Thursday, June 7, 2012


Physical therapy. PT. We are finally scheduled for Jie Jie's evaluation at the state/county PT office, a service she qualifies for based soley on special need, not income, next week. There was also a grand meeting at another service and I got a conference call with some good suggestions. The best being that they think Jie Jie qualifies for SSI. Hello, great news, orthotics would be covered, I think.

Meanwhile, we've been doing the things we were told to do by the PT lady at Kaiser, plus all the things I've done since getting her. It got to a point where I thought Jie Jie could at least do some of the exercises and stretches by herself, which I thought was great since it meant she could do them every single day. After a week and a half of this, I ran her through her paces and she didn't do well. She'd been using the wrong muscle groups to do the exercises. On top of this, since Kaiser won't pay for her smo's (foot/ankle orthotics), I decided to make my own version while my complaint is being worked on. I taped layers of cardboard to the bottom outer edge of Jie Jie's shoe to help her foot roll into a normal position and it's been working, judging by the amount of soreness in the right area of her foot.

This, on top of me doing the PT to her and vigorous stretching and massage has been such a big difference in just a week. I ask myself every day, if I can get these results with cardboard and common sense, how far would she have come by now if I'd had the professional stuff we really need?

It just kills me that they call what I have health insurance.

I heard from Kaiser recently and the new higher up case manager suggested I recind my three complaints and put them into one, which will start another 30 day investigation. I gave her my okay then got a call a few days later from her saying it's best to keep them separate after all. I guess it's not only puppies and kittens that chase their tails.

Kaiser PT also told me, back when we saw them, that PT should not hurt or cause crying. Yeah, right! When my little girl struggles to lift her heels and rise up on her toes and mama is saying over and over and over and over again, "No, keep your knees straight," then those little muscles shake and quake and struggle to obey, you can bet my little nugget is going to feel defeated and sore and cry. Then, after a normal day of play, combined with a walk, and the newly rigged shoes, and some PT and stretching, there's quite a lot of pain. If I'd followed the no pain, no cry advice, my little girl would still have 1/8" thick callouses all over the bottoms of her feet, that crack because the skin is too tight to move as the foot moves, and she'd be walking on the outside edges of both feet while stepping on the one toe that wants to grow under instead of straight.

The funnest part of PT I invented only yesterday. It's picking up marbles in a dish tub with one's toes. Those little things roll all over and those little feet start moving and grooving chasing them. Those little feet sort of remind me of sea turtle flippers! Best of all, with ten marbles to pick up, it's easy to see progress and feel that the task was completed successfully. Score one for mama for coming up with this one! It was so nice to hear laughter instead of tears.


Nancy said...

Have her try tearing up a magazine with her feet and then put it back together like a puzzle...not quite as good as your marbles but I used both with my patients who have foot restrictions for various reasons...batting a tennis ball between her feet and then rolling it under each foot is a very nice exercise too.
Good luck

Anonymous said...

My podiatrist told me to try all different OTC foot inserts until I found what worked for me. He said the medical orthotics were very expensive and you went back & forth to him for adjustments until it worked right anyway. He also said this way, with OTC shoe inserts you could have more than one for additional pairs of shoes.

Shoe inserts come in all shapes & sizes and types...softer than cardboard. I know which ones to buy now and cut and tape a few together to address my foot issues. Works like a charm and it's under $15 for both combined.
oh, plus the athletic tape.

You can always learn to tape her foot too. Would that help her? That works for me sometimes...I was amazed how much support taping my feet gave me. Taping like you see the olympic athletes do. I googled online until I found a video of someone taping their foot for support with a problem like mine.

I am not sure if they have OTC children's shoe inserts but you can cut them and thinking outside the box like you do, you may see something and be able to use it for a different purpose!

I am a big fan of how resourceful you are!

Lynnea said...

That just breaks my heart that Kaiser won't get her the "proper" AFO's that she needs!!!!!!!!
Josie's DAFO's have made a HUGE improvement.
THANKFUL that good help is on the way via the SSI. That is how we are managing and so far have been very blessed and pleased with the process.
And GREAT job coming up with fun play...aka therapy! I LOVE it when we come up with something fun that is good for Josie (like the sword fighting!)
Hugs and have a good weekend!

K said...

Thank you, anonymous, I didn't think of cutting up the actual OTC products. What a great idea since they are of the right materials and not slippery like the cardboard is.

I do use tape, A LOT. That was how I first stabilized her "hiding" toe.

Just the 6 of us! said...

My son goes to Shriner's hospital for free dafo's. Free PT. Free OT. The gait study (spelling?) is so cool too. My son is carefully monitored to see how his legs & feet are changing as he grows. They never charge us anything-insurance or not. I am assuming you've already got Jie Jie in the Hospital's system since she has orthodox issues. The Sacramento Hospital is worth the drive since all your care is free. If Shriner's ever sends you a bill it is because the insurance companies require them to send out bills to patients. They have no collections department and don't expect nor want the patients to have to pay anything. They just need the insurance company to pay if the services are covered. :)

Just the 6 of us! said...

Orthotics not orthodox! Darn spell checker!

K said...

We were turned down by Shriner's, but I'm going to try again. Apparently they had a long talk with Kaiser and were convinced that Kaiser was doing something.