Today Isabelle had an appointment with Alberta Children’s Hospital’s rehab department to have her hard protection shell reshaped and also to get a girdle for compression of her omphalocele. I am always really impressed with the occupational therapists that work at the Children’s Hospital and this visit was no different. Instead of fashioning a special made girdle, or using ace bandages to provide compression, they decided to use a burn vest.
This shirt provides general compression and only had a zipper in the back so is easily to put on and off. As her omphalocele gets smaller, we will sew some darts into the shirt to keep the compression at a good level of pressure. Izzy looks pretty darned cute in it too if I do say so myself. What I love so much about the occupational therapists at the rehab Center is that they are able to find solutions that help make lives easier for parents and the best use of resources on hand. It is so important for parents to feel empowered to take care of their children and OT thrives at finding solutions that is simple enough for parents to handle. Even during the appointment they made sure to have me do most of the work to ensure that I will have no problems at home. The occupational therapists at the rehab Center are true McGyvers, designing truly fit for purpose solutions for their clients. As an engineer I am impressed by their ingenuity and flexibility.
Isabelle will be wearing her baby spanx daily. Because it doesn’t seem to bother her at all, I think we will start at 4 hours a day for about a week and then increase or decrease from there. I’m actually really impressed with how well she tolerated the compression today. I just know that whenever I have worn any type of compression under garments how uncomfortable it can be and how after a couple of hours I just want to take it off even if that means I instantaneously look a size bigger. But Izzy didn’t seemed bothered by it at all. She just giggled and squirmed just as much as she normally does. The one thing we will have to watch for is the zipper on the back. Although the skin is protected from the zipper with a nice bit of padding, there were still red marks after the first wear. The zipper might be a source of irritation for Isabelle and might also be uncomfortable to sleep on. We will just have to keep an eye on it to see if it bothers her.
All in all today was a good day. Isabelle is making such great progress and starting compression is a great step for her. To have such a simple compression solution and to have a babe who seems to be handling it no problem is the cherry on top.