I had my third child in October of 1998. I was induced a week before my supposed due date (my doctor and I strongly disagreed on the actual due date) and my little girl weighed a staggering 11 pounds 10 ounces. Vaginal delivery! She was stuck for almost three minutes and after four nurses pushing on me and the doctor pulling the baby's head and neck, she finally came out. Immediately the doctor and nurses said her arm was not moving, not to worry, she would regain use in a few weeks. It was due to the "shock of delivery". So you can imagine how upset I was to take Reagan to the physical therapist at two weeks of age to find out that this would be a lengthy recovery and that she may never have "normal" use of her left arm.
We went to a child neurologist here in Memphis when she was two months old. He administered an EMG and determined that her nerves were not completely torn as we had begun to fear. Reagan was almost three months old before she began to move her left arm at all.
In the last month, she has begun to pick her arm up and can almost get it to her mouth (with the help of her right arm!). We are working on suppination with weekly visits to the PT. She had been wearing a splint to prevent her wrist from further deviation, and the splint seems to have worked.
I've excepted the fact that she may not crawl. She doesn't like being on her tummy or pushing up on her hands. We are working on weight bearing. Reagan started sitting up when she was five months old (she just turned six months) so that has helped with her leaning on her arm.
I saw a segment on a news show a few weeks ago about a little girl who was in
a car wreck and had brachial plexus injury. She had a tendon transfer done
and she was improving. My PT had mentioned it once before but I'm not sure I
can put my child through that. The EMG was hard enough. Our faith in God is
what is getting us this far.
Our PT is marvelous ~ she is always looking for ways to help Reagan regain use of her muscles. She just ordered us a neuromuscular stimulator to use at home. Daily we attach electrodes to Reagan's deltoid muscle and for fifteen minutes, we send electric currents to the muscle to stimulate the site and to try to make it move. She is still lacking the movement above her head and out to the side. It is not a painful process - I tried it on myself to make sure it doesn't hurt her. We are hoping this device will help her regain deltoid use quicker than just regular exercises. If we get the desire results, we plan to use the stimulator on her forearm. She still doesn't turn her arm/hand palm up (suppinate) and she seldom raises her hand to her mouth, even if she has food in her hand! If anyone else has used this, I'd love to hear from you and hear about the results you had.
Email Reagan's Mommy Tammy here.