Friday, July 2: Update

Claire’s elbows were cast today. The occupational therapist fitted Claire for some hard plastic elbow splints yesterday and they didn’t work very well: they left red stress marks on her elbows that didn’t go away for several hours. So we moved to plan B. We spent an hour and a half today padding her arms and wrapping them in hot pink casting strips. Her left arm is showing the most tone, so it received the heftiest treatment. She now has hot pink Popeye forearms.

We had to cut the casts off after they set. Claire wasn’t a fan. The saw was noisy and the vibration was odd. She protested despite plugging her ears for her.

We did learn that she didn’t protest as much when we covered her ears. This was valuable information and led to a solution we should have considered sooner. Claire has been having trouble sleeping at night because of the in-and-out nature of the night nurses. She’s sensitive to the slightest noises. Some of the nurses are very good at being quiet. Others are more heavy-handed. The problem is that we never know who we are going to get each night. Because Claire responded so well to having her ears plugged, I ran to Target and got some of the compressible ear plugs. We cut them down to Claire-size and they’ve worked well at calming her down and muffling punctuated sounds. I hope they work tonight.

We were assigned an appointment date next week for Claire to try some pool therapy. It’s a bigger step for Tiffany and me, but we can’t think of a better, more safe opportunity to get Claire in the water again. We also hope the buoyancy and warmth with help calm her further and reduce her muscle tone. The right side of her body is not exhibited much tone; however, the left side continues to challenge us. She hasn’t lost any range of motion and now we’re looking for similar improvements we’ve seen on her right side.

Claire has a more challenged night of sleep last night. She was very lethargic today and struggled to keep her eyes open. The overcast day and afternoon showers contributed to the general malaise in Claire’s room. We hope Claire’s shower tonight will wash away some of the dreary feelings and prep her for a solid night of sleep.

Thank you for your prayers and support. We hope your Independence Day weekend brings some great rest and relaxation with friends and family.