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One Small Step | I ENTER THE 22nd CENTURY!

By  16th June 2014

Hello folks! (finally)

I know, I’m terrible and haven’t posted in weeks, but in my defence, I have been a busy girl, studying for and completing many exams over the past fortnight or two, (that are OVER!). Together, with all of my friends, we have worked ourselves to exhaustion, but, not to worry we can finally sit back and relax… with 4 more weeks of school!

Im out of practice and have become used to riting in note form so please excuce me if I use simple vocab make spelling mistaks and drope punctuation

(In case you think that that last sentence was serious, it wasn’t – I made all mistakes on purpose, although my Mum thought different when she first read it through… the faith she has in me is so strong…)

I was very busy organising a Surprise party for my Grandparents, who share the same birthday on May 21st and turned an impressive 82 this year! They don’t look a day over 60! Now, if you have ever organised a surprise party, you can probably recognise the stress, excitement and worrying that all contribute to these special and secret events. Banned from the kitchen, in which Melissa, (my sister) and I were busy making cakes, my Grandparent had no choice to sit on the couch and wonder why on earth every one was so busy!

On the morning of the party, we told them that we were going out for supper, so while they got dressed and made themselves look even more perfect, we set up in the sitting room. By the time guests started arriving, Grandma and Grandad were in the kitchen, luckily at the opposite end of the house, and we sneakily and silently lead everyone into the party room. Then, once most people had arrived, we lead our Grands into the room, (explaining that we had made them a surprise cake) and BAM! SURPRISE! Their whole family were standing there! They were happy and very surprised to say the least.

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

Many of you know that I currently have trouble walking. I’ve also been experiencing terrible and extremely problematic pain in my shoulder for no known reason, so, my Mum, Dad and I travelled to Guys Hospital in London for an appointment at the Gait clinic named appropriately, One Small Step. Entering the room, we realised that the room was like something out of a Sci-Fi film. 4 cameras, facing each direction hung from the walls. A computer area overlooked the room, and the floors were padded out with special sensors that measured my muscle strength with each step I took.

I changed into shorts and a vest so that my legs and hips were bare. The gait specialists then peeled and stuck on to me, many tiny, reflective globes.

Here is a picture of me with out the Flash (no light reflected):

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Here is a picture of me with the Flash (the light from the flash was reflected by the dots, creating a “light bulb” effect):

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I then walked across the room 6 times without my splints, and then did the same with my splints on. All the while, the cameras were filming and the sensors beneath the floor were collecting data that would give us a very interesting insight into my skeleton.

After this I lay down on the couch, and the gait specialists took a large series of measurements such as, ankle width and calf width, (might I just add that I’m not completely sure what they measured because they were talking in technical terms, which I do not understand, but I gathered that when they put the tape measure around my ankle, they were measuring the circumference.) They also attached small muscle monitors onto my legs, that took, yet again, more measurements. Finally, we answered a series of questions, like:

“What is the furthest you can walk?”,”Are you able to walk up hills?” and “Can you ride a bike?”

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The final test was an ultrasound on my legs, a first hand look at the powerful muscles that control the way I walk.

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Before we left, we were able to see a computer animation of me walking. With all the special footage caught by the special cameras that were sensitive to light, a short simulation was created. Because I was wearing the small dots on my body, the light sensitive camera only captured the dots. Once linked up, like a dot to dot, legs are created on the computer. (I will try to upload a video of the animation.)

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Hopefully, with all of this information, the doctors will be able to tell me why I am experiencing pain in my shoulder and  if there is anything they, or we can do to help. Learning to walk again has been a long, hard journey, but totally worth it. I’m getting stronger by the day, and if we can discover the source of the pain and find a solution for it, I’ll be back to normal very soon, One Small Step at a time!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience. Come again soon!

Cecilia-Joy xx

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