Sunday, January 23, 2011

(Geoff with his fancy new beard)

Since my last update, my dad has grown a beard to help keep him a little warmer in this bitter winter weather. That's not the only change since my last post. On the contrary, that's one of the smaller changes!

The first bit of exciting news that has happened is that doctors were finally able to get my dad's IVC filter out that was in his leg. Two previous attempts in Chicago would make this try #3. Third time's the charm, right? It wasn't a big deal if the filter had been left in, but it's a relief to know that we don't have to deal with it anymore.

In therapy my dad is continuing to work with the LokoMat. It's very cool to watch the way it works. It makes him walk perfectly. The therapists work him hard on it, putting him on the top speed! (We'll try to post a picture of this in the next update.) He never uses a cane while indoors anymore. He uses it outside to be safe and in busy public places, but is becoming more confident all the time. My dad has also started water therapy at Sister Kenny. He says he enjoys the therapy.

Speech is continues to slowly improve. He can read out loud more and more. We'll often have him read signs that he can see from the car, which he can do a lot of the time. He is speaking more and can so much more often say what's on his mind. Often times it's just a word at the start, but he'll say phrases and every now and then a full sentence, as we ask him more questions. He has an amazing sense of direction and always knows where we are. We've been working with him on saying 'right turn' and 'left turn' so we always know where to go!

We continue with the electrical stimulation at home on his arm and wrist, as well as his ankle now. His continues to make substantial progress. The one thing we're working on specifically right now is releasing his hand. He can squeeze it into a fist quite easily, but needs to practice releasing the squeeze. He's getting closer!

"Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy." John 16:22

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Just a quick little update!

Today was my dad's third day of therapy at Sister Kenny, and both he and my mom agree that it is excellent! Yesterday in speech therapy, the therapist had him do a Test of Higher Thinking and Logic to see where he was in his thinking skills. My dad got 100%- a perfect A! The therapist said that his score was above average for people his age, with his education who hadn't had a stroke! Woohoo!

Tomorrow in therapy they are going to try my dad on a LocoMat- a robotic leg. There are not a great amount of these, so it will be exciting to use it and see how it works!

(The picture is of my dad with his 51st birthday cake- a Czech Honey Cake that he first had on his bike trip in Europe with Sam.)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year everybody!

Our Christmas was wonderful, and it was great getting together with family. My dad has had a nice break from therapy these past 2 weeks, but he seems eager to start up again.
He'll be starting therapy at Sister Kenny this upcoming week, and will continue to work on physical, occupational, and speech therapy, as well as aqua therapy.

Although he hasn't been going to 'real' therapy, we've been keeping him busy with our own projects. My dad will walk around the house, or we'll head to a mall so he can get some walking in. We feel that his hamstring has strengthened these past few weeks, and his walking keeps improving.

We work his right arm and hand quite a bit at home. He continues to wear the electrical stimulant 6 hours a day. He has gotten to the point now where he has enough strength to pull out a chair from the table with his right arm/hand! It takes a lot of concentration, but it's great progress!

His speech is always improving. Research says that you will have days when your speech seems great, then it falls back to where it was the day before. These 'down' days seem to occur less and less. He can read single words aloud. Yesterday we were looking at a children's dictionary and for the first time he was able to read over 50 words aloud to us! This is huge progress! The accuracy of his words and the sentences he's able to say is improving every day!

Today is my dad's 51st birthday! We all sang him 'Happy Birthday' this morning and he sang along too, singing every word with perfect accuracy! No big plans for today, except for as my dad says, 'PARTY!' So party we will, and enjoy the new year!

"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." -Zephaniah 3:17

(picture is from this Christmas Eve)