Friday, August 22, 2014

Bison Bone Cooked to Shreds

This is what a bison bone looks like after you cook it to shreds! And it is still making good bone broth to help heal the gut and aid digestion.

I have been making bone broths for Kevin since we were introduced to the GAPS diet a few years ago. We are not following the specific GAPS diet anymore but I continue to make the bone broths. I use 2 cups of bone broth to cook his vegetables in every morning and then just add the left over liquid to the meals. It's really easy. I just always cook his meat in the crock pot and save the broth. When I cut up the meat I save the bones and fat in a ziplock and freeze until I need more broth and cook in the crock pot for at least 24 hours. The chicken bones I normally only cook once more but this bison bone I cooked at least 6 different times. To find out more about these homemade broths and why they are so healing for the gut go to And if you need help finding good meat and bones to use, find your local farmers at If you live in our area we have been using for years.

Summer Fun with Ryan, Emma, & Sara

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Cold + Rainy Morning = Happy to be a "Homeschooler"

So you know when you wake up in the morning and its raining and you just want to roll over and spend the morning in bed…I did that this morning! Well sort of. I heard it start raining about the time I got out of bed and I did my normal morning routine. But Kevin had gone to bed the night before with some cold symptoms emerging and I suspected he might be a bit miserable this morning. Normally we immediately start program, but I made the decision to take a break this morning and snuggle in bed and watch his favorite show before going downstairs. I love morning snuggle time and was feeling especially grateful for being a “homeschooler” to have the opportunity to change the routine instead of rushing off to school or work. By the time Kevin's cold medicine kicked in he was feeling much better and we were able to accomplish a light program today. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Magic X3

Three important things have significantly improved in Kevin’s life within the last 3 months since our revisit. Three things that have been prayed for daily. And three things that a lot of time and hard work have been spent on for several years. So it almost seems like magic when they suddenly appear.

1. Lycopodium - I believe this is the magic puzzle piece to achieving daily BM’s with Kevin. Lycopodium Clavicum is a homeopathic remedy that I am pretty certain may be what is making this a success right now. There is still work to be done in this area, that you probably don’t want to read about, but I am relieved that he is going and no colonic visits since May. 

2. Time Out - We have tried several Time Out variations over the years but it never seemed to be effective until now. We recently began belly crawling (army crawl) again - probably our least favorite program activity but one of the most important programs needed for brain injured kids. A few days into the crawling he just laid down and refused. We were both being stubborn and I didn’t want him to think he could get away with not doing laps so I proceeded to push him from behind as I am already placing his feet in proper position for the toe dig. The next day, my chronically sore shoulder was in a lot more pain. So the next time Kevin refused to crawl I knew I needed to find another way. So I took him to his room for a 10 minute Time Out. Afterwards, he came back downstairs and finished his crawling with no complaints. I have used this a few times this week and it really feels like magic! Anytime, he begins to refuse, I ask him if he needs a break, he very willingly walks up to his room and sits in his chair (he only has a bed and chair in his room), and after 5-10 minutes I open the door and he walks down the stairs and immediately gets on the floor to crawl and finish his laps. Something has clicked in his brain and I love that it happens so peacefully. 

3. Solisten - Kevin had his third session with the Solisten headphones at the end of May and he immediately began making verbal sounds. The headphones are only used for 13 days but making sounds has continued to progress. In fact, that bad gulping habit he had has significantly decreased and been replaced by babbling. It is magical and is music to my ears. In fact, music is sometimes exactly what it sounds like when he is making verbal sounds. He even started repeating a babble that sounds just like the popular four-notes from Beethoven’s 5th Symphony “short-short-short-long”. I haven’t caught that on video yet, but I did capture another favorite babble/singsong he has repeated for us. Click on the link below to hear these wonderful and happy sounds.

