Monday, May 23, 2011

Busch Gardens

We had the pleasure of spending a great day at Busch Gardens with some great friends. We've done this a few years in a row, and it's amazing to see how much the kids have grown and changed. We all enjoy each other's company, and the park is wonderful. Elena is much taller than last year; she's about 40" tall, when wearing her shoes and braces. She's eligible for more rides--which is great, b/c E is a real thrill-seeker (loves the Battering Ram, Grover's Alpine Express, Le Scoot Log Flume, Prince Elmo's Spire, and the Swings, to name a few).

It's not all great news, though...we had our difficulties this year, too. This weekend was one of the first real hot ones--and Elena's endurance is pretty poor. Both she and Vivian (2 yrs old) wore out very quickly in the sun and heat. We knew we'd need a stroller, and opted for the Jeep jogger double--both kids were in it A LOT. I don't know what we're going to do as Elena gets taller. She did walk plenty with her crutches, too, and without them. She spent most of her time in the Festhaus walking/dancing independently, which was really great! It's obvious in the videos how much she favors bearing weight on her left leg...guess we'll just wait and what happens with that. E also had a pretty nasty fall at dinner, smashing the back of her head on the bottom of the iron table leg (she leaned for the table, and missed)--it's been a while since our last bad fall, and this was the worst one yet (pretty big lump in the back of her head for the day). I know E is tough, but I know that one HURT. :(

We left an hour and a half before closing--longer than we expected to stay--but the last hour or so was spent looking at animals and having dessert.

Here's the highlights!

E's Purple Carousel Horse

Viv got to ride close to Elena


E and Viv doing the Polka

White Baronesses

Bumper Cars (E got it!!)



Anonymous said...


Amy said...

Excellent, Elena! You are a bumper car master. Great job. I love watching the girls dance, too sweet.

Mary Katherine said...

Have you thought about trying a cane at least some of the time? I am an adult w/mild CP and I'm weaker on my right hand side. I'm 42 and have never had an easy time walking. After many years of trying to walk 'normal' or doing PT or orthotics or whatever, I recently tried a cane and it's helping a lot. It supports my right hand side which is weaker.

The way it works is I hold it with my left hand and use reciprocal motion (or maybe they call it left-right coordination these days) to move my left arm forward and put the cane on the ground as I step forward with my right foot. I hold the cane on the stronger side of my body to give the weaker side support as I put weight on my right foot. It really appears to be helping. Recently I can put both feet flat on the floor, some of the time. I think you know that's an accomplishment b/c at the age of 42 I had never been able to do that and my balance and walking was really affected.

I do not have many of the long-term effects of CP b/c I do not have chronic spasticity although I do get tight occasionally. So I don't have the wear and tear issues. I do however have issues with balance, weakness, and coordination. It is more than motor problems and just clumsiness. However the cane is helping a lot and I don't know if I will need it in the long-term but it was an inexpensive (about 100.00) solution. Insurance did not cover it b/c I can walk; however there is a cane store in Virginia which sells inexpensive adult canes that you can get trimmed to match your height requirements; I had mine trimmed at Home Depot for free.

If you have any questions please email me at I know that spasticity might change things but being able to stand up straight and walk with better posture is helping a lot.

take care.