Water therapy has been good. Dad has been working hard, doing both arm and leg therapies in the pool. He can do things in the water that he can’t do on land, and seems to be getting more arm movement through water exercises. With his arm supported by two floats, he can now move it straight out, across his chest, and to his side. He can also take a weighted float and pull it under the water and down by his side. It’s a lot of work, but getting easier. It's so cool to see the progress he's been making. The improvements are moving over to normal activities as well, and it's fun to see what new things he can do!
We bought him a ball the other day for work on his hamstring. He sits in a chair, and with his right foot/leg on top of it, he pushes the ball forward and back. This, too, is a lot of work for him and takes a lot of concentration. The physical therapist has told him that the movement is all there; it’s more of matter of helping the brain sort out when it needs to use which muscle. This is a great encouragement!
The PT (who works specifically on my dad’s leg) also told my dad the other day that with his positive attitude and ability to correct himself, and the fact that the movement really is there still, he feels my dad has the potential to keep making lots of gains and progress with his leg.
One of the hardest things to do with his leg is lifting it into the car. He tries to lift it up, and it lifts up, but it lifts up straight and then catches on the door. This is one of the reasons we need to get that hamstring and hip flexor to kick in!
My sisters decided to get out our board game, Catan, for the first time since my dad’s stroke. This is a game that they, especially my dad, were all pretty hooked on last year. Amazingly, my dad did really well -- only the trading part was a little confusing for him. Still, by the time they decided to quit for the evening, he was winning!
He also plays Bananagrams with my grandmother every other night.
In the midst of this tough time, my dad insists he is not suffering as much as others. He seldom complains, and continues to be his gracious -- and often funny -- self. He makes us all laugh everyday.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."