Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Advantages of Floating in the Middle of the Sea

This week's update brings a couple of fun things relating to Ted's therapy.
Part of the work on regaining use of the left hand is to do various gripping and squeezing exercises with a soft exercise ball. We found the perfect item for at home therapy in a Christmas gift of a few years ago - the "Abby Normal" brain from Mel Brooks' musical "Young Frankenstein". Thanks Laura and Jonathan.
Ted was able to connect with personal trainer Joey at X-Sport Fitness (the gym where Ted has a membership) and they are working up a plan to have their sessions supplement those with Marion Joy and build on the exercises from the rehab sessions. Ted cannot wait to get back to swimming and doing regular workouts at the gym.

This past week also brought a checkup with Ted's neurologist. Dr. D (as we call him since we can neither spell nor pronounce his last name!) is pleased with Ted's progress telling Ted to keep on doing what he has been doing. We expect Ted's checkup in December to be their last meeting and for Ted to be fully transitioned to his regular physician at that time. By the way - Ted was pleased to be able to drive out to the appointment and back (in Warrenville) with no assistance from Michelle. That's the longest trip he has taken by himself thus far and quite an accomplishment.

Our social life continues to be busy. Ted and his assistant Dale try to "hang out" at least once a week to talk work and "other stuff".

This must be the week for parties on lakes. On Wednesday, we had a wonderful time at Cynthia and Jim Rogers' place on Third Lake with our Las Vegas friend Sharon Tiesdell-Smith who was in town. The night out on the boat for drinks and munchies and the brats off the grill were all just wonderful. (Though we realized we should have used a bit more mosquito repellant - itchy the next day!). Great friends and great fun! On Friday, we celebrated the 50th birthdays of our good friends Linda and Lou Carouso who threw a combined party in the Glen Ellen Boat House on the lake in the park district. Though we were in the boat house this lake was a bit small for anything beyond paddle boats! Again - a grand time with good friends.

The upcoming week is already very busy starting with church followed by theater on Sunday as we go to see Kevin Long's production of "Sunday in the Park with George". (Hm .. there's that lake theme again). Monday brings a trip up to Northwestern University to attend their production "Diva, Diva, Diva" highlighting the talents of Alene Robertson, Paula Scorfano and Hollis Resnik singing the songs that made them Chicago's greatest divas. While we don't look forward to the drive we love hearing Alene perform (along with Paula and Hollis).
On Tuesday night Ted and Kevin Long and some of the St. Patrick's High School Alumni with whom Ted and Kevin did shows at St. Pat's will be getting together for dinner before the boys head back off to college. Wednesday Ted's work group is celebrating the August Birthdays at a local Thai restaurant. As for the rest of next week - we will probably spend it recovering!

That's all for this week dear readers. Thanks, as always for all your support.
Tune in next week for the restaurant reviews and the latest adventures of the Mighty Ted.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Shut up and drive

As I write the update today Ted is at the Summer Place's closing performance of "Kiss Me Kate", somewhat of a milestone as this performance closed the run of not only the show and the 2009 Summer Place season but Summer Place's residency at Naperville Central High School. Though I was not there to hear it, I'm sure that Ted did another great job of the pre-curtain announcement and letting the audience know to stay tuned to the Summer Place website for details of next season. In other Summerplace news, a good time was had by all at last week's Kiss Me Kate Singalong. The group was small but what was lacked in numbers was made up in enthusiasm. Though Ted wishes his singing voice would come back quicker the rest of us think he is doing very well.

This week marked the end of the Midwestern Stroke Study with Ted. He turned in the GPS belt with all the data for the last time and, on Wednesday, went back to Marion Joy for another 6 minute timed test. Ted almost doubled the distance he could cover since the first test though it was still very challenging for both Ted and Sara (sometimes known as "Drill Sergant Sara") to be quiet during the test.

Ted is really enjoying the fact that he is now free to drive, taking himselt to Starbucks, the barbershop for his summer "buzz cut" and the DGPL library (to visit, pick up more videos, books and some Wii games) and both of us to Church and out for lunch when we feel like a special treat. Note on the "buzz cut" - he came home with a totally shaved head figuring it would take longer to grow out than the buzz and feeling a bit like Yul Brenner and Daddy Warbucks! (Works for me).

