We met up with Jordan’s prosthetist, David Rotter, again today. This time we met on his turf – the University of Illinois-Chicago Medical Center. Getting Jordan’s arm on this morning was pretty easy. I think I bribed her with television or something but she didn’t sqirm or complain or anything. That was pretty nice. Today I had her wear the hook arm – it hooks to stuff and it opens and closes. The only trick to it is she needs to wear a close-fitting t-shirt with it so the arm strap doesn’t rub on her too much. The problem: She’s so tiny they don’t make simple white undershirts for skinny little almost-three-year-olds. I had to buy 4T and I’m still trying to find real undershirts that she can wear under scoop-neck outfits. (wah)
Anyway, we got there and Jordan got to hang out in a Nemo room! She loved it and even got to watch a portion of Finding Nemo. But what she really liked doing was playing with David. They played tug again (which means he drives her around on a roller chair while holding both “hands”). They also played pass the big exercise ball. Oh wow! She loved that. She pushed the ball with both hands and just laughed and laughed. It was awesome. I didn’t get video, but I did get some sweet pictures.
We talked about when to wear the hook and when not to… And David did some tinkering so it isn’t as challenging to put on. (I’m such a hook novice.) I took the arm off for the tinkering and she was not interested in putting it back on. So we just let it be.
I waited to put it back on when I took her to the Chicago Children’s Museum on Navy Pier. She was very excited to go and I asked her to put it on before we went in. For some reason she agreed! So from 1:30 until 6:30 or so, she wore that arm and played and played and played in it. It helped her do a few things – I watched her move the arm a lot more than she did with it yesterday. She remarked how it opened and closed and was VERY proud she could do that on her own. She even bragged about the skill to her dad over the phone! I think the idea of getting a “hand” to actually do what she wants it to do is a novelty after the tough time we had with her myoelectric hand. So all in all, I feel a lot more positive about the hook than I did at the beginning of the day. Jordan surprises me at every turn. Just when I think she’s denying a tool because she just doesn’t like it, she tolerates AND starts to figure out how to use it to her advantage. That’s all I want in this prosthetic experience – to help her see how these tools can help her. Even if it’s a way to keep herself from falling off a chair or help pull herself up a ladder on a playground! I think we’re closer to helping her discover the usefulness of those tools than we were a week ago!