Equipment and Therapy

The months are flying by and there’s been so much happening here with new equipment, appointments and therapy.

There’s been 2 new additions to the Sangster household – A Kidwalk and a Buggypod!  This will mean nothing to most of you so I will try my best to explain but I will add pictures later.

The Kidwalk is a strange looking piece of equipment but one that will give Finlay the freedom to ‘run’ round the garden and kick a football.  The Kidwalk is a structured piece of equipment which supports Finlay’s upper body whilst freeing up his legs to step.  We have trialled a few walkers in our time but this one has hit the spot!  Not only is it lightweight (although very bulky) it has an open front – many walkers are enclosed with metal thus Finlay couldn’t walk up to objects as the frame got in the road.  This open front was a major selling point for us as it means Finlay can kick a ball as there’s nothing at his feet stopping the ball – anyone who knows Finlay will know he’s football daft so this is a dream come true for him and we can’t wait to see him build up his strength and be out in the garden kicking a ball about – watch this space!

The second addition is the Buggypod.  It was no secret that having a second child was a massive decision for us to take but not for the reasons most families consider, ours was purely logistical!! Yes we had to consider the logistical nightmare of managing 2 sets of wheels with one pair of hands!  The early days were covered – we had a baby carrier at the ready for the new addition.  This was perfect as it freed up our hands to push the wheelchair but what was the next step once the baby was too big for the baby carrier?  I began my search early in my pregnancy for a solution but I was shocked to discover our only option was a Phil and Ted style double buggy; for those who know Finlay there was no way he was going back into a buggy!

After months of searching I finally came across the Buggypod but it was meant for attaching to a pram not a wheelchair.  After weeks of consideration and debating about who could help us I stumbled upon a charity called REMAP Scotland.  After an initial meeting and discussion as to our requirements the lovely volunteers from REMAP devised a plan to adapt the Buggypod to fit the wheelchair and a few months later (with the help of some very handy welders!) we have the finished product!  We are delighted with the adaptation, although you may have to move over the pavement if you see us coming!  It’s like a double buggy but with a wheelchair, Finlay is supported and comfortable and Brodie is alongside his big brother trying to steal his glasses – perfect!

REMAP Scotland were amazing and did it all for free but as we were willing to pay for a piece of equipment we thought it only right to make a donation to this wonderful charity as a thank you for giving us freedom to get out and about.  We (Finlay, Brodie and I) can now go for walks without relying on a second pair of hands and without me breaking my back carrying Brodie (he’s no lightweight) in the baby carrier or rucksack.  Look out for us pounding the streets of Stoney!!

Therapies keep us busy throughout the year and we have included some new routines to get the best from Finlay and to continue to avoid surgery.

Finlay spends various amounts of time in pieces of equipment to stretch his muscles, support him and to keep him in a good position but his daily physio routine has to develop to suit his changing needs as his body grows.  We are extremely lucky that we have excellent therapists both NHS and private.  Finlay sees his NHS therapists once a week in school, then we have an hour of private therapy on a Monday after school to give us a second pair of hands for some the more difficult exercises but the most exciting therapy we have undertaken lately is the use of the hydrotherapy pool within Carronhill School once a week.  Swimming is an excellent way to relax Finlay and stretch his muscles and keep him active.  The session at Carronhill is done on a one to one basis and is a fun way to exercise and enjoy a normal activity with the family and friends who join us each week.

If you have followed Finlay’s progress over the years you will be aware that he has been able to have a taste of a variety of therapists and differing styles of treatment.  Finlay is a very headstrong young man so we took the decision to allow him to choose which of these therapies he wanted to focus on as he was the one having the treatment and in order for it to be beneficial we had to have his interests at the heart of it.  After some thought Finlay opted to keep visiting Craighalbert, continue with his weekly visits from Lorraine and the intensive weeks from Movement Physiotherapy.  We were delighted with his decision and fully supported his choices.

So far this year we have had 4 days intensive therapy from Movement Physiotherapy.  Finlay hadn’t been well in the run up to the planned block but he was still keen to keep the booking.  Thankfully he was over the worst of his illness so coped well with the daily workout showing Kirsteen how he had progressed since his last block.  We were pleased to get positive feedback from her regarding the impact the exercises had had on Finlay’s posture since her last visit, it makes all the hard work worthwhile!

Future therapies planned for the year to date include a week at Craighalbert in early March and further intensive blocks with Movement Physiotherapy.  Here’s hoping Finlay continues to be motivated by his progress and get the most out of each of these opportunities.

Thank you to everyone who continues to support us and follow Finlay’s progress, we can only offer him these opportunities thanks to the money raised through the Fund.