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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Good News, Bad News

We went back to Outpatient Rehab on Friday. Physical Therapy was painful to watch. Again they got Bob up on the parallel bars, and again, he is leaning way too far to the left. I wish I had a video, but I don't, so I will try to describe the scene. Imagine this:

Bob has his left hand on the parallel bar. His left shoulder (which should be straight up from there) is hanging outside the parallel bar about 6-7 inches. As well as his head. From there, travel down his body, left leg stuck straight at an angle and his right affected leg, crooked and bent and sort of dragging. Two therapists hang onto his gait belt. One in front of him and one behind and they attempt to straighten him upright. But he's a Leaning Tower of Pisa, totally at an angle, trying to take steps, toe to heel, like walking on a tight rope. Like he's trying to climb up a wall. As he takes steps, his right leg begins to bounce uncontrollably up and down. Then his torso twists and his whole body is falling to the left. And the therapists yank him back into his wheelchair.

It's heartbreaking to watch.

They also tried to get him in the standing machine again, but the therapist who got him in it the last time wasn't there, and these two therapists could not figure out the machine. So no luck there either.

Occupational Therapy was worse. This new OT has a "push through the pain" attitude. His last OT was the opposite, stopping at any sign of discomfort. The new OT did range of motion on Bob's right paralyzed arm and, I tell you, Bob kept crying out "OW! OW!" but the therapist kept telling him "no pain, no gain" and admonishing him that if he did not do his range of motion, his arm would end up horribly deformed and even more painful. By the end of that session, poor Bob was in tears.

Honest to God, that was painful for me to watch, too. And I don't know what to do. I'm afraid if the OT continues with that therapy, Bob will not want to go back. And she wants me to do this stuff at home, and I don't know if I can bear to do it, if I can cause Bob that much pain...

All I can say is: oh dear.

(Big heavy sigh here.)

But I titled this post "Good News, Bad News" so here's the good part:

A Second Starbucks! And Not a Single Drop Spilled!


Rebecca Dutton said...

Not a drop spilled AND Bob is looking up at the camera. By the way there are three zones of pain. 1. The pain-free zone that usually doesn't change anything. 2. The zone of discomfort which a person can tolerate. 3. The zone of agony which is counterproductive because muscles cannot relax here. The trick to staying in the discomfort zone is moving very slowly the instant you feel resistance. I bet you use this trick when you do Bob's neck range of motion.

Anonymous said...

I love the good news,but am sure the therapy is just as hard on you as him in some ways....Hang in there...

Anonymous said...

Love the picture of Bob enjoying his cup of Starbucks coffee. He looks happy and content there.

I have to disagree with the OT about no pain no gain. In my opinion if he can't tolerate the pain and is in agony with the forced movements, then it's too much. I agree with you, in that he will get to the point of refusing to take part in the OT if it continues. Hugs, Dan

Rebecca Dutton said...

The point of slowing down the instant you feel resistance is: 1) so Bob knows the therapist knows he is starting to feel discomfort and 2) the therapist can stop before he or she hurts Bob. Stopping gives you time to ask Bob if he can tolerate a little more or if you should stay where you are. Keeping Bob's trust and avoiding agony is paramount for success.

barbpolan said...

Great news about the coffee and his happy expression.

metalgirl162002 said...

It's awesome that he had a good time at Starbucks and you had better luck than last time!