Speaking of special treats, since August is Ted's birthday month he has been getting birthday cards from various restaurants (with a special birthday discount, thank you very much). On Friday night we took advantage of his White Fence Farm gift indulging in Fried Chicken, Corn Fritters and all the rest of the "fixin's". After dinner we headed out to one of our favorite first run movie theaters to see "Julie and Julia". For anyone who loves Julia Child, it is well worth the price of admission (even at first run prices!). Great film and some interesting insights about Julia's early career and some of her mannerisms on the early cooking shows. (We won't spoil it for you - just go see the film then go to your local library and pick up her early "French Chef" series on DVD. Great fun).

Therapy, both at Marion Joy and at home via Wii Fit, continues. The left arm is still very slow to come back with movement in the fingers and more ability to grip with the thumb and first finger but no piano playing yet. They tell us the fine motor skills are the last to come back and to be patient but it is very hard at times.

We continue to keep the faith and know that all of you do as well. Thanks for your prayers and your comments both via this blog and via Ted's facebook page. If you are a facebook friend, thank you. He absolutely loves your comments, notes, etc. (If you are not and are on facebook, please "friend" him. He would love to have you in his network).

I don't "do" facebook but am on Linked In so ... see you there.

Michelle (and Ted)

Monday, August 3, 2009

You could drive a person crazy!

Good news!

Ted passed his Marion Joy Driving Certification on Monday, got approval from his Dr., we got the Vibe equipped for one-handed driving (spinner knob and cross-over turn signal) on Friday and Ted took his first solo drive since April 26th. The folks at Starbucks are very happy to see him back on the road. (Of course those of you who are his facebook friends already know all this!)

As if that was not enough excitement for one week (or has it been 2 weeks since the last update?) we also became Cosco devotees last week. (For those of you who don't know about Cosco it's similar to Sam's Club and much closer to our house).

We joined a week ago Friday and have already made several shopping trips - the biggest purchase being the Wii and Wii Fit. It's a lot of fun (Ted enjoyed watching me make a fool of myself on the downhill ski slalom - he's getting very good at it) and Ted has been hitting new levels of expertize every day unlocking more and more fun balance games and other programs. He is getting to be quite the expert on Wii Sports bowling but baseball and golf will be a bit of a challenge until the left arm and fingers are more functional.

We are looking into acupuncture as a possible additional therapy - we have met several people who believe it has been a great help to them.

Excursions included the Naperville Summer Place production of Kiss Me Kate at North Central High School. It's a great production - both looking and sounding great. Hard to believe last night was only their 2nd performance. (Go see it next weekend if you are in the area - worth your time!) Ted, as board president, did the opening Welcome / Pre-Curtain Speech. Good to see him on stage again. His speech therapists would have been proud to hear him using the S.L.O.B (Speak Slowly, Loudly, Over Articulate and Breath) - he was easily understood all the way to the back of the house!

We plan to join the cast next Wednesday for their Kiss Me Kate Singalong. Expect it to be a lot of fun!

We had a delightful time this past week when our 10 year old Godson (Evan Weiger) spent the night with us (well .. with his Uncle Ted) before he and his family left on their vacation to Florida. Evan and Uncle Ted had a grand time down in the "man cave" staying up late, watching movies and eating popcorn. We were quite amused (and relieved) that Evan was more interested in James Bond's chase scenes than the "gushy stuff" in "Golden Eye". Both Uncle and Godson agreed they would do it again before Evan goes back to school in the fall.

Other visitors included our dear friends Tom and Judy Ringo, from Long Beach, Indiana, who were kind enough to come over on a day trip. We had a great time catching up on all their trips and just being good friends.

In between therapy sessions, which continue to go well, and our other activities we live and die with our Chicago Cubs (At the moment I write this they are tied for 1st place with the Cardinals -both teams lost on Sunday- but who knows what tomorrow will bring?). We continue to appreciate all the love and support we receive from all of you - those we see in church and other parts of our lives, those we "see" on facebook and those who keep up with us via the blog.

Though we may not say it directly, know that we are so very grateful to all of you!

Michelle and "The Mighty" Ted