Cassidy Carignan's Journal
Written May 1, 2012 9:09amWe are yet again in another state. This one for good. The kids and I moved back to our hometown of Omaha. Cassidy is back in OT and PT and she will be starting water therapy again at the end of May. She has missed the water! She also got a new brace-this one is different that any other she's had before, and I'll try to get some new pictures on here so you can see. She likes it, but then again doesn't like it-it's black and has 2 parts and is very noticable when she wears shorts. But she has a wonderful support system at her school and they all have her back!Cassidy continues to do well in therapy. She gains strength every week on her right side. She has been invited by a local news channel to do a story on her and pediatric stroke. We will be taping on May 23rd and I will let everyone know when it will air. She is very excited about being on television again and can't wait to charm everyone that sees her!Second grade is just about over for Cassidy-she's had a wonderful year, full of new friends and an amazing teacher. I am so grateful for bringing this teacher into our lives. She is just wonderful, and we will be so upset when we have to leave her at the end of the year! I keep asking her to move up to 3rd grade so she can be with Cass again.On Saturday, May 5th, Cassidy will be participating in the American Heart Association's Heart Walk in Omaha. She is very excited about doing this, even though I'm sure she doesn't know that we have to be there at 7am! And then, on Sunday the 6th, she will be receiving her First Holy Communion. I am so proud of all that she has accomplished in her little life!
Written Mar 4, 2011 9:41amCass has started therapy again. She goes to Penn State Hershey Medical Center, doing physical therapy once a week. Every other week, though, she gets to do her therapy in a pool, and she loves loves loves splashing around! She got fitted for a new brace about a month ago, and we are anxiously awaiting it's arrival. Her gait has become more awkward recently, and the brace she's in right now isn't helping her at all, so this new brace will be a few inches higher, but not up to her knee, which she's happy about.
Cass has been pretty busy these past few months. She turned the big 7 back in October. She is getting to be such a grown up girl! Big news at school-Cassidy's teacher called me about a month ago and wanted to tell me that she was going to nominate Cass to be put into the gifted and talented program. I am so proud of that girl!
Right after Christmas, Cass was lucky enough to be visited by Pat Bearowitz, a stuffed bear that is travelling around the country visiting other stroke survivors. He had a great time with our family-Cass took him to her first neurology appointment out here and then took him to Chocolate World in Hershey-they had a great time! Check out Pat's journeys at www.trackpatforpsa.org. He's been a busy bear!
Cass also got to go to her very first school dance. It was a few weeks ago and she went with her Daddy-she looked so gorgeous, and picked a pink dress, of course!
I added some new pictures to our photo gallery, so check them out. We are planning a fundraiser for May 14th, 2011 at a local coffee shop in town, so any ideas, donations, etc...would be greatly appreciated. All money raised goes towards the organization we belong to, called CHASA (www.chasa.org). We hope to be going to our second retreat with CHASA this summer. Cass has been missing her stroke friends, so I am really hoping we get to go.
That's it for now! Please leave your comments-Cass loves hearing from all of you. And as always, thanks for your support and prayers!
Written Sep 23, 2010 10:36amI am sad to say that it's been awhile since I've updated Cassidy's caringbridge site. However, I am happy to say that there hasn't been much to update! Sure we've had changes, and I'll get to those, but for the most part, Cassidy continues to thrive and get stronger every day! And for that, I am grateful!
Well, we've moved yet again. Lawrence's job really keeps us busy, but I think this is it for us, so we might just be staying around here. And it's really a great area to be in, with the exception of being so far away from my side of the family. We moved to Pennsylvania in mid-July of this year. And ever since then, Cassidy has not been doing formal therapy. Yes, she continues to ride her bicycle, tie her shoes, run up and down the stairs and playing the Wii-all these things I consider therapy in disguise! But I have noticed that she has definitely been getting tighter and really missing the "real" therapy. I have been trying since we've been here to get her started, but I guess this stuff moves slowly. However, she finally has an appointment with a therapist at Hershey Medical Center on Tuesday, and I really hope she can start quickly. The other day I got some blocks, her lite brite, and some theraputty out for her to "play" with. I asked her to make a tower out of the blocks with righty, as high as she could go. She got 3 blocks up on top of each other and then started with the fourth. Her poor hand was shaking so badly and she never did get that fourth block up there. I could tell she was very frustrated with her hand. I just sat there, astonished that my almost 7 year old, who excels in reading and is the most determined girl you've ever met, couldn't do this simple task. This shouldn't have surprised me. Since graduating out of OT last year, I know she hasn't been using righty very much, and I must admit, I haven't been making her use it. I let her pull on her pants instead of undoing the button and zipper, making it easier for her... stuff like that. I don't know if the therapist will want her to start OT again, but if she doesn't, I will definitely be working with her at home more than I have been.
In other news, before we moved, Cassidy "graduated" out of her AFO-she was wearing an orthotic that went up to almost her knee. Well, in June, she finally got the ok from her therapist to get a new brace that now was only ankle high. She was thrilled! Of course, I had just bought her new pairs of super cute knee high socks that she loved wearing with her brace...oh well! She can still wear them. So with this brace, it means that she's got to really work on her walking and using her leg muscles. This new brace isn't really doing any work, except to keep her ankle straight. She was really uncomfortable for a couple of weeks, and the excited-ness had worn off, because now she realized that she really had to work at keeping her knee, leg and ankle straight when she walks, something that her old AFO had done for her. But now she is doing well with it and very happy that she (I'm quoting her...) "looks like everyone else now!"
First grade has started, and Cassidy is very excited about school, thank goodness! So far she's bored because they have been reviewing what they learned in Kindergarten, and she's ready to learn something new. She is still a reading fiend-she's read all the Junie B Jones books and has started with the Katie Kazoo Switcheroo series. I do have an appointment next week with her school to get a new 504 plan in place for her. Her old school hasn't even sent over her paperwork, which isn't surprising. So we thought we'd start fresh out here. I am lucky that she doesn't need a whole lot of help, but we wanted to make sure that she had help with buttoning, zipping, stuff that might take her just a little bit longer than her classmates.
I have been so blessed to have a great support system in my life and couldn't make it through this without my family and friends. This past August marked 5 years since we got the news that Cassidy had suffered a stroke before she was born, and since then, she has taught me so much more about patience, love and what is really important in my life.