Taking Pressure Off A Sore Body Parts

As occupational therapists and mentors we have the knowledge and tools to take pressure off a sore body part.  If a child has a significant curve in their back, I like to use an abdominal binder to take the pressure off their back.   As you know, I am a big tumble foam user and I feel that since I am more comfortable while in my tumbler, I am hoping my little children will be as comfortable in theirs. I don’t believe little children should have to deal with being in pain. So I use different types of equipment to make them feel more comfortable, in an effort to take the pressure off of their sore areas immediately.

Children with Cerebral Palsy and who are immobile, are usually in some type of pain because they cannot move to relieve themselves.  Typically, these children are small enough to hold, so I would take them out of their wheelchair to alleviate the pressure.  No matter how well the seat is customized for the child, they often develop pressure points.

After sitting for long periods of time and given the repetitive pressure, they are likely to develop sharper pain over time. I also like to use foam wedges because it allows the child to be on their stomach, which helps take pressure off their body and prevent from developing pain. As a professional who also suffers from a lot of back pain, I am able to tell by their performance with their communication devices, that they are in pain because they become slower than usual.

Chronic pain results in the children becoming tired earlier in the day and makes them become more vulnerable to getting sick more often. If we keep children comfortable, they attend school more regularly and are able to join play dates more often, like able bodied children. I am a strong believer that if my mentees are comfortable that they are able to accomplish more throughout the day.  When comfortable the children are, happier which is necessary because they shouldn’t be in pain, so why not use alternative equipment throughout their day.   At the end of the day, they are children, whether they are able bodied or significantly physical disabled, they should not have to be in pain.

  • Until Next Time Enjoy Your Children

Muscular Pain

As I have just found out from my second round of interfacial Baclofen that my pain is muscular instead of spasms.   As occupational therapists and mentors we can help the pain with stretches and positioning.   We want our clients to be comfortable as they are able to do more through the day which we can do with equipment and stretches.   I like putting the clients into comfortable tumble foams so they are able to accomplish more throughout the day without discomfort.

Children without pain are able to focus on school work and play with friends for a longer period of time.   Tumble foams are able to practically lie the child down with keeping their head up allowing them to use their communication devices.   If the child is having muscle pain they are restricted by the pain as they are either tired or in the hospital due to a big spasm.   I can relate to the big spasms as I also get them bringing me to the hospital about once a month.   As a mentor I want my mentees out of pain because I know how handicapping pain is so I use tumble foams and medicine to keep them as comfortable as possible.

As occupational therapists and mentors we have the knowledge and tools to keep our clients comfortable so they are able to live life without discomfort.   The children with less discomfort are able to be simply just children.   I am able to play with them more in therapy working on their mobility with their power chair and with access with their communication devices.   If we are able to make our clients more comfortable we will see them doing more with their lives.

Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Children

Muscular Pain

As I have just found out from my second round of inter-facial Baclofen that my pain is muscular instead of spasms.   As occupational therapists and mentors we can help the pain with stretches and positioning.   We want our clients to be comfortable as they are able to do more through the day which we can do with equipment and stretches.   I like putting the clients into comfortable tumble foams so they are able accomplish more throughout the day without discomfort.

Children without pain are able to focus on school work and play with friends for a longer period of time.   Tumble foams are able to practically lie the child down with keeping their head up allowing them to use their communication devices.   If the child is having muscle pain they are restricted by the pain as they are either tired or in the hospital due to a big spasm.   I can relate to the big spasms as I also get them bringing me to the hospital about once a month.   As a mentor’ I want my mentees out of pain because I know how handicapping pain is it so I use tumble foams and medicine to keep them as comfortable as possible.

As occupational therapists and mentors we have the knowledge and tools to keep our clients comfortable so they are able to live life without discomfort.   The children with less discomfort are able to be simply just children.   I am able to play with them more in therapy working on their mobility with their power chair and with access with their communication devices.   If we are able to make our clients more comfortable we will see them doing more with their lives.

Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Children

Pain and weight

As occupational therapists and mentors it is our job to alleviate pain so our clients are able to live their lives in comfort.   If a child is comfortable they are capable of accomplishing more in life and they are going to be able to have a good appetite.  Disabled children are small as it is so we want them to be comfortable enough to be able to eat well.   As I have mentioned in a previous blog I like to use ultra-soft equipment as an alternative from their wheelchairs.   Their seating can fit well to their body but they need an alternative to their wheelchair to alleviate pain or if the child is little enough I like to hold them as they are still able to use their communication device.

