Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Amanda from Swish and Swanky sent this beautiful gift to Isla, out of the kindness of her heart. Amanda is such a gorgeous lady, thank-you SO much! Bella, as Isla has named her, hasn't left her side since she arrived yesterday, she even came to swimming lessons and to the physio today!

The ballerina was knitted by Rachel from Knitwish on Etsy - you MUST buy one of her creations, they are so beautifully made.

Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you Amanda!


Isla started swimming lessons yesterday. She was freaking out before we got there, saying she didn't want to go in deep, and she didn't want to put her head under the water. She has been terribly afraid of water since NYD 08 when she was in an inflatable backyard pool at the IL's place.

I was down the back taking photo's of my niece and nephew, FIL & Ian were in the pool with her. Both boys got out of the pool and left Isla in there, thinking she was holding on to the side, she tried to walk across the pool (the water came up to her armpits) and she slipped. I came up from the back and saw her completely under the water, on her own and trying to get up. I didn't know how long she'd been under, single-handedly the scariest moment of my life.

Putting Isla into swimming lessons is something I'd been meaning to do for the longest time, but I finally decided that we've wasted enough time and made an enquiry at the local swim school. As luck would have it, there is another girl at the pool having lessons who has Spastic Diplegia too, and her mother agreed to Isla joining the lesson (which saved her $35 a lesson!). The other little girl, Sarah, is gorgeous. She is 6 and can swim freestyle and can almost do breaststroke. So great to see another person with the same condition as Isla, it gives me great confidence in what Isla will be able to do.

Isla loved the lesson by the time it was over, she was scared when she first went in and kept calling out, "Mama, I need you!" in a very high-pitched screetching voice! The instructor, Nicole, had no chance getting Isla to blow bubbles, and I thought we were going to be in for a loooong lesson when Isla asked me to give her a towel and wipe her face because it was a tiny bit wet!

But, once the teacher took Sarah for a little paddle, Isla very slowly put her face in the water and started blowing bubbles! And the rest, as they say, is history! She was floating on her back with the instructor, and even tried diving in!

When the lesson was over and she was out of the pool, little teeth chattering away, she said "I want to go back in the pool" LOL

She even insisted on wearing her swimming cap home and plans on taking it to show Michael her physio this afternoon!

I have some video of her using the kickboard too, will upload it shortly. I am so proud of her, she was so incredibly scared at the start of the lesson, and now she can't wait to go back!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Isla was so excited on Saturday to be going to her first dancing lesson! The teacher told us she had to wear shorts and a shirt, and she was very upset that it was cold and raining and I made her wear trackies!

We got there at 11am, the teacher said that they do 45 minutes of dancing all up, 15 minutes of ballet, 15 of jazz and then finish with 15 of tap, but suggested that Isla may have to sit out the tap as it might be a bit difficult for her.

Anyway, when we walked in the hall, the teacher told us that we were late! The other teacher gave us the wrong time, it actually started at 10.30 so we missed the dancing that Isla could do. They told us to sit on the stage and watch the tap, and that upset Isla so much, she didn't understand why she couldn't dance, so I told her to stand up and do what the teachers told the girls to do.

She tried really hard, but couldn't quite get the heel down thing that they were doing, but I can see that it will be a very good thing for my little toe-walker! She spent all day yesterday walking around going over the entire lesson!

I have to go and buy her uniform this week, I can't wait! She's going to look beautiful!

Swimming lessons start tomorrow, I've asked Mum to go in the pool with her, I can't find my cosie. She's freaking out already about going under the water, so I'll tell her teacher about that when we meet tomorrow.

We're so busy these days now, Monday is swimming, Tuesday is physio, Wednesday & Thursday are kindy, and Friday is OT and Saturday is dancing!! At least OT & Physio aren't weekly!

Will update tomorrow with how Missy went in the pool!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Making calls...

I've been a busy bee today so far, calling around for places for Isla doing various activities. I'm trying to find a dance class for her, she loves to dance so much, but it's so sad when you see how bad her co-ordination and balance is. I'm applying to different dance schools around the place and I hope that they accept her.

I've also found a swim school for her. Isla has never had swimming lessons before, but has paddled in a pool and dafter a very scary incident on NYD 2008 I've been meaning to put her into lessons, but then I fell pregnant and everything took a bit of a back seat. The swim schools I've spoken to have suggested that Isla may be able to go into a "normal" class, so we'll wait and see what happens.

