26 April 2008

More Physio for Mum at home

Well today I jumped into action again and helped Mum with her Physio, and I have to say we managed to put her limb on a lot quicker this week, and it's only the second time I have done this. Mum seems to manage a lot better and managed a few steps this time, which is great, although after she had stood with the zimmer frame for a while I realised that it wasn't wide enough and she looked as if she was gripping hold for grim death.

I then helped her to sit and bend her limb and I went and got my reciprocal walker, mind don't worry I didn't let her try and walk with it, but it is a much wider base and as soon as she stood, she looked so much more balanced and relaxed a bit and I think it was because it was wider and more sturdy. All in all considering she has experienced her first fall 3 weeks ago she has improved in a short space of time, I can even see a difference from last week

Well done Mum from you personal Physio

19 April 2008

Think I have found my vocation in life, I think I should of become a Physiotherapist

Well today I think I have found my vocation in life, what is that you may say, well to be a Physiotherapist. Mum now has her artificial limb, and today I spend some time with her, initially to help her to fit it on but then I helped her to stand in her zimmer frame, and my full instinct kicked in and there I was helping her stand and move the limb by supporting her. I was like me having physio all over again, when I had my surgery to straighten my leg and although Mum found it hard and strange (only the second time she has stood with it) she managed well, and she said that's because I have a great teacher, and I said, that's because I have been taught well, so I am well happy that I can help her to progress even if its through my experience I know she will master it

My first experience of Bowen Therapy

Well yesterday was my first ever session of Bowen, I have to say I was a little nervous about it, as I don't know a lot about it, but It was an amazing experience. I had to lay on my front, which I find a little hard to do but I was helped to do this. then once I was comfortable I had a number of towels laid over me, covering my back and legs, then the therapist carried out gentle but subtle movements, starting on my back, and then covered me back up and left me for 2 minutes, came back made sure I was ok, then removed the towels and carried out another movement. This went on for quite awhile, with break in between each movements.

I had quite an instant effect in terms that I was quite warm in a matter of minutes this was quite normal and as a result felt really quite relaxed, I think if it had gone on any longer than the hour I would of probably fell asleep.

I have to say I slept really well last night and this morning I feel really good to the point where I had managed to slice a banana onto my cereal, which normally is something that I haven't been able to do.

13 April 2008

The Bowen Technique

The Bowen Technique is one version of a group of technical interpretations of the work of Australian self-proclaimed osteopath Tom Bowen (1916–1982) known as Bowen Therapy, which is a holistic system of healing. The Bowen Technique was limited to Australia until 1986, when it was named, and introduced to other countries by Oswald Rentsch, who observed Bowen at work one morning a week for two years.

It has since been developed and furthered by many others and is now one of the nine therapies involved in the move towards voluntary self regulation in the United Kingdom. The three other surviving students of Tom Bowen — Keith Davis, Kevin Ryan and Romney Smeeton — have methodologies that vary significantly from the way Oswald Rentsch teaches the technique. Dr Kevin Ryan teaches his interpretation of the Bowen Technique to osteopathic students at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

The Bowen Technique involves a gentle, rolling motion, with very light touches. The rolls claim to either tighten or loosen off muscles depending on the way the move is done.

The practitioner will stimulate sets of points, often with two minute pauses, supposedly to allow the body to use the move and integrate it into the body's system. The Bowen Technique is not a form of massage, though it does claim to release areas of built-up stress in the muscles, and clients describe experiences of profound relaxation after a session, often falling asleep after the first few moves.
A view held by some Bowen Therapists is that the specific way that Bowen Technique addresses the muscles stimulates the stretch and golgi tendon reflexes as well as joint proprioceptors in a way that heightens the sensory awareness of the body in the area worked on. This can lead to strange sensations such as heat release, tingling and a general increased awareness of the areas being worked.

These sensations are sometimes mistakenly associated with some form of "energy healing". Through increasing sensory awareness the move taps into the body’s ability to self regulate which, in turn, practitioners claim stimulate the body to heal itself.

