|Dante, 1880's edition|
OK, I'm being sarcastic. But man, that therapist had me so freaked out after that first session (I mean, really freaked out--oh-my-god he's-worse-than-I-thought, he'll-never-walk-- kind of freaked out) and then, lo and behold, she decides she was wrong. That the movement is not just in his hip flexor, but he also is moving the muscles in his thigh and ankle. The knee, now, seems to be a big problem area.
I, for one, agree with that. He has a terrible time bending the knee.
The second problem area is his "trunk control". The third is weight bearing on the right leg.
So at least we've identified some problems and we now have a couple of new exercises to address these problem areas. One of which is to have him sit at the edge of the bed, with me sitting next to him, arm around his shoulder, and kind of swaying/rocking back and forth. Another is (while Bob is lying flat) for me to actually push his leg and bend his knee up all the way to his chest and to have him try to push back. The first one is rather sort of fun, sort of like "seat dancing". The second is damn hard work for me, his leg is heavy.
But this second session went much better than the first.
The other day, I was dusting off the cabinet by Bob's bedside on top of which I have several old books displayed. I set the books down on the edge of the bed and heard Bob say one word, "Dante!"
This made my heart swell with joy.
You see, I am a long-time lover/collector of antique books, especially nineteenth century poetry books. Like any collector, I have a "wish list" of books I'd like to add to my collection. A long time ago, when Bob and I were first dating, I told Bob the story of The Dante that I didn't buy. I was in Concord, Mass. on vacation, with only a little money, and I ran into a gorgeous edition of Dante from the 1880's. I nearly bought it, but I didn't. I bought instead an 1836 volume of British poets, a beautiful two volume set, but I didn't have the extra money for the Dante. I bought the 1836 book because it was older and more "rare" and I figured I would find another copy of Dante somewhere down the line. But I never did find one, at least not in my price range. And I always regretted not buying that book.
Years later, Bob and I were out haunting antique shops, as we were like to do on our days off work, and he came up to me with his sly grin and whispered that he had found The Dante! I followed him, like an eager child, to the back of the store. And there it was, nearly the exact copy I had left behind years ago. It was priced at $20.00, a steal. I was ready to buy it immediately, but Bob took the book up to the cash register and, to my absolute horror, offered $12.00 for it. The shopkeeper countered with $15.00,
Well, just to hear Bob say "Dante" the other day. And not just the word, but the way he said it: Dante! So that I know he remembers that book and the story behind it. This, from the guy who still calls his leg an 'arm' and can't identify so many other objects....
It's times like this, I really do think he is coming back to me.
And I do hate to burst the story bubble here and tell you, truthfully, that the books I laid on the edge of the bed were Byron and Burns, not Dante... but heck, close enough. These days, I take what I can get!