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Thursday, June 12, 2014


We continue to go to both PT/ST two times a week. Bob is really enjoying it, though it's getting harder for me to push him the six blocks there and back in summertime heat! I tell you, I turn up looking like a drenched rat. Somedays, I wonder why I even bother to comb my hair before we leave the house!

Stretching Exercises
At PT, they are working mostly on stretching exercises, these being done manually by the therapist, i.e. the PT bending and stretching Bob's legs as Bob has such limited mobility and they also are stretching his neck. I'm glad to have PT's doing this, as I don't think that physically I would be strong enough to do it.

Then they help Bob with bit of standing (unfortunately Bob has not yet taken a step) and weight shifting while standing. Bob also does about ten minutes on the NuStep, which he enjoys. Each time they transfer him, from wheelchair to NuStep and back, or from wheelchair to exercise mat and back, they do this with a "stand and pivot" maneuver.  The therapists tell me that Bob is getting better at the stand and pivot, but to me it still looks like the PT is doing all the work....

Speech therapy is going very well and Bob really enjoys it, though, I can tell he is often very frustrated when he can't find the right word. I must say, I like this therapist more and more and she really has a good rapport with Bob. She is trying to engage Bob in actual conversation, asking him to describe the "walk over" from our house to therapy, i.e. what he saw and felt. A conversation which goes something like this:

ST: Hi Bob! How was your walk over?

Bob: I don't know.

ST: Oh, of course you know! How's the weather out there?

Bob: Um...

ST: Well, it's summer and we're in Florida, so, I'm guessing, it was probably --- HA (making the first sound for the word "hot")

Bob: Hot!

ST: Right!  And you came in wearing your sunglasses, so I'm guessing that it was SA (making the first sound for the word "sunny")

Bob: Sunglasses!

ST: Well, that's what you were wearing, but I'm guessing you were wearing sunglasses because the sun was BRRRR  (first sound for the word "bright")

Bob: Cold!

ST (laughs): No, not cold. Bright! The sun was bright!

Bob: Bright!

ST: So it was Hot and Bright and what else, Bob?

Bob: I don't know.

ST: Well, how did you feel?

Bob: Hot.

ST: And when you feel hot, you SWW  (first sound of the word "sweat")

Bob: Huh?

ST: Sweat. You sweat, right?

Bob: Oh. Right.

ST: So, let's see. It was Hot and Bright and Sweaty. Right?

Bob: Right.

ST: Can you tell me that, Bob? Can you tell me it was Hot, Bright and Sweaty? I'll ask you again. How was your walk over?

Bob: Um... Hot.... Bright... and Cold!


But, unlike Bob's last ST who "taught" Bob gestures instead of talking---and I mean this was really weird -- to the point of ridiculous, i.e. why would Bob (who only has one working arm) need to learn a gesture to request a pair of scissors? I mean, what will he be using scissors for? That sounds rather dangerous. I wouldn't give him a pair of scissors if he asked!  Or worse, why would Bob (who can't eat) need to learn a gesture for "pass the salt"???  Jeepers. Anyway, this new ST wants Bob to stop relying so much gestures and start talking, instead.

Which sounds like a good plan. And I'm all for it.


Theresa Loder said...

That sounds great that they are engaging Bob in conversation.. Wow it has been hot Diane and lots of rain.. You are a trooper...
Hope you find a home soon..
Rick is feeling better today.. Not as sore
He was just asking me about doing that leg stretch on the bed like they are doing for Bob

I'll try anything ..


Barb Polan said...

Wonderful! I'm glad he's getting the attention he deserves.

Anonymous said...

I am puzzled about something. Have you ever tried to get Bob a power wheelchair? Was it denied? If anyone needs a power w/c, it is Bob.720

J.L. Murphey said...

Now might be the time to invest in an electric wheelchair for Bob. He might even enjoy the freedom and independence...once he learns how to operate it.

At least you have the stamina and dexterity to push his wheelchair and warm weather.

Diane said...

Regarding the power wheelchair, and yes, that is on "the list" of things to buy once we get the settlement money. Unfortunately, the manual wheelchair he has now was ordered 3 1/2 years ago and, at that time, I had asked about a power wheelchair and was told, by the therapist doing the wheelchair evaluation, that she didn't Bob could handle a power chair because of his brain damage. I didn't know then, but have found out since, that there is "attendant controls" meaning I could control his power chair for him, holding a remote in my hand, if he could not. But comes down to, Medicare pays for one wheelchair every 5 years... so this has not been an option for us. That said, his manual wheelchair barely squeaks through our back door and I know he needs a wider chair, and I don't think a power chair would get through the back door (at least not one that would be comfortable for him) so I guess it will be, on the list, priority wise -- first find a new house with a wider door to the ramp! and then order a power chair... it will happen... but will take time... so I deal with this day by day

Jenn said...

ST does sound terrific! Kudos to her for wanting Bob to talk instead of just gesture! Yessss! And someday real'll be driving Bob in a lift van with A/C!

Rebecca Dutton said...

Everything sounds good except for you struggling with the wheelchair. I didn't know I was getting better until my PT told me she was helping less. Stretching done right does feel wonderful. ST sounds good too. A practical conversation instead of doing pointless drills out of a manual.