Bob has been "plateauing" for quite awhile now as far as his right leg is concerned. We have been doing the same daily leg exercises for nearly a year now, without much improvement in the movement of that leg. It's tedious and, often, heartbreaking work and, when you're not seeing any improvement, one sometimes begins to wonder: why bother?
Bob does try so hard. You should see the concentration on his face as he stares at that right leg willing it to move the way he wants it to--without much luck. That's the heartbreaking part of it.
The tedious bit comes from the fact that Bob still can't count so I have to sit with him and count off the repetitions. He can count to ten, but once past ten he gets all mixed up, i.e.: 10, 11, 17, 21, 24, 50! (Though I must admit, that's one way to get these exercises done quickly!) So I'm right there, every day, counting for him. He also forgets which exercise comes next, or will completely forget an exercise, even though we've been doing this same routine for over a year. Everything is so much harder when you throw the aphasia into the mix.
One of the exercises we do are leg lifts. This is done lying on the bed and is basically lifting the leg straight up. Bob could never lift his right leg up without first bending his left knee and pressing down on the bed with his left foot, thus pushing his right leg into the air.
So you can imagine our delight and surprise when this week Bob was able to actually lift that right leg into the air, without the help of his left leg! And not only that, he was able to do this smoothly without the usual jerking and jumping of his muscles. (OK, not every single time was it smooth, but several times it was smooth sailing all the way up and down.) It was so fun to watch, as each time Bob did a leg lift, he cried out, "Hey hey hey!!"
So it appears he's gaining more control over that confounded leg! And after all this time, finally, cracked that old plateau.
As they say, folks: Never give up.