It is widely accepted by those defining Bowen for the regulation process, that Bowen is a stand alone therapy, not mixed with other treatments. Bowen himself was very specific about his clients not receiving other treatments for at least seven days after a Bowen session and did not perform any other therapies himself.
Since 1998 the technique has become increasingly used in primary care settings in the UK, with many chartered physiotherapists using the technique in hospitals, hospices and other funded health settings.

To date only three experimental studies have been performed that have collected data following treatment of the Bowen Technique. Firstly a study by Kinnear and Baker (1999) was performed, entitled Frozen Shoulder Research Programme. This study considered the effects of Bowen on shoulder flexibility and pain. The study showed significant improvements (p<0.05) in shoulder flexibility compared with the control group. Changes in complaints of pain were not tested statistically. Lack of ethical, methodological and analytical detail in this study draws caution to the strength of inference from the findings.

A further study by Whitaker et al (1999) investigated the effect of heart rate variability and ANS changes in subjects treated with Bowen. Two groups were treated - those with medically diagnosed fibromyalgia (n=7), and a group without pathology or symptoms (n=11). The results showed a significant change in HRV in the fibromyalgia group but not in the asymptomatic group, mainly demonstrating a decrease in heart rate. All subjects in the former group reported some relief in symptoms. However, three of the fibromyalgia group were used for more than one reading, resulting in 11 sets of data per group, thereby raising issues of methodological bias. Furthermore with no control or placebo group, HRV comparisons are not possible, giving rise to questions of validity.

The first properly conducted study, with approval from ethics and applying strict methodology using The Bowen Technique has now been completed and was accepted for presentation at the First International Fascia Research Congress in Boston in October 2007 This examined the effect of The Bowen Technique on Hamstring flexibility in asymptomatic individuals and was conducted by Michelle Marr BSc (Hons) PT MCSP, senior lecturer at Coventry University and Julian Baker Principal Instructor of The European College of Bowen Studies.

A typical session takes place over 30 to 45 minutes, with occasional 2-5 minute breaks during the session to allow the body to respond to the treatment. Sessions are usually part of a series of three to five sessions, beginning with general stress loading points such as the lower and upper back, before moving on to problem areas specific to the person being treated. However, for the sensitive individual, a session can last only 10-15 minutes. The Bowen Technique has allegedly been successfully used on animals as well, and practitioners of Bowen Technique for animals can be found all over the world. The Bowen

12 April 2008

Balance tested

Well yesterday I had a very productive Physio session and came away very happy and curious to say the least. I tackled the stairs again this week and although I have been walking a lot more this week on my crutches I seem to be quite tight but having said that I did manage the stairs nevertheless, and my Physio wasn’t worried and concluded that I could do stairs. I then went back through to the gym to do further work on steps in the bars and I managed well. Then the fun started, a wobble board was placed on the floor in front of me, and for those of you who have read my story so far will of read about my experiences with the wobble board, and be wondering why this time should be different ?. Well this was slightly bigger than what I am used too and this particular one had a puzzle inside it, with areas cut out and 3 balls, the idea being that using your balance you had to move the balls into the holes, and after a couple of attempts I did actually manage to get one of the balls in the hole!!!!!!!

An example of the puzzle wobble board

After spending time doing the exercises, we went into discussion mode, the reason being is that over the last few weeks since using my crutches I am finding that I am tightening up somewhat and when I use my frame although it restricts me a little in terms of stride I am not tight. I have a theory for this and that is when I am in the frame I am in a more upright position, and in comparison when using crutches I am not in as much of a straight position. Therefore the way I am thinking is the messages travel with ease to the correct pathways when in frame position but when using crutches I am at a slight angle and the messages can only travel part of the way and end up going down the old pathway, and because I am walking a lot with them I am starting to get tight. When I discussed this my Physio agreed because it is a different posture when walking with crutches and therefore e you will experience different feelings.
As our discussions developed I was introduced to one of the new physiotherapist and we were chatting and they were given an outline of my condition and the problems that I have, and how I have over come a lot of them by using different methods and equipment, and how much I strive for better in my disability to achieve more that is out of the box so to speak, anyway the discussion deepened and I started to get excited because we have agreed that I would be a good case study for the new Physiotherapist to try out the Bowen Technique and see what results we achieve. I am very excited about this prospect and what challenges this may bring out. I am going to start this next week and I can’t wait.

