Sunday, July 5, 2009

I'm still here

We have been rather busy of late and are way overdue on an update so .. here are highlights from the last few weeks.

On the "rehab front", Ted's sessions continue to go well with Outpatient Occupational and Physical Therapy three times per week. The focus is on walking with a Single Tip cane (we hope to get the "script" for the new cane next Wednesday when Ted sees the doctor at Marion Joy). He continues to work on balance doing Wii Fit games (gotta love those Penguins. Anyone know a place where you can get a good deal on a Will console? So far the best price we have seen is $250 on and at Best Buy).

As Ted continues to gain control over his left arm and hand he is working on grasping items with his left thumb and finger (He was able to open a bottle of root beer with a bottle opener at home last week!) using cones, balls and other therapeutic devices. We have "homework" each session to work on stretches and other exercises to reinforce the work of therapy.

We continue to lead a very busy lifestyle with multiple "outings" - the most extensive being the trip to South Dakota June 19th - 21st to be a part of our youngest niece's wedding. The people at Southwest Airlines and on the shuttle from the airport to pick up our car at the offsite parking could not have been nicer. Ted took his own wheelchair and was driven all the way to the door of the airplane where they stowed his chair. First on / last off - what a great help to getting us around!

Wedding reception highlights include lots of Kareoke (spell??) singing by all including "That Ain't my Truck" (a family favorite of the bride's family including her Uncle Ted and Aunt Michelle) and a solo rendition of "Wild Thing (Thang)" by Uncle Ted. Michelle's favorite moment was the last dance of the nite with Ted - no chair or cane! It was wonderful and very special.

Once home from the wedding Ted reconnected with the team from Midwestern University continuing their study on stroke patients. (Too bad they were not monitoring him the week of the wedding!). During the time Ted was wearing the Pedometer and GPS he made it to Summer Place Board Meetings, to dinner with Steve Ziedler (thanks Steve), Starbucks and to the library a few times. Other outings include movies at our favorite 2nd run movie theaters, taking advantage of summer specials at favorite restaurants and lunches with Mary V.; the DGPL Administrative office and other friends. Ted had a great day with Nick McClure just being silly and yes, going out to lunch! Thanks to all for lovely lunches and great times!

On the home front, Ted continues to work on increasing his stamina and ability to go further without the use of his chair. He has walked into Starbucks and the library several times. Though he used the chair, he spent last Saturday (while the library was closed for Heritage Fest) supervising the upgrade of the DGPL computer network and reconfiguring the PC's for the changes that were made. Though still out on sick-leave it felt great for Ted to learn what he can do and what areas will be of focus in upcoming therapy sessions. It was fun working with his assistant Dale G. and Dale's brother Danny. Thanks Guys!

We have Michelle's cousin Steve (yes the one who had the stroke last year and has posted on this site) visiting with us over the 4th of July weekend. Steve was able to drive, alone, from St. Louis and is getting along nicely with his cane and a leg brace. He and Ted have spent time comparing their experiences as well as their medications and leg braces.

Ted is getting quite speedy at home, using the kitchen cabinets as a way to get his breakfast and lunch from the refrigerator to the table without assistance. He has even "shown off" by walking across the family with no cane. His biggest accomplishment has been mastery of the stairs from the main floor to the master bedroom. He is now able to sleep upstairs in "his own bed". We will leave the bed in the "man cave" for a while - Ted still takes his showers there and it gives him a place to sit and finish dressing - but he is quite confident in moving around in our bedroom and bath to do much of his morning routines. Great progress for which we are thrilled.

As always, thanks to all for you prayers and support. We could not do this without you.
We know others are going through tough times as well. Know are prayers are will all of you!

Michelle & Ted.

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