I've also put us back on the waiting list for the Spastic Centre. Time for me to access everything available for Isla in order to get her ready for school and just to get a 2nd opinion on how she's going. I will continue to see Michael, who we adore, but I just want to see what other services/therapy groups are available to us. On that note, I might also see what the CP Clinic at the hospital has to offer.

I received a call from Isla's OT over the weekend too, and I'm trying to rebook an appointment with her too. We haven't seen Mel since around April or May of last year, which I am ashamed to admit, is WAY too long. I think Mel will be thrilled with the progress Isla has made in that time though :)

We see Michael again tomorrow to have this lot of plaster removed. Isla can't wait, and neither can I, I am so looking forward to seeing how much her range of movement has improved this week (last week's efforts were fantastic!). Hopefully she'll be just as good with the plaster saw this week as she was last week!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Let's Get Plastered!

Lots of people have asked me how the plasters get put on Isla's legs, so today I took some snaps of the process. Michael, Isla's physio, explained everything to me, including giving me all the technical names for everything, but it's been a long day and I cannot remember any of it!!

Okay, here we go...
Step 1 - long cotton sock that goes from the toes to the knee. It's a long tube with no seams.

Step 2 - "toe socks" as Michael calls them, bits of this woolly/cottony stuff wrapped around her toes to keep them separated. This is removed after the plaster is finished.

Step 3 - Wrapping the foot and leg with the woolly stuff for a bit of padding.

Step 4 - foam (??) type padding that sticks across the top of the foot (where it joins the leg, very technical, I know!) and another along the achilles tendon to prevent any pressure spots. Another foam (padded) strip across the top of the woolly stuff.

Step 5 - Wrapping the foot in the old style plaster bandages (Gypsona I think)

Step 6 - Michael goes around her foot and reinforces it with some more slabs of plaster underneath, then folds the cotton sock over the top.

Step 7 - Reinforcing the foot of the plaster with a "backslab" of fibreglass. Michael made sure Isla had purple for this weeks cast, bless him.

Step 8 - Wrapping the fibreglass plaster around the foot and up the leg.

Voila! A perfectly plastered right leg :)

Isla responded really well to last weeks plaster, Michael was very happy. He said her range went from -5 degrees to +5 degrees which is awesome. This plaster should be the last lot for now, then she'll go back into her AFO's. Botox Clinic is in a month and a bit, so I'm hoping Isla really improves in the mean time. I feel so mean putting her in her long socks and AFO's in this stinking hot weather, but I don't really have a choice.

We were a bit concerned how Isla would react to the plaster saw to remove the cast, but she was so very brave. Michael told her it was just a noisy tickle saw, and she seemed happy with that. She did say that it was hurting at one point, but it had only gone through the plaster and not touched her, I think she meant more the way her leg was being held. Hopefully she'll be as good next week having this one removed!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Party time.

Here are some photo's from Isla's birthday party.


We saw Michael the physio again the other week and Isla's right leg is the worst it's ever been, now she can't flex her foot to 90 degrees (or flat) so we made the decision to put her leg into plaster, which was put on last Tuesday and comes off this Tuesday.

So far, so good. Isla hasn't really complained much at all, other than saying, "I don't want any more plaster". Poor little thing. These plasters are different to the previous one's she had, because these one's aren't "soft casts" they're fibreglass (and pink!). With the soft casts, they were a bit bendy to touch (that is a terrible description, but I can't think of another way to put it) these one's are rock hard, and thus have to be removed with a plaster saw, which Michael has told Isla is a tickle saw, just a very noisy one. Thankfully, Ian is coming with me to have them removed, she is going to freak.right.out.

The plasters were supposed to go on last week, but I postponed that round so Isla could go to the beach while we stayed at The Entrance for my SIL's 30th Birthday party. I couldn't handle the idea that we'd be going up there and having her in plaster and not being able to go on the sand or in the water. Good decision, if I do say so myself.

Here's a pic of the little ballerina in the waiting room at the physio's rooms waiting to have her plaster done. I always plan on taking photo's of the plastering process, but my hands are always needed to help hold her leg in place and bits and pieces for Michael, but with Ian going this week, I think I may just be able to get a shot or two.

And, here are some pics from our time away. Will also upload some photo's from her birthday party.