If they are really comfortable they are able to concentrate on academics and they are able to play with friends in a comfortable state.   Being comfortable allows them to achieve academic success and they are also able to do well with their therapy goals.   Comfortability also enables them to work on homework longer which helps them get through school in the “normal” time period.   As a mentor who went through school and college with back pain I know that it would have been much more comfortable without back pain.  Children with pain work much faster and accurate if I put them in tumble foam to do their work.

As occupational therapist and mentor we have the knowledge and the capability to help our clients to be comfortable enough to be able to do what they have to do throughout their day.    They are going to put on weight quicker if they are comfortable as our bodies slows down everything when we are in pain.   I have a hard time getting a client to eat if they are in pain and who am I to force them because I don’t eat myself if my back is acting up.   If we, mentors and occupational therapists are able to alleviate their pain we are going to see them eating more and putting on weight.

Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Children

 

Playing with Positioning and Medications

A week ago, I had another back spasm that knocked me out and I had to play with my own medications with the nurse practitioner to try to prevent another spasm.   As occupational therapists and mentors we are able to help our clients to be more comfortable in their equipment to prevent muscle spasms that bring them to the emergency room.   I work with little children and small teens so I want to prevent strong muscle spasms that knocks the child out. My mentees are small due to their disabilities so even the smallest spasm can knock them out which is why I want to prevent them from having muscle spasms.

As occupational therapists and mentors we have the knowledge to make our clients comfortable enough to try to save them from spasms.   I know my mentees are high tone so they are prone to spasms which hurts and I like to play with equipment to keep them relaxed to allow them to function without the risk of a huge spasm.   I have discovered that if I am able to keep the mentee comfortable they have less pain which mean they are at a lower risk of a spasm.   The person is also most likely to spend less time in the hospital due to a big muscle spasm and more time living life.

We want to sustain the person’s level of comfort so they are less prone to having muscle spend as a spasm lowers blood pressure and lowers oxygen in take.   The correct combination of medicine has the ability to prevent the individual from having spasms.   An individual can go for a long period without having a muscle spasm if we can put them on the correct medications.   A person can also go for several of weeks without having to go to the doctor for pain and they can feel like a “typical” child.   As mentors and occupational therapists, we have the ability to help our clients to feel like anyone else with keeping them comfortable.

Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Children

 

 

A Solid Support Team

For my last blog of the year I am going to sum up the general theme of my blogs.  Communication is how a significantly physically disabled individual has the ability to control and manage their life.   A disabled toddler has to start working with a communication device at the time they would start communicating so they will understand that they matter and that they are going to be expected to accomplish the same things as their able-bodied peers.   The sooner speech-language pathologists and mentors can get toddlers communicating with communication devices, the sooner there will be able to attend general classes and begin their education.   A child’s success starts at home. Without a solid foundation at home nothing done in therapy will have an impact.

I have mentees who are progressing beautifully in therapy and I have others who are at the same place as they were when I started with them.   Communication doesn’t only take place in the therapy sessions but it should take place in every aspect of their lives.   A child needs to understand that communication is important in every aspect of their lives and they need to feel validated that their thoughts and opinions matter.   Children who grow up understanding this usually thrive at academics and go on to higher education.   Communication is how locked in clients are able to demonstrate knowledge and how they can interact with their peers on the playground.   Communication is how a child’s personality is able to come out and be nurtured by adults and peers.

Communication has the ability to even the playing field academically, giving the disabled child access to the same education as their able-bodied peers. Communication allows us professionals to understand where the clients are cognitively.   I love communication as I am one of the first people who had the opportunity to go through general education and to college.   Communication devices allow our clients to have a “normal” childhood and develop expectations for themselves.

Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Children

Comfortably and Functionality

For my last blog of the year I am going to sum up the general theme of my blogs from the year.   When our clients are comfortable in their equipment they are capable of doing more.   A child who is able to be put into equipment that is able to support them adequately and also allows them to relax their tone is what we want our clients in for the majority of the day.   I want to see the clients using their communication devices with ease.   I don’t want to see the clients straining to use any equipment as that is how someone is more at risk of injuring themselves.

The occupational therapist and I will observe our clients playing or operating their equipment to see if they are straining to use the equipment and if they are we adjust the equipment.   The communication device needs to look as “natural” and “normal” as possible because that is how we are able to prevent injuries.   The children with high muscle tone are more susceptible to pain due to the tight muscles than the children with floppy muscle tone.   The children with floppy muscle tone are more susceptible to care givers accidentally injuring them as their bodies are as fragile as babies’ bodies are.   As a mentor who is in a lot of pain I like to use ultra -soft   equipment to help our clients to be able to relax.

