Tuesday, April 30, 2013

An Unexpected Breakthrough


This little device.  This interesting, odd, little device.  My husband was being rather secretive as he worked in the shop on Saturday.  I was out working in the backyard and would pop in and out of the garage to grab a shovel or switch the laundry... I didn't want to look at the work table because I knew he sorta wanted to surprise me.  But if I had looked over, I wouldn't have had any idea what he was up to.

A few minutes later he called me inside and said, Are you ready?  Ta-da!  



And there Lamp was scooping up dry cheerios from a bowl straight into her mouth like it was no big deal.   She was just doing it, like this was a common everyday occurrence.  My mouth hit the floor.  She was feeding herself with her hand and a spoon.  Tears started to well in my eyes.  I was in shock.  It was such a sudden overwhelming surprise... like being sucker punched in the gut, except the complete opposite because it was something good.  Sucker kissed?

One part of being Lamps mom is sitting down to breakfast every morning with both my girls and spoon feeding Lamp every bite of her beloved Cheerios.  I don't mind it.  It is just a part of being Lamp's mom.  She has become very independent in so many ways, but of course there are things that I know I would have to do for her for a while...feeding her was one of them.  Where possible we chop up her food and she can eat it off the tray, but anything requiring a spoon we fed her ourselves.   Having just come back from our bi-annual appointment at Scottish Rite hospital we just discussed goals and milestones to work on, standing and walking on the forefront.  We discussed the future of prosthetics in her life and possible surgeries down the road.  Those were the things on my mind.  The possibility of Lamp eating with a spoon by herself wasn't even on my radar.

She didn't use her spoon much Saturday or Sunday, but yesterday morning I got her a bowl of Cheerios and gave her the new spoon.  I wasn't sure what to expect...was it just a novelty?  Would it fall off and be too clumsy?

She ate every. last. bite.  ALL BY HERSELF.
The whole bowl.  And then a second.  

When B and I talked about it later, he said that he just kept thinking that while she doesn't have an elbow or even a typical wrist there is still a joint there and we needed to make use of the joint she does have.  So smart that one.  He really excels at problem solving and thinking outside of the box.  Of course the current spoon is just a prototype.  We're not sure wood is the best material, and we want something that will allow us to change out spoons and forks.  Wood, plastic, fabric...we'll figure it out.  Either way it's exciting.

The one idea that keeps blowing my mind is this:  The ability was there all along, she just needed the right tool.


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Here's a little video of her in action...enjoy!

52 comments:

  1. It kinda floors me that with all the doctors & experts your sweet Lamp has seen, none of them came up with a tool such as this? Thank goodness for the genius of her father! I guess its true "Necessity is the mother of invention".

    She is so cute :)

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  2. Hooray!! Hooray!! Hooray!! This is so exciting!!!! I, for one, am grateful for whatever promptings your husband received that sent him in this direction. This will help Lamp make so much progress!!

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  3. That's awesome! My daughter is a congenital quad amputee and we are always experimenting with things over here too. Just this week, my husband blackened my daughter's spoon trying to heat it to bend it.

    I'm guessing you've already tried a U-cuff with a bent spoon/fork? That works really well for us, and it's good b/c you can swap out the fork or spoon.

    I'm at www.limbdifferent.com. I have a few more things we've tried under Daily Living. Much success in your creations!

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    1. Jessica,

      Yes we've tried some different cuff methods. I think for her particular hand/joint combo she needed something different. This actually allows her to scoop and control it a lot better. It's pretty exciting! I can't wait to check out your blog. :)

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  4. Go Lamp! And that husband of yours? GENIUS!!!!

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  5. Maybe a Velcro armband (kind of like a holder for an iPod while running) or a plastic cuff with Velcro to adjust its size as she grows?

    He is brilliant.

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  6. So rad! Your husband and Lamp are both so cool!

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  7. Sarah2:20 PM

    I can't see the video (says it's private) but that is just so incredible, I had tears in my eyes for all of you. That little girl! I can't wait to see the things she does.

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    1. Sarah, I fixed the video...hopefully you can see it now!

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  8. The love of a parent for their child is amazing. So wonderful. I bet Lamp is so proud of herself.

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    1. Right? If anyone knows, it's you. :)

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  9. She is so so cute, Miggy! Genius idea by B!!

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  10. your little kid is so impressive and what about your husband INVENTING this?!! Bravo everyone. She is deadset cute.