Foot Update

Here is a summary of Kevin's progress since the Hyprocure Surgery in April.
Week 4 - water therapy, began standing and walking in water
Week 5 - began wearing shoes and standing
Week 6 - began wearing the Mollii Suit
Week 7 - began taking steps
Week 8 - began initiating walking
Week 9 - lots more walking without holding on 
Week 12 - independently walking around the house and climbing steps
Week 14 - began walking 300 yards 3X day & belly crawling

I was working on our FHC Progress Report during the last week of July. This was just after we had begun belly crawling around the house and walking sessions outside with Kevin. His right foot looks really good but his left foot began getting worse with the increased walking.

We quickly began communicating our concerns regarding Kevin’s left foot to the foot doctor and FHC. His left foot is still turning in, he is not standing flat on it, and he is not putting his heel down when walking. Due to the fact that Kevin has left sided weakness from his in utero stroke, it makes it challenging to get control of that side of his body.

After our discussion with the foot doctor he brought to our attention that the ankle support looked good. We knew that the surgery would not correct his foot from turning in. He reminded us how Kevin’s ankle used to sprain when he walked any kind of distance. So this made us feel a little better that he had been walking with no sprains. He also said that Kevin’s arch looked good, pronation (walking on the inside of his foot) was better, better control, and his ankles are not collapsing.

The foot doctor also suggested that we communicate with the Mollii Suit people to see if there was anything they could do to help. We have had the Mollii Suit about 2 1/2 months. When he first wore the Mollii Suit, the day before his foot surgery, it did correct his foot from turning in and he also correctly walked with his arms down at his sides. It has been difficult to judge the changes we were seeing with the Mollii Suit when he began wearing it because after the surgery we were starting all over again with the walking. I did feel like at some point, we were seeing better walking from Kevin the day after wearing the Suit. But now the reality was his walking always looked bad and seemed to be quickly getting worse. 

It was then suggested to check to make sure the Mollii Suit was working properly. To my surprise it was not working. I could not feel any signals or stimulation when the suit was turned on. I will admit, I felt foolish, for not thinking to check this sooner. It seems that there is a technical problem with the control unit. I have no idea how long it has not been working. I was somewhat relieved to find out that this is a technical problem and we can expect to see progress once it is returned to us and working properly. But I feel frustrated because I have to wait for the control unit to ship to Sweden, get repaired, and then ship back to us. Despite having a few complications with the Mollii Suit, I am confident that we will continue to have success with it (his body and nervous system will respond again once it is fixed) and have been very pleased with the company addressing our concerns. 

In the meantime, we have dusted off the walking track. The new plan right now is, to walk, walk, walk in the track and of course belly crawl, crawl, crawl on the floor. The good news is that we are able to use the walking track on the front porch. So we get the pleasure of walking outside but never actually leave the porch. Kevin loves to see what is going on in the neighborhood, watch our neighbors come and go, watch the dog walkers, and he is always on the look out for a big truck to drive down the street.

So until the Mollii control unit is repaired and returned to us we shall "walk the plank" and hope to see some improvement in his walking. I believe we need both the results from the Hyprocure surgery and the Mollii Suit before he can begin walking some distance on his own. Hopefully this will happen before the snow starts.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

New Mollii Suit Jacket

The Mollii Suit is supposed to have a tight fit so that the electrodes have contact with his skin and he feels the stimulation. The Mollii jacket fit Kevin very tight around the belly and we began having some complications. One day I put the suit on Kevin and got the zipper jammed and had to wait for Jon to come home and help me get the zipper unstuck. Anytime he wore the suit (every other day) I needed an extra person to hold the zipper together while zipping it up, that’s how tight it was. We were communicating our concerns to Inerventions in Sweden. First, they sent us a second jacket size but unfortunately it did not solve the fit around the belly problem. As you can see in the picture below, the zipper would open up on the bottom.

Inerventions responded to our continued concerns with the jacket and had the factory in Sweden take this same size jacket and add some extra material to give him more room around the belly and make it easier to zip up. The jacket now fits Kevin much better around his belly and I can zip it up very easily, all by myself. He still has some belly showing but no electrodes are located in the lower part of the jacket so the jacket is doing it’s job.