Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Walking and talking and sorting and ice cream

Here’s both the Monday and Tuesday update on Ted. (I am in Waukegan at my company’s corporate HQ part of this week so the updates are a bit less frequent).

Monday and Tuesday were busy days with a lot of walking, mat exercises (for the left leg) and more work on the arm skateboard. Monday brought the first “auto-therapy” session – the facility has a full-sized car in the therapy gym! Ted is learning various new games as a part of his recreational therapy. Monday brought a rousing game of Tri-Ominos (think triangular dominos). Tuesday he did a sorting exercise while standing – working both the mind and the body. He said he was able to stand for 5 minutes before needing to sit down.

His left side continues to grow stronger – he had some involuntary movement of some of the fingers on his left hand and no longer has to wear the “boot” to keep his foot from drooping. The doctor says the left leg muscles are now strong enough to keep the foot in the proper position (no “Barbie Doll” toes).

Speech therapy has moved from exercises (not Ted’s favorite activity) to conversations with other stroke patients. Tuesday they played a game in which one of the group members had to describe a picture and the other members of the group had to guess the picture. (Sounds like reverse Charades – one of Ted’s favorite party games). Ted continues “unofficial” speech therapy burning up his cell phone. He was able to connect with the Chicago Cubs organization to determine how we can use our Cubs tickets for games the last week in May. It looks like we can exchange our “nosebleed” seats for tickets in the wheelchair accessible seats. (Ted says he’ll play the “handicapped card” if it gets him better seats!) Now we just have to figure out the part about getting him to the game. Disabled parking is available but driving to it … well – that’s something else again. Ted’s brother Rick will be coming to stay with us so the two brothers will have time to figure out the best way for both of them to get to the game.

The center has ongoing events with guest speakers. Tuesday was “Stroke Support Group”. Two stroke victims (both in their late 50’s) spoke about their experiences in recovery and the quality of their daily lives. They reminded the group that everyday will not bring victories and the progress is measured in small steps. Looking back to where you were a week ago is the best way to affirm your growth.

Tuesday evening brought an ice-cream social and a Cubs win. Overall an exciting but exhausting day.

Ted loves those visitors and is looking for people to stop by and help him eat all the goodies that folks have shared!


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