Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My sister- the aspiring respiratory ther./nurse/doctor

This is Maya and her patient Lucy. The other day Lucy was coughing and Maya calmly, but quickly ran over to grab the face mask we use to do CPT on Cicily. (CPT is when you take a mask , or cupped hand and just thump on a person's chest to clear their lungs. We frequently thump Cis' chest when she's coughing.) Maya proceeded to pick up Lucy, lay her down and begin CPT. Treatment was successful -Lucy stopped coughing.
I suppose Maya could be aspiring to be a respiratory therapist or, even better, a Mom to her own wonderful child like Cicily. We've already started wondering when we'd feel comfortable leaving Maya and Cicily alone at home. Let's see, Maya can already replace an HME, suction a trach, call 911, run a feeding pump, and perform CPT when necessary. We'll start working on trach changes. ;)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Preschool Girl

First day of school
What is that smile all about?? I could not get a real smile out of her that morning. Maybe she was just too excited about school.

Last week the preschool had a carnival. Cicily got her face painted!

She always wears all of her "daytime gear" to school: hearing aids, glasses, orthotics, and trach and g-tube of course.

Cicily started preschool last month. She goes to a district-run preschool about a mile away from our house. We were pretty sure we only wanted to send her if she could have her own nurse with her in class. However, after meeting all the faculty at this preschool we felt very comfortable sending Cicily without her own nurse. There is a great nurse at school that helps 3 of the children who have trachs. She goes from classroom to classroom to make sure they're safe and don't need suctioning. Cicily's teacher is fabulous!!! She signs to Cicily, sings with the class, is very easy-going and even suctions Cicily's trach! Cicily has physical, occupational, and speech therapy at the school. I love her PT, she's always giving us new suggestions and doing new things to help Cis learn to walk. Cis' OT is one that worked with her when she was one year old, she's been a favorite OT, so we're glad to have her back! And her ST has worked a lot with kids with a hearing loss and I've been impressed with her plans so far.

I went to school with Cis the very first day to make sure everyone was comfortable with the trach and to see it all in action. Everything seemed to go well, so she's been going on her own ever since. She cried when I dropped her off for the first week, but now she goes with no problem. She's always so excited to tell her Daddy about what she did at school when he gets home. We're very glad she likes it and is gaining a lot of new knowledge, social learning, and therapy skills.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


What is that you may ask -as we did - some kind of therapy employing hippogriffs? It's actually therapy on a horse. Cicily does her hippotherapy with an experienced, caring physical therapist named Rachel and a patient pony named Ruby. I could explain hippotherapy, but this is a short, great explanation already written, (plus I'm really not a hippotherapy expert yet). It basically just makes sense in an intrinsic sort of way - you sit on a horse that moves and your brain figures out better how to move. It is more expensive than other therapies, because we have to pay the stable costs. We sort of count it as Cicily's "extra-curricular" activity for now, since we can't exactly pay for dance or singing lessons for her, so she gets horse time (which she probably loves better anyway).
Cicily LOVES seeing all the horses and petting Ruby! Enjoy some pictures of Cicily enjoying her Ruby time.

Signing "walk" to let Ruby know to get the fun started.

After each lap around the arena, Cicily gets to climb off Ruby and tickle her nose. It's definitely Cis' favorite part of the whole deal.

Telling Ruby thank you.

Mommy's favorite part of hippotherapy.