Monday, October 25, 2010

Once again, it is Clara narrating.

We have had a busy couple of weeks here with lots of friends and family visiting us. We were able to head downtown Chicago with some dear friends of ours from Montevideo and see the musical 'The Lion King.' It was such a fantastic night, which we all thoroughly enjoyed. This past weekend, MEA, two of my dad's siblings and their families came for a visit. It was great spending time with them, and enjoying the perfect autumn weather.

Rehab has been going well. My dad no longer brings his wheelchair to therapy, which means great progress! He hardly ever uses his wheelchair anymore. He uses a cane, and his walking skills improve everyday! Today in therapy, the therapist had him walking with no brace on for an hour! That was very exciting.

My dad got into the research study at the main R.I.C. branch in downtown Chicago, and we decided to go ahead and be a part of the study. We feel it was a good decision. He goes downtown twice a week, and for a couple hours therapists stimulate his arm/wrist, and his ankle with electrodes and vibrations. The muscles react to these, and send messages to the brain that they're still there! It's a cool study. My dad says that it also feels very relaxing.

Speech and communication remain the hardest and most discouraging things for my dad, though the past couple weeks have been an encouragement. He is saying so many more things! Often if he works really hard, he can say a word or two that he really wants to say. He can also watch our lips, then repeat what we just said. At this point, I think we get more excited about little things like this, because we notice it right away! But I think it's encouraging for him, too. My dad's writing skills are improving a lot, as well.

Leaves are finally starting to fall here. We've found a perfect nature park reserve right on a lake where we like to take walks. We typically walk about 1/2 a mile, sometimes more. My day walks the whole time, and enjoys the fresh air.

(FYI- All the pictures that we post on the blog are not new pictures. They are pictures from previous times. Sorry for any confusion.)

"So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him." -2 Corinthians 5

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

my dad has just begun his fourth week here at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and things are going well. the therapists love my dad's cheerful, hard-working personality, and he never fails to make them laugh. Geoff has been doing some preliminary studies to see if he can participate in some studies through the main RIC facility in the downtown area, so we're excited to see how that progresses.

dad continues to walk about 1/2 mile daily, and often takes on the bike or treadmill at therapy; we've been digging around to find new trails and parks in the area that we can stroll through for a more scenic walk! the weather here has been beautiful, so we try and take advantage of the outdoors as much as possible.

Etty and our aunt drove up this past weekend to visit us, which was such a treat! it was wonderful to catch up with them and to get a little update on life back in MN!

this past Wednesday my dad had a scan done revealing that the clot that had been in his lower right leg since the stroke had healed enough that a vascular surgeon could attempt to remove the filter that had been inserted during his time at North Memorial. it will be removed this upcoming Thursday.

RIC has also given us an electrical stimulation kit to take home and hook up to his right arm. studies show that use the stimulation 6 hours a day has aided in activating the nerves which trigger muscle movement again.

dad continues to work on writing/speech as much as possible, writing words, lists, and continuing to try to speak as much as possible, a constant challenge and the biggest hurdle in the healing process.