11 April 2008

End to a busy week

So glad it is Friday an end to a busy week, poor Mum had her first fall so as you can imagine it has a massive shock to her, luckily she didn’t break anything, just bruised and help was at hand to help her back up. I think it had annoyed her that she had fallen because the action she was doing ie standing and reaching up for something, she has done many times without any problem. I am so glad she was ok all I could visualise was us going to hospital again, I said to her don’t worry its just one of those things it happens.

Then on Wednesday she went back up to the hospital to follow through the limb assessment and I think it had shocked her to say the least, the limb wasn’t what she was expecting what I mean it didn’t look like a leg, the consultant said oh don’t worry (but she did) this is just the model (it looked so scary to her, with the straps on ) he said once we have tried it with you we will make the next stage and then if it is all ok you can take it away to the Physio.

When I asked her about it she said that it had calmed her a little, but I knew she wasn’t happy. Anyway after she fitted it on she was then able too with help stand and move in the bars. This I think is absolutely great the fact that she was able to not only get out of her chair but to walk away from it in the bars. Not only did she manage to walk to the end, but she managed to turn and walk back to the chair.
Mum told me all about it and she said “I will never be able to do this, I will never be able to walk” I then had to have my positive head on here and I proceeded to explain to her that it was in fact a great thing that she had managed to do what she had done and also for the first time since the operation she had actually walked away from the wheelchair. I don’t think she fully realises what she has achieved, but I think it will dawn on her in time; she is quite down since the fall which is to be expected because obviously it has knocked her confidence a lot, so hopefully next week when she goes she will improve a little more.

07 April 2008

Happy Birthday Ali

Well as you can probably guess from the title of this entry, that we had another family birthday and yes, so happy 40th Ali it was great, everyone over to my house for a drink yesterday. what a fantastic card great work to all your friends who made it for you!!!

What's been happening today, well the bad weather doesn't see to of put people off coming into the town today for the full fun fair, it's been nice to see it so busy and people enjoying themselves regardless of it trying to snow.

06 April 2008

I bet you are getting hungry now

Can you see the face looking at you?

Landscape or food

Amazing photos makes you hungry

Pretty amazing. These pictures are entirely made of food.

05 April 2008

Meat Loaf - Steve Steinman's The Meat Loaf Trilogy

Well next Friday I'm off to the theatre with Mum to see Steve Steinman as Meat Loaf, we went to the Forum when he last did his show and it was fantastic and I can't wait to see it again

Here is just a taste

04 April 2008

Offer of advice to David and his family

Some of you may of read the entry "For the Love of Rachel" well I am great friends with this family and I thought I would share or should some of the conversation that David and I had recently

Hi Susie!
welcome home
Many Thanks! Good to be back!
We took a 3 day cruise with the girls to the Bahamas very nice nice to spend time with the little ones

David you don't know how close Rachel is to me it was just like reading my life unfolding.

I am so glad that you read her story! Thank you so much for your kind words!
its a pleasure

Rachel is in bed today. Had a teeth cleaning and x-rays. She is such a sweetheart.
I really enjoy your blog

There seems to be many nice people who visit your site.

Amy just came in and said Hi

The reason I say Rachel is so close is because I also wore dolls cloths, ok i wasn't that small but was premature, so as I say we are so close its unreal

But the main thing is that you grew up to be a wonderful person!

thank u

I am hoping the same for Rachel and Amy

I like to think I I have achieved most things I want too.

I think it is not so much the challenges that we face but how we as human beings rise to try to meet them.


It's the environment that makes people disabled

Excellent point!

