Greetings and a Reminder:
Friday was brace day! It was a long day. We got to Waltham at 8:40 because traffic was crazy. We were seen right away.
Our brace tech brings in the brace and explains that it’s her job to trim and size it to Olivia over the next two hours. She shows us the sensor that gets installed into the brace, which will use body temperature to monitor her time in the brace. This information goes to both myself and Children’s.
Initially, there was concern that she maybe needed to be remeasured, which would start the process all over again. Happily, once she started to trim, bend, and smooth, Olivia felt much better. As she starts to adjust to the brace, if there are things that need to be adjusted, we can bring the brace back and fix.
The two hours were spent by doing fit and trim and fit in trim. O and I watched some Office Ladies cartoons on YouTube to pass the time. In the end, the brace seemed to fit O well. The brace tech marked the velcro fasteners in two spots, the breaking in spots and the final tightness. Olivia practiced putting it on, and I practiced putting it on. We will go back at the end of October to follow up, and see if any other adjustments need to be made. As she breaks it in, we need to watch for areas of irritation. If we see these, we are to go back sooner than later for adjustments.
Next we headed over to PT. At PT, the therapist looked at her head to toe. First she assessed O’s posture in the brace, noticing that she wasn’t straightening her knees. Olivia expressed that her thighs were tiring quickly, so the therapist said she would look her over out of brace to check her posture, alignment, and flexibility. After her evaluation, she put together a few exercises Olivia will need to do 4 times a week to build her core muscles and extend her hip flexors to help her not fatigue her legs.
Trying to pick things up in brace
She has 4 undershirts. The undershirts help wick sweat, and minimize skin irritation. If there’s irritation we should note it, and try Gold Bond powder. Again, the brace can be adjusted if needed. Following the appointment, we also went out and bought her some comfortable sports bras to wear with the undershirts. We’re also working on pants that fit comfortably over the brace.
The brace needs to be cleaned every day. Basically, I have filled a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and I spray it down. This kills bacteria, which will reduce odor.
I have assembled a “weaning in” schedule for the next 15 days. Olivia and the school nurse will be great friends over this first week of school. It will level off after that. She will have to use the nurse’s bathroom, and should be allowed to move as much as she needs. We will meet with the nurse to go over everything.
Today is day 6. She has worked up to 10 hours in brace so far. Her skin looks good, and she’s getting the knack of getting the brace on. She is self conscious about how she looks in it, but it will get better over time.
Thank you all for the warm thoughts and well wishes. She’s a trooper.