That Overwhelming Feeling

by Jen Lee Reeves on December 21, 2011 · 2 comments

in 2011, Prosthetic, Therapy

You know the feeling… when you start to realize all the things you need to get done and all the things your kids need… and it starts piling up and all you want to do is crawl into bed and take a nap because that just seems much easier?

I had one of those moments while we were exploring how Jordan’s new helper arm works… and how the HECK am I going to make sure she uses it well?

Here’s the deal. Her new arm has a lot more potential.

Jordan has the potential to learn how to manage bending the elbow and locking it with different movements of her shoulder. But first she will use the little blue wire in the front of the upper arm to lock the elbow in place. She can bend it with her harness, lock it with her hand and then she can open and close the hand when the elbow is locked. When her prosthetist, David Rotter, was fitting her for the harness, he started encouraging Jordan to work on different upper arm rotations. And I had no idea what he was talking about. There are functions of an arm that I never really understood or knew and I realized at that moment that I need to know more. I need to make sure she’s getting the right occupational therapy services. I want to help her succeed and use this tool in the best way possible.

I mentioned my concerns to David… He seems to be so knowledgeable about the motions and mastery needed with prosthetics, but I worry my OT doesn’t have enough experience. He mentioned there aren’t many experienced OTs anywhere when it comes to kids using upper limb prosthetics.

That didn’t really make me feel much better.

So… We’re going to start working with our OT after the holidays. David plans to Skype with her to talk about the prosthetic and how it works. We’ll work on things for the next six months or so. We’re going to return to Chicago after I speak at a blogger conference in July. Before we head home, we’ll drop by to see David and see what his thinks about Jordan’s skill level. If he’s concerned in any way, I’ll see if I can get a consultation at our St. Louis Shriners. Jordan and I haven’t been back there since she was a baby. We might benefit from some knowledge over there.

I think it’s a plan that helps calm my worrying mind. I just want to make sure Jordan is safe, growing, happy, and healthy. I get worked up about the same stuff when it comes to her brother. I’m totally in worry mode this week for some reason. I guess it just comes with the mom territory some days.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa December 21, 2011 at 10:32 am

Oh my gosh, Jen! I feel exactly like this every time there is a change with the kids, or something else I realize we need to get to work on or learn about. I think I just have this intense need to have all the answers like NOW, or yesterday 😉 I hate that you’re feeling this way. At the same time, it’s reassuring knowing that others experience the same thing… thank you for sharing.
I was freaking out when Sophie got her new arm a few months ago and swore something about it just wasn’t right because it was functioning a little differently than the last. It all ended up working out and she was able to adapt and use it just as well.
When I saw Jordan the other day, she was already doing SOOO well using this arm. It was really impressive! She’ll keep playing with it and you’ll have it all figured out in no time. Relax and enjoy the holidays….and I’m going to try and remember to do the same the next time something creeps up with us…like this whole pronated ankles deal…gah! 😉

Jen Lee Reeves December 21, 2011 at 10:45 am

Thanks Lisa! That’s why I felt I needed to write about it… it’s so much easier when we can be in this together. Push on the ankles… you’ll get the information you need. If you want shoe inserts, you can get them. Have a great holiday season. I hope we’ll have a chance to meet up again soon.

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