Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Joe Update

Joe's doing well at the moment, a couple of days ago with the prospects of me going back to work on Monday coming, and the start of the new term which means a new school and the full works, I was thinking I can't see him going without crutches still. But, one or two days makes a massive difference. A little while back Joe got back on his bike and yesterday and today we went for a short ride around the estate which got his heart pumping and having to use his leg in new ways. Today we went even further and I'll do the same again tomorrow pushing him further still, but today was a bit of a landmark day.

A couple of days ago during his twice daily physio drills I pointed out that the amount of weight he was putting on his bad leg and the duration the weight is on the bad leg makes it obvious that he could walk with a relatively normal action. At the moment he does this thing where he prevents the weight going onto his leg by limping - a sort of jerking action with his upper body and shoulder. He didn't think that a normal walking action or at least a reduction of the shoulder action in the limp would be possible. But, today the kids in our street were having a water fight, including Joe, meaning that he was moving around without giving any thought to how he was doing it and lo and behold he was walking around with a massively reduced limp!

Here's a clip of Joe walking around with no support and walking with relative ease as mentioned above... Click here.

Joe's Physio includes a range of different things and he's supposed to be doing them 2 or 3 times a day and generally we get two completed along with some general exercise... Bike riding, cricket or walking around. In the shot below Joe's using a Terra Band and has to pull one said hard so that it twists his foot and he rotates his ankle against the resistance of the band. He does this in both directions. There's also a variation where pulls the toes/foot back towards himself and he pushes his toes forwards and the opposite where another person using the bands pulls his foot towards them and he has to pull against the resistance.
Another issue that was mentioned earlier is his scars which are pretty damn big not surprising when you consider the damage to his leg in the early days. His leg as you can see is pretty dented as you can see here...

This is the outside of the leg with the impact wound, this isn't particularly dented and isn't that bad, I reckon in the longer term this'll clear up nicely and will leave minimal evidence of ever being damaged.

This is the inside of his leg. The upper scar is the exit wound where the bone came through the leg and the lower would is 'The hole' where the skin split due to the leg bending so much before snapping. In different light these look far worse - in this diffuse 'Wrap around' it doesn't look that bad. Joe uses Bio Oil to massage into his leg and he's doing this twice a day at the moment, he wont let us do it as he says it feels horrible and we have no idea of how much the scar can be massaged without feeling 'Horrible', he seems to be doing it quite well and he's on board with the need to do it and gets on with it himself and when you prompt him to do so. I'm getting him to get his leg up high still when he's resting and we've also started to re-introduce the physio drill that looked as though was causing the leg to bend at the break.

Here he is applying the oil to his leg and massaging the scars.

Frinton; There's been a few other things that show how well he's getting on. We've been to Frinton a couple of times which is a good Cricket beach... dense sand and nice widths between the Groynes to create boundaries and because of the shallow slope of the beach, the tide stays out for a good few hours to get a game in.

Similarly, as the beach is so shallow the water is shallow and it's ideal for kids to play in, so this was a perfect place for Joe to get back in the water and have a swim. He needed a bit of encouragement, but once in he loved it.

At this stage and this was only a couple of weeks ago, Joe was still using the crutches on longer walks e.g. down to the waters edge.

Joe and me in the sea, which was surprisingly warm!

Ben and Joe on the beach at Frinton.

This week along with the cycling and the water pistols Joe's even been trying to get in on the Pig in the middle/basket ball games and we've been to Basildon swimming pool and done lane swimming. On that front, this was the first time I'd been to the new pool and it's got nothing on the old pool. There's nothing there and it's dull. The depth of the water is almost the same across both the shallow and deep pool. Deep- that's a joke, the old pool was fun, we used to dive down to the bottom of the 12'6" pool and retrieve stuff from the bottom all of which makes you a far better and confident swimmer and is FUN. The old pool in that same deep section - you were allowed to dive - again more fun and of course the old pool had a flume albeit old, but at least it had one and again that was fun. The Basildon Sporting village pool is dull, dull, dull. Jesus! think back to the 70's when I was a kid and the fun we used to have at Blackshots pool in Grays, they had massive diving boards, rigid ones and spring boards - 4 different boards, maybe if these were still in place, some kid may have got the Gold and Silver alongside that Tom Daley bloke? The skills we learned in the Blackshots pool set us up for all the fun we had tombstoning off the top of the bridges down at the Ferry Landing stage at Tilbury and later on diving off of Eagles Beak at Aire Point in Cornwall into the little pool below when the surf was flat.

Here's another landmark - me taking the British Red Cross wheelchair back. I wont be missing this thing, I reckon as many people injure their backs getting the things in and out of their cars! Having said that we'd have been stuffed without it in the early days, so thanks to the British Red Cross and the free loan of the chair. We've had it for the best part of 4 months and we made a donation of £40 for the use of it, which I've been told since was a BIG donation for such a thing.

Whereas I was sceptical about the prospect of Joe walking un-aided by the time he went back to school on the 4th Sept, having seen the leaps and bounds that he makes in short 48 hour periods I'm a lot more optimistic. The only potential lapse is the coming week when he's going to be at his Gran and Granddads. Hopefully they'll ensure he does the physio and they'll make sure he remains active. If they do he should be okay. One thing that did happen yesterday which was a bit mean was, when he was playing with the water pistols initially he didn't have any and all the kids rounded on him because they realised that he couldn't chase them and despite his protestations, they kept drenching him. Over the months, Joe's coped with this all really well and has kept a really outwardly optimistic persona, but deep down he's probably frustrated by the fact that when Ben says "Right, we're doing this", and he and all his mates who are also Joe's mates just disappear and he can't go. But, he never complains or whinges and just within himself deals with it, but this event upset him and brought him to tears and rage. Eventually after he calmed down he said that he finds it really frustrating, that he can't chase the other kids or defend himself. Thinking about it I remembered that when Ben started at his new school, he went through a phase where other less socialised kids, felt compelled to establish their positions in a perceived pecking order, as if they were wild dogs and Ben who's generally unassuming and would be beneath most people's radar having to stand up to these kids and put them in their place. He went on in the end to stick up for other small kids that were being picked on and victimised and since then he's had no trouble. I'm now worried slightly that in that 'Pack mentality' situations, Joe's not going to fare so well, despite the fact that he'll probably be one of the bigger and potentially more confident of the kids. I suppose we'll just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope that kind of stuff doesn't happen and that he'll be able to ride this vulnerable phase through to next spring without any incidents of that nature.


The next fracture clinic (Xray) appointment has been cancelled and put back further and is now during the new school term on the 6th Sept. The Physio date we had to cancel and has been re-scheduled for a date later in August because he'll be in Derby with his Grandparents.

Overall though everything is going well.

Check out my other blog here - this is all about Leg-spin bowling and nothing else. Double click on the image below.