big frame. When he is in it you know he is a child with a disability. It's hard to explain but seeing him in this type of chair makes it even more concrete that he does have additional needs. And I know he does and have accepted that he does but when it's as vivid and real as another piece of equipment in can be difficult to adjust to it.
Having said that I am now getting used to the chair. Here's a picture of him in it. See quite happy. Oh the last one was just before he decided to be a bit sick.
We are going to test drive it this weekend. We need to purchase a hood and a rain cover for it before we can do winter adventures.
We also went to see the Orthopaedic doctor at Alder Hey. He was really nice and had a good look at Zack to see how tight his tone was in his body. He said the likelihood is that if a child isn't sitting by two then it's unlikely they will walk. To be honest I have heard statements like this before and I take it with a pinch of salt. He's right Zack might not walk, then again, he might. He did say that he thinks he will probably be able to get around the house quite adequately but for his independence he will probably need a wheelchair. And if he can manage a power chair then we have to make sure his hands and thumbs don't get tight. Ha. Zack in a power chair I can see it now, he'd be zooming down the street up to no good.
The doctor sent us for a hip x-ray. Dan took Zack in to the room. He came out ten minutes later, I asked if it all went okay. "Yep, fine" he replied, "The woman told me to put on a lead apron and strip just from the bottom half. I asked her if she meant me, she said no, just Zack." Dan continued to tell me that they just got his position right on the table and he decided to pee all over it, (Zack did, not Dan) the nurse said it happens all the time. Bet she loves her job.
After the X-ray we went back to see the doctor. One out of two children with Cerebral Palsy usual have a problem with their hips and sockets because they aren't moving like a normal child should, so there bodies aren't being allowed to develop naturally. What you get are hip bones that aren't ground in properly to the socket. Zack's right hip is slightly on the edge so in order to stop it getting worse and dislocating they will consider doing botox injections so that the muscle has chance to move better and in effect move the hip socket into the correct position.
The doctor showed us an x-ray of a six year old child who has similar conditions to Zack but has not been seen with regards to his hips. His was almost out of the socket and so he will need reconstructive surgery. I suppose by picking up on this now we could attempt to correct it. He also said that his standing frame and physio is good for him and to continue doing it. Oh and the other good thing was he hasn't got a curve in his back, he just slumps over a bit because of his lack of good head control. All babies start off curved and then pull up as they get stronger in the neck and back, Zack's curve may improve. It has so far and I think it will continue to do so.
When we had finished the appointment we stopped in reception so I could put Zack's coat on. I looked down to see that his shoes where on the wrong feet. Yep, Dan had taken Zack in to get an X-ray and managed to get his shoes on incorrectly. I pointed it out. "Hmmm" Dan replied, "I thought they were hard to get on his feet." Poor child, what hope does he have of walking if his dad can't even get his shoe on the right way.
I am hoping that after this busy week we will calm down. In fact I said to Dan the other week I am not putting in any more appointments until after Christmas. Here's to the wind down.