Ashleigh continues to do some voicing.  In fact, it is a little better overall as her breath support has improved a little.  She also continues to have periods where she will typically wake up and be able to voice very strong for a few minutes.  Right before Christmas she was able to speak with one of her friends that lasted for five minutes or so and then she called her aunt and uncle and kept going for another five minutes. Continue reading

KFO Brace

Ted from Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics in Fairfield, OH did another great job on a brace for Ashleigh that is a big help in her recovery from TBI.  The new brace includes control of the knee on her weakened left side and has made walking with her roll-ater easier.  Ted watched Ashleigh walk in his clinic and then casted her for the brace. Ted suggested Ashleigh get something besides just boring white and he handed us a book that had colors and patterns of braces you can get.  We looked at butterflies and the U.S. flag when Ted said he knew what Ashleigh wanted.  He paged back in the book to one called tattoo.  It was very cool because Ash with all of her artistic talent really appreciated the style.  Check out the pictures below. Continue reading

Thyroid Deficiency

My wife has been worried for some time that Ashleigh may have some thyroid issues as a result of her TBI.  She had a battery of blood tests but the results came back within the normal range.  It was not until months later when she read more about the thyroid tests that we found out that you may need to test for a few other factors to get a more detailed answer.  The doctor added the Free T3 and Free T4 tests.  Ashleigh did show a problem with the Free T3 and Free T4 tests and has started on a low dose of Armour Thyroid medication.  Remember that you know yourself or the TBI survivor in your family best, so if you have a concern be persistent.

I pasted some details below from the About.com page on thyroids.  There is a lot more info out there on the Web and from your doctor if you suspect any thyroid issues. Continue reading

New Records

I don’t want to jinx anything but Ashleigh has been on a roll lately in her therapies.  She has been walking across our living room floor with the help of a roll-ater.  When she started a few years ago she could do maybe three trips.  In the past month or two she has been breaking records like crazy.  She has now done 14 trips as her current record.  She could probably do more but the 14 takes us over time in her therapy session. Continue reading

Emergency Supplies

If you are like us you have a collection of medicines and supplies that you take with you wherever you go.  Ours includes a suction machine, oxygen tank, anti-seizure emergency meds, pulse ox reader, inhaler, nebulizer, oral swabs, and various eye drops . On top of that we have extra clothes, gloves, hats, drinks and whatever else we can fit into the bag.

Please take a few minutes and make sure you check all of the medicines for their expiration dates.  We needed to do a breathing treatment recently and found the medicine in the nebulizer bag was expired.  We called the manufacturer who said it was still okay to use but it added more stress to an already stressful situation as Ashleigh was feeling like she couldn’t breathe.

(BTW – We did end up in the ER but they could not find anything and after a couple of hours she felt better and we got to go home)

Harness and Pulley System

Our PT, Julian, set up a trial for us with a fellow PT who teaches at a local university in the Physical Therapy department.  This person with his partner developed a harness and pulley system to use in therapy.  It would help us when Ashleigh walks not have to worry about her falling.  It could also allow us to reduce the number of people we need when Ashleigh walks.

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Cholesterol and Krill Oil

My wife started all of us on Krill Oil a few months ago.  It is easier for Ashleigh to take and seems to have less side effects than the fish oil we had tried in the past.  Ashleigh recently got her blood work done and her cholesterol was significantly down. The Krill Oil was the only change so needless to say we have become fans.  We will be interested in seeing if the positive results continue over the next few months until she gets her labs re-tested.

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Transfer Pivot Disk

We bought a  Transfer Pivot Disk that is great for a person who can do a stand and pivot transfer.  The helper places the disk under the person’s feet and does the stand as usual.  Then, with one of the helper’s feet partially on the disk to act as the brake you can spin the person to align with the wheelchair or bed for the transfer.  We use an extra strip of non-skid to make it safer.

We have had a number of people ask us about the disk so I thought I would post about it.  One hospital we go to for Ashleigh’s scans and CT’s got the info so they could order some for their whole department.  We are going to add it to our webstore or you can email help@tbirecovery.org   There are a few manufacturers out there but below is the info the model we purchased.

SafetySure Transfer Pivot Disc

SafetySure Transfer Pivot Disk

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Shopping Trip and Marines

We were Christmas shopping and we saw a couple of Marines in the mall.  Ashleigh and her Mom asked if she could get her picture made with them.  Very nice guys but they look so young.  It was funny because after we asked for a picture other people were asking them for a picture as well.  I hope it made them feel good and we pray for their safety.