Friday, March 4, 2011

6 months later…

There are two phone numbers that come across the caller ID that I always answer: Children’s (which, no matter who’s calling you, from what location, is always the same number) and my OB’s office.  Usually they’re just appointment reminders, but you never know.

A few weeks ago, Children’s called during speech therapy.  Piper was being mostly self-sufficient (ie not running away), so I went ahead and answered it- I had just scheduled a follow-up with audiology, and I figured they were going to change something, and it’s so much easier to NOT have to call someone back…

To my surprise, it was the Cardiology clinic following up with Piper, six months after surgery.  I was totally surprised since we were discharged from their service all of five days after we we went home from the hospital after surgery.

The nice lady on the phone just wanted to make sure that everything was back to normal; we were talking for a few minutes and it occurred to me that I DID have some questions regarding some of Piper’s habits, and wondering if they were related to surgery or not.

On the sleeping front, I’ve wondered in the back of my head if she wasn’t hurting some still in her chest/shoulder muscles.  She’s ALWAYS guarded herself after surgery- I’d have to really work to get her little shoulder muscles to relax at the end of the day, they were so tight.  And while it’s not as bad as it was by any means, she still gets sore and tight in there. 

The real question I had, though, was her tendency to keep her little “wings” up when she walks.  Her hands aren’t always “up” as far as they are here- usually more elbow-height, but you get the idea.  She has wonderful balance, and she doesn’t seem to need them up (if she’s sufficiently distracted, her hands are DOWN, and she’s up to about half down now, anyway).  It could be a security blanket for my kid who doesn’t have tons of self-confidence.  But as I was talking to the Cardiology team, they thought that Piper should be seen by the rehab PT department, just to sure.

So today we had our appointment- and we had FUN!  We walked into the big play room, and Piper squealed with excitement.  She immediately scoped out all of the toys, trying to decide what to do first.  It was pretty funny.

Anyway, long story short, Piper is holding her shoulders too far forward.  The therapist showed me the position of her shoulder blades, and where they should actually be when she’s at rest.  And since she’s holding them too far forward, her pectoral muscles have to compensate in the other direction.  Which totally explains her flap-like-a-bird stance.  She was totally impressed, though, with the rest of Piper’s posture- she said her feet look great, her ankles were perfect, and she was just a “good little walker”.  Actually, her phrase was “runner” as Piper sprinted from our side of the room to the other to say “hi” to the cute little boy who had just gotten there. 

So we’re supposed to try and come up with some exercises where she has to push and pull to strengthen those muscles.  Problem is that most of the exercises for those are for older kids; I’m pretty sure that getting her to pull a sling-shot may be a little advanced…  I think we’re going to build her a little scooter board where she can lay on her tummy and propel herself around with her arms.  She’s also going to have to climb the stairs more often and crawl when we can get her to (through tunnels, obstacle courses, etc). 

I was half anticipating (okay, maybe more than that) them telling me that I was full of bologna; it’s so nice to be right, lol. 

The campus we went to is about 30 feet away from a really cool sensory park.  Piper was getting tired, but I wanted to see what she’d do, anyway.  They have a wavy sidewalk that I wanted to see how Piper reacted to (she was more apprehensive about going up, but ran going down, lol).  They also had toddler swings, and I wanted to get her back on one to see if it was just her mood earlier this week.

Yup.  Definitely just her mood…






  1. Glad to hear that she is doing well and glad you caught that something was a tad "off".

  2. Interesting. And I can't believe it's already been 6 months!

  3. Sounds like a great appt. Isn't it nice when your mother instincts are right? She is doing so well!

  4. We just had this conversation with Pat Winders. Lucas walks with his hands and arms in that exact same position with his shoulders stiff. It's a cautionary position as they are learning to walk. She said it will stay the same because he will be learning to walk faster. She said not to worry about it right now that he will relax as he gets stronger. I would have a chat with Pat and see what she says. I could be wrong and she could be doing it out of discomfort but like I said I think it's pretty normal for beginning walkers.

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