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    1. FF--aw, thanks lady!

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  11. Aww, she is the cutest little bean! What an amazing milestone for your family :)

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  12. maybe it's cause i have pink eye, but i'm sitting here crying like a baby. that is the most freaking awesome thing i've seen in a long time.

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    1. Jes--you kill me. Hilarious...but yeah it's pretty awesome.

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  13. That is awesome. Nice work all around! :)

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  14. "I said bye 'alweddy'"...cutest line ever. What an awesome post.

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  15. I don't know you or your family but, I have to say my heart swells watching that amazing little lamp!

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    1. Well thanks Allison. I love people loving on my family. So thank you.

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  16. So wonderful! :) good job!

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  17. That's amazing!!! Just wanted to add another congratulations to all of you!

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  18. Aww!! Love it! You guys were totally meant to be her parents. Your posts make my day. Love the video, you can tell she is so pleased. Her little voice is the cutest too.

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  19. Anonymous9:03 AM

    You rock, Lamp! Thanks for the bit of inspiration on this gray morning!
    Suzanne

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  20. Anonymous9:47 AM

    Wow. Hats off to your husband and daughter!

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  21. Michael Straight10:01 AM

    That is so beautiful. I can't imagine how satisfying that must be for all three of you. Congratulations. I doubt it will be the last time she surprises you by doing more than you thought possible.

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  22. That video just made my heart happy for the rest of the day. She is way too adorable and that is just too awesome!

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  23. Anonymous10:49 AM

    Thank you so much for sharing with us! Your family is just precious!
    marsha.kern@yahoo.com

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  24. OH...Yay lamp!!! and yay brother! I am so happy for you all. Love you.

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  25. Wow. It looks like she's been feeding herself her whole life! Way to go Lamp!

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  26. That is so awesome Miggy Lamp is the cutest

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  27. That is really, really, really terrific.

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  28. Anonymous11:06 PM

    Wow. Just wow. That is amazing! The angle is just right so that she brings it to her mouth perfectly! Wow! I think your hubby needs to think about continuing development for items like that and getting them patented.

    For exchanging silverware, what about velcro straps?

    Seriously, I know someone in San Antonio who made a fortune developing ENT surgical tools for pediatric patients. If you want to know more about him and his company, reply and I'll email you back.

    Laura (from Costco here in town).

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  29. This is so awesome. Another person who doesn't know you or your family, but this just warms my heart. Made my day!

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  30. That is so fantastic...Truly, truly wonderful. Your husband did a fantastic job...watching her eat...and tell you, "bye"...'cause she wants to eat...it made me teary. Lovely. lovely. lovely. all of it.

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  31. I wonder if you used sweat bands...like the sweatbands that basketball players used on their wrists (in the 70s, I think) would work?

    Anyway...just thinking out loud...Love that Lamp!!

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  32. WAHOO!! The kids and I have watched this 3 times! Love love love her. Love how she says "I said bye already." Bethany says that kind of thing all the time now. B wants to tell her "good job G!" Love you guys!

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  33. This is just amazing, truly amazing. TEARS!!

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  34. Lamp is the cutest child I have ever seen! And so capable! Beautiful video!

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  35. Ok seriously, I think Lamp is better at eating cheerios after 2 days with a spoon than my son is after years of practice (he is 2 1/2). That is seriously impressive. And good work by your husband!

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  36. I love this! What a husband, mama and girlie! You guys all amaze me.

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  37. Anonymous11:42 PM

    Your whole family are freakin awesome. Makes my heart dance.

    Shout out also to the blog readers, we are many a stranger to you and your family but I LOVE that this posts gets 44 comments. Excellent :)

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  38. i love that term "sucker kissed". it's perfect. and i love the gorgeousness that problem solving causes. !!!!!

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  39. Anonymous9:32 PM

    Oh man, I love it so much! Good job, bro! I love Lamp's little bit of sass too -- she's the best!
    Love,
    Jill

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  40. You two are the perfect parents for this little one. Lucky girl, lucky parents.

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  41. What a great idea. Yea Lamp!!! Adorable.

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  42. Wow! This is an incredible story on so many levels. That B even thought of it. That he had the skills to create it. That Lamp took to it so quickly. ... Thank you for sharing. This made my week!

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  43. So, so, so great. Congratulations to all of you!

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