Monday, July 25, 2011

Every night at dinner, we go around the table and ask Dad a question that he has to answer in a full sentence. Tonight, one of us was taking so long that he started asking himself his own questions and answering them. "What is your favorite music?" "I love opera!" "What is your favorite movie?" "Oh, a lot of movies!" etc. He was on a roll! He is always making progress and always surprising us with new words and sentences. And, of course, he is just as humorous as always!

One thing that is hard for my dad to do is do 2 things at once. Eating and talking, or walking and talking is difficult. We talk to him while he is walking and try to get him to say something back. A few months ago it was too difficult, but now he does it much more easily. It is still hard, but getting better!

My dad continues to work on therapy at home, despite the hot, humid weather! He works on it several hours a day and is very dedicated. He has probably 20 different exercises that he works on daily and rarely complains about the work.

Dad still has lots of time to do fun things during the day. Things such as coffee breaks, a pontoon ride on Lake Minnetonka, and evening walks to ice cream shops!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dad has been keeping busy these past few weeks. He is going to Sister Kenny several times each week for speech therapy and pool exercises. He also has gone a couple of times to meet with a personal fitness trainer, to figure out a routine that he can work on at a gym.

Aside from the therapies at Sister Kenny, Dad continues to keep busy at home with even more therapy. He has so many different things to be working on, that we finally made a list so that he can keep track of what he has done for the day. He is very diligent about working on it on his own now, which is great to see. He has speech exercises (working especially on his speaking, but also writing and reading skills), arm and hand exercises (working on things such as holding a ball and swinging a tennis racket), and leg exercises (working on strengthening his ankle hamstring).

After not working much with the arm for over a month, we've started several new exercises with him to try to improve his right arm and hand. One of the things we started a few days ago is tennis. We had a tennis ball attached to a string and hung it so that it is just above the waist. We got a neat mitt for the hand that helps Dad hold something by wrapping around his wrist and hand. This helps him hold the tennis racket, then Dad has to hit the ball! The first day was difficult, but now he is hitting the ball nearly every time. He has to work on raising his arm and then moving it forward. It's very tiresome for him, but he is definitely improving!

My dad surprises us every day with new words and phrases. When he says a single word, he often works at putting it into a sentence. It is difficult to think of the right verb, but trying to find the right verb is something he didn't even think about a couple months ago. I can only imagine how amazing it must feel for him now to be able to express himself at least a little bit. We are quite convinced that he will continue to regain his speech.

One new thing that my dad has been able to do is whistle. Because of the apraxia, Dad was not able to whistle. About a week or 2 ago though, he started whistling again!

Last weekend we went up to my dad's family's cabin. Most of the family was there and it was great to see everyone and enjoy the lake. Dad has always loved the hot summer weather, and spent most of the time sitting in the sun.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4