So imagine my surprise when the PT states that he has felt Bob squeeze his hand! I tell you, I didn't believe him. So the PT had me take Bob's hand and he asked Bob to squeeze it.
And to my amazement, I felt a squeeze. A little squeeze. But a squeeze! It felt like an "inner squeeze" sort of coming from inside his hand. I couldn't believe it, I really thought I just imagined it, because I didn't see Bob's hand move, only felt this little squeeze. Then, Bob did it again, on command.
All I can say is "WOW!" After four years of no movement, this is nothing short of a small miracle!
The technique the PT used was this: He had Bob lean back as far as he could in the wheelchair, hold his head as upright as he could, shoulders back -- this position, the PT says, "opens the nerve pathways to the brain". He told Bob to visualize energy flowing from his brain and "zapping" his right hand. Then, he also had Bob visualize the actual activity of squeezing his hand. Here's a video I took after that first, phenomenal, squeeze:
The PT also used another technique which he refers to as a "distraction" technique. This method is to distract the brain from the activity you want to perform by adding other, easier movements, simultaneously. In this way, the brain has a more spontaneous response. In this video, the PT has Bob move his head from left to right then squeeze his hand.
This PT thinks that Bob can regain the use of that right hand/arm. Though I'm not holding my breath.... I guess, I don't want my hopes dashed. So we'll see what happens...
In other news, Bob celebrated his 56th birthday last week. I asked him what he wanted to do to celebrate and he said "shopping!" So we spent another afternoon at an antique mall. Though I must say this antique mall had the steepest wheelchair ramp in the world. I had to get help to get him up and down.... grrr But! We had fun and that's what counts!