Thursday, April 14, 2016

Swelling, Suspenders, and a Socket Wrench

Life is always busy in a family of 11 so my updates here are sometimes few and far between when things are going well.  I love when things are going well! 

So why am I posting today?  Just for a few general updates for those who have been looking for them.  First, Mason is healing up really well from the foot surgery.  The swelling has visibly gone down in the last few weeks. I expect that when we go to the orthopedic surgeon in 11 days Mason will get the okay to have his AFOs made and be finished with the walking boot when the AFOs are ready.  The reason he is using the boot is to keep his healing foot flexed into a neutral position.  Then his AFOs will take over the same job. 

We have been taking advantage of the fact that we can remove the boot for short periods of time each day.  This afternoon, for example, Mason is playing outside without the boot.  This brings me to my next two updates.  First, look at that picture above.  See how cute his suspenders are?  They are there for a purpose.

You see, one challenge for Mason outdoors is that when crawling his pants tend to slide right off, then he tears up his knees (bleeding, cut, bad!).  We combat this two ways.  He wears jeans, which if they stay up, protect his knees for a while before he rips holes in them.  He also can wear knee pads when we have ones that fit well. The suspenders just came in the mail this week and we're happy to say they are holding his pants up well.  Cheap little kid suspenders that come with dress clothes just aren't sturdy enough to stay clamped to pants, so until now we've never found suspenders that work.  These ones are found on Amazon right here in a host of colors and the clamps onto his pants are strong and holding up to his crawling around in the grass just fine. 

The second update is a report on Mason using the Free Wheel.  Remember, this is new equipment for him and not really made for a child, so we had to custom fit it.  And that fit wasn't perfect.  It doesn't lift his front casters off the ground as much as we need it to for a smooth and easy drive on uneven surfaces.  We brainstormed, we asked the wheelchair vendor if there are casters that can pop on and off easily with some sort of release.  No luck.  However, his casters DO come off with a socket wrench and about 2 minutes of effort.  Lo and behold, we have a perfect solution!  We put on his Free Wheel and unbolt the casters, remove them, and he's off exploring.  When we're ready to go indoors we put the casters back on his wheelchair before removing the Free Wheel.  It's going to be a fun spring and summer with this!

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