I like using tumble foam chairs as an alternative to being in their wheelchairs all day or I like to hold the client as they use their communication device.   I don’t like using braces as they are just too rigid and most of my clients are high tone that they don’t need anything else to restrict their movements.   I see a lot more results with putting the child in the right equipment that is able to support them adequately.   If our clients are supported adequately they are able to use their communication device accurately and they are able to play on the playground with their able body peers more comfortably.

Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Children

Proper Appearance

I recently gave a question and answer session with lawyers and paralegals for disabilities awareness month and the gist of my talk had been don’t judge the individual based on the severity of the physical disability because most of the time the person’s intellectual state is intact.   I was saying this to my audience but I wasn’t believing myself because we have the ability to help the person to look “normal”.  We are able to construct a seating system that has the capabilities to support the individual in such a way so he or she is sitting up right so their little deformities are not that pronounce.   The child is able to wear braces to help deformities to correct themselves allowing the individual to look more like their able body peers.     While we want the rest of the society to learn how to except disabled people for who they are we can facilitate our clients at looking “normal”.

I don’t like using braces because the child will mostly not be able to tolerate being that restricted by the brace rather I like to construct seating system that will support the child adequately.   I will use braces to help a child to do transfers adequately and correctly.   The reason for my disliking braces is that they are so rigid that most of time they prevent the individual from moving freely and cause more pain than it is worth.   I want the children I work with to have the freedom to move and if a brace or a splint will pain them to obtain the mobility I will use a brace.   The children I see are quite physical disabled so more of the time they need good seating to help them to sit right to look like anyone else.

The reason we want our client to look like their able body peers is so hopefully their peers are able to look pass their disabilities and realize that the person inside the body is like them.  My clients are all “typically” developing but their type of Cerebral Palsy gave them severe physical disabilities which requires the occupational therapists and I to come up with positioning to make them look “normal”.   As occupational therapists and mentors we have the book knowledge and the experience to help our clients to look like their able body peers allowing the able body peers to look pass the disability to the person inside the body.

Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Children

Constant Pain

 

I have older children who are in constant pain which sometime goes with the territory in high tone people and I have to figure a variety of equipment to help relieve pain.   I see this a lot more with my older clients as they are typically in their wheelchairs longer in the day due to school.   I try to make their seating to fit the individual exactly as to provide the individual the optimal support.   My older mentee is currently experiencing a lot of hip pain so I am having to figure out how to modify her wheelchair to support the hip better.   As a mentor with a lot of back pain myself I know the importance of proper support to a growing child to promote correct positioning and good health.

If an individual is in constant pain that is going to cause fatigue and weight loss which we don’t want as our clients are typically small.   I like to understand what type of pain it is and what brings the pain on and how I can counteract the pain.   If we are able to alleviate the pain I see the child being more active and able to concentrate on driving the power chair and communicating with the communication device better.   Children without the nagging pain are able to have a better appetite and are able to get stronger quicker.

Pain is inevitable for high tone people but we have tools and medicine to help the clients to be more comfortable.  Our job is to keep the client comfortable so they are able to achieve their therapy and academic goals.   I like to start with the most conventional solution such as extra padding to the seating then work my way up to the more extreme solutions.   I know on a real personal level that if someone is in pain they will not be able to move through therapy goals in a timely matter.   Once my client is back to being comfortable I am able to work with the occupational therapist on their therapy goals.

Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Children

 

Customized Fitting

Customized seating is extremely important for a child to not only live a fully functional life but reduce their pain as well. Seating for my clients with Cerebral Palsy allows them to go about their day with adequate support to help prevent physical injuries. The individual can drive and use the communication device accurately if they are seated comfortably and correctly. As I have mentioned in the past blogs, I work with teenagers who are still growing so I have to find a seating system which will grow with the individual.
The individual must be comfortable, as they will spend most of the day in their chair so we don’t want the person to develop bed sores from their chair or create deformities in their body. As a mentor with a lot of back pain, I am able to bring a personal perspective to a child’s fitting and express to the team how the individual will be spending the majority of the day in their chair.
I look at the fit of the chair and if it allows them to do what they need it to throughout the day. As a controller, I want you to ask the client what feels comfortable and what they would change. I don’t like to use the mold seating, as I cannot easily adjust something. Instead, I use removable parts so I’m able to play with pieces throughout the seat until I have a custom fit. Tone will likely reduce if the individual is properly supported by the seating. The right seating can be the determinate factor for how often the client is in the hospital for reconstructive surgery or for extreme pain. My clients are not going through corrective surgeries due to the proper fitting of their chairs. You and I sometimes have the ability to keep our clients from needing corrective surgeries if we keep the individual in the correct position in the chair.

Until Next Time Enjoy Your Children