Many of our Rett Girls have very cold hands and feet due to poor circulation. Sometimes they can also look blue or purple. The easy remedy for poor circulation is typically to get up and move around to get the blood flowing. This can be difficult for our non-ambulatory and non-weight bearing girls but even if our girls are able to get up and move around many times it doesn't help because their poor circulation is usually due to a vasomotor disturbance that is difficult to treat.
Google dictionary explains vasomotor this way: "Denoting a region in the medulla of the brain (the vasomotor center) that regulates blood pressure by controlling reflex alterations in the heart rate and the diameter of the blood vessels, in response to stimuli from receptors in the circulatory system or from other parts of the brain".
So what can we do as parents and caregivers to help our Rett Girls circulation and the pain that can sometimes come with it?
Circulation socks: There are lots of circulation socks on the market for adults so if you have an older Rett Girl you can easily pick up circulation socks at your medical supply store. As for our younger, smaller girls we have found these Nike compression socks typically used for sports.
Keep her feet elevated: When your Rett Girl's feet are elevated it's much easier for the blood to get down to her feet and circulate back up. In the car you can keep feet up with this great foot rest. We have also heard that it works great when used with a booster seat attached to a chair.
Don't let her feet dangle: When feet are dangling not only is it harder for the body to pump blood but typically the back of the leg is stressed and can further hinder circulation. One of the places where feet dangle a lot is the bathroom. If you don't have a potty seat with a foot rest check out this one (for very young girls - this one is small). Or you can find a foot stool at a height that would keep your Rett Girl's knees at a 90 degree angle.
Massage: Massage works to speed circulation, you can even try this cream by Burts Bee's to stimulate the circulation even more.
We hope that these suggestions help in your Rett Girl's circulation. If you have found any additional resources please share them with us.