Well it is because if there were things like lower kerbs lower door handles etc
there wouldn't be the issues


I hope you enjoyed my blog as much as I did your book my aim is to show it how it is
I really do!

is it how you expected it to be since we have met

I have been very pleasantly surprised

It is always easier talking to someone on the telephone so IM has been fun. It has also let me meet very nice people like you!

one thing that i hope you might realise is that there is hope for Rachel and Amy as they get older, what I mean is it is possible to be independent because I know parents of disabled children always fear for the time when they no longer there to look after them

Absolutely and taking to you makes me so much more appreciate that

That is a great fear of ours

it may just feel like a huge mountain and that you will never get to the top, Yes I can totally understand that fear and it is a real fear. Although there is one thing you can do to help Rachel and Amy, and i still do it today.

If Rachel can be independent and live happily it will be more valuable to Susan and I than anything Tell me..

Well it maybe something that u want to incorporate into life now and that is sort of 3 lists

1st is a list of everything Rachel and Amy if you wish can't do
2nd is a full list of wot they can do like use knife fork etc doesn't matter how small
then and this is the sort of action plan one the 3rd is a list of things that can be done eg small goals to help them and you etc to remove the can't items and place them on the can list. Eventually you should see the I cant list reduce and the yes I can do this expand, and as they get older the lists will forever change

That is wonderful advice. Thanks you so much I will share with my wife Susan!

By having the 3rd action one you can work on little things so that the can't becomes achievable and it might be that something is repetitive but and this is only something I have realised over last year or so which is that my cerebral palsy is slowly decreasing.

That is great advice!

And that is down to my own conductive education of repeating stuff because what is happening and I can only assume that it may work for others is

That is wonderful!

By repeating something by means of doing something in the same pattern, like picking up a cup, what happens is if you pick it up exactly the same way every time
then the signal realises in the brain that hang on a minute this is the same every time, it seems to bypass the damaged part of brain and resend it down the correct neuro pathway and reconnects properly.

I am a big believer in cognitive retraining!

So that Rachel's brain will send the correct message to her when she does that task

i have found since I started doing this movement with my reciprocal walker I can walk better and I don't have any muscle tightness at all, I believe that I have reconnected the pathways.

It shows just how much plasticity that is in the human brain

And I haven't had any medication for nearly 2 yrs plus the hard work to take advantage a different pathways.

That is terrific Susie!

03 April 2008

Mum did me proud yesterday

Well all I can say is well done Mum, you might be thinking what has been happening, well she went to the disability centre at the hospital yesterday for her first assessment for her new limb, and it went very well.

During the assessment they made a plaster cast of her leg (stump) Mum said felt a bit odd but was ok, and then she will go back next week and start walking with her new limb, the look of shock on her face when they said that was as I can only guess was priceless, anyway they said once the limb has been made you will be in the bars next week to test it and they can alter things if need be if all is ok she will be able to take it away and continue her physio. I am so looking forward to seeing her walking again.

01 April 2008

I'm on a bit of a high so far

Well its only Tuesday and already I have had a good week, in fact you could say I am on a bit of a high, it started on Monday, although I had had a tough Physio session I decided that I was going to keep on keeping on and have continued to walk more during the day and that for one, seems to lift me. Anyway I attended my first work meeting on Monday, what I mean is I attended the meeting on my own without the colleagues in my team, as the time got closer I had prepared for it and as waited for the people to come, once settled I realised that I wasn't going to be as comfortable in my powerchair, so I decided hey what have I got to loose (other than the prospect of sliding off it!!!) I know I can sit on a normal chair (mind you it has been a while) so I bit the bullet so to speak and walked into the meeting and sat down.

The look of slight surprise on people's faces was quite nice too see surprised in the fact that I don't think they knew I could walk. Anyway the meeting went very well and I felt really comfortable to be able to discuss my points with everyone there. When I came out it was like I had had an outer body experience, in that there I was sat quite normally and participating without direction and the rest of me was looking down, when I say the rest of me, I mean my disability had left me and floated above me.

It was like yes I did it usually I have felt a little uncomfortable in meetings, particularly if I don't know the people attending, but I was fine and came out happy that I had achieved a couple of things yesterday.