Monday, August 22, 2011

Creating Ashlyn's 1st Myoelectric Arm

This is going to be a longer process than when we went to Shriner's for her mechanical arm. That arm required a harness and it never really fit "right" for her. It was very cumbersome and she got very little use of out it. It was done in 2 appointments. One for the for delivery. This time, we are making sure it's done so that she will use it by making it fit right and by teaching her to use it correctly.

We are going to Hanger Prosthetics and Orthodics in Independence, MO. Instead of 4 hours each way, it takes 15 minutes each traffic. Super excited!

Day 1 - August 15, 2011

Today she was cast for her new arm. She did everything exactly the way he (Dr. Keith - her Prosthetist) asked. She could not have been better. Once that was complete, we headed to the mall for a quick carousel ride and then we went to lunch at Logan's Steak house. It was a good day for all.

Dr. Keith casting Ashlyn for her 1st Myoelectic Arm

Day 2 - August 17, 2011

Today we just went in to see if the mold fit her correctly. This is one of the most important parts because if the mold doesn't fit her like a glove then the measurements will be off, it won't stay in place when the weight of the prosthetic is added, it just won't work properly for her at all. Unfortunately, the first mold did not meet all of these criteria so adjustments will have to be made. It's okay though, because I know the end result will still be amazing!!

Waiting to see if the mold fits

Day 3 - August 22, 2011

Today we went back to see if the mold would fit correctly. Well, it certainly did. It fit perfectly. Dr. Keith added a weight to it to see if she had any strength or range of motion. Incredibly, she had both. She could move the weight around (it was long like an arm and weighed the same as the prosthetic device will when this is complete). She raised it up and touched his nose with the end of it, which means she has the range of motion as well as muscle control. Yay Ashlyn!

Just like Cinderella's glass slipper, the mold fits perfectly!

The next step will take a little longer as they will work with all the information they have as far as weight, length and range of motion. Now they will begin work on her new arm with everything except the actual electric part. Once we have the next step complete then we work on the electric part and then begin OT so she can learn to use it the way it was designed. :) Did I mention I'm super excited to see how this works for her when it's done. SOOO excited! Then we will get her swim arm done as well. Woo hoo!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

In the news...

I'll make this short and sweet. Ashlyn and I made the front page of our local newspaper.

We are so excited. I just hope that this reaches many people as awareness was/is my main goal. And when that awareness comes in the cutest little girl ever...well heck...that's news!!

Check it out here: Ashlyn's Tale

Happy times!

P.S. Our fitting for her myo and swim arm got rescheduled to next week. :( I guess we've had to wait this long, what's another few day? :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Going back to Hanger Prosthetics

This week is going to be an exiciting one. Ashlyn and I will be going to back to Hanger Prosthetics to have her cast and measured for her new myoelectric arm (with a "cookie crusher") and swim arm. I cannot wait. I'm hopeful that these will be less cumbersome than her current arm with the harness and that she will find them as useful tools in accomplishing everyday tasks. Actually she already does everything she needs to do, but I want her to know these "tools" make make some things I know it will also make some tasks more difficult until she really learns how to use this.

I am also hopeful that our insurance is going to be covering this at 100% (after my co-pay). I've been told by the insurance company (via email so I have it in writing) that it will be. But, I've also heard numerous other parents complain that insurance doesn't cover it. I know that where there's a will, there's a way (Ashlyn is living proof of that)...I just don't feel like I should have to fight for my daughter to have something that most people are born with. I will, in necessary, don't get me wrong. I just don't think I should HAVE to. We'll see how it goes and I hope that no fighting with the insurance is required. *fingers crossed*

In other news (pun intended)...Ashlyn will be featured in our local newspaper, The Lee's Summit Journal ( We interviewed with the journalist (Mr. Roberts) yesterday and her article should be in the paper this Wednesday. I kind of talked in circles (as I'm not regularly interviewed) but our focus was on Limb Difference awareness, insurance, technology advancements in prosthetics over the years and Ashlyn's new favorite friend, Winter the Dolphin (as the movie will be coming out in just a few short weeks).

Lots of exciting things going on. Hopefully I'll have more news this week on her new arm and when you may be seeing another photo shoot to show them off. :)