Archive for May, 2008


i know it has been frustratingly long since an update–some internet issues delayed me every time.  and i was finishing an update on tuesday which i will still paste on here when mike interrupted me with a short seizure.  it was short but i took him into the ER for checking on it and they said basically that small “breakthough” ( as in breaking through all his antiseizure drugs he is on) are “acceptable” as long as they are not happening often.  that ER doc thought even every 6 months would not be unusual to expect.  so it was fine but always time and energy consuming.  so here is tuesday’s update…

i still don’t quite get used to the rapid pace and fast turns this life leads us through.  It is always hard for me to say exactly what progress mike is making in therapy.  They work on small gains in strength and range of motion that build up to something bigger.  So recently they have worked on mike grabbing at a ball in the air in various places to strengthen his neck movement and eye-hand coordination.  He works on speech exercises to strengthen the various muscles involved in swallowing.  He also works on strengthening short-term memory during speech.  And in physical therapy he sometimes spends half an hour up on his feet strapped into a tilt table, or sitting upright learning strength and balance or exercising leg muscles while lying down.  These are all building incrementally. 

Other significant gains include new glasses with a thick prism on one side meant to help his double vision.  It does not completely fix his sight but corrects it enough to encourage his brain to complete the job over time.  I have learned an incredibly useful way of transferring mike from bed to chair with a squat pivot method instead of always depending on the mechanized lift.  It is about 15 minutes faster and could theoretically work anywhere. It might broaden our world someday in some way.  Another major (though currently unreliable) change is mike’s ability to sit in his wheelchair for up to 4, even 5 hours.  He has a new chair cushion that he mostly likes (somedays he still hates it—arghhh).  This definitely could broaden our world. 

Mike’s therapists have shared with me that they may be reaching the extent of what they are able to do with mike at this time.  They are seeing less and less success in mike’s ability to participate in the therapy exercises they ask of him.  He initially seemed very committed and they are seeing less consistency in that attitude.  It is difficult to separate out the variables that could impact his performance.  Simple difficulty in processing cognitively and quickly, or motivation or physical difficulty all impact mike.  Mike claims he is working hard and so any suspicion otherwise I have to abandon.  But whatever the culprit, if mike is less able to make progress in therapy he will soon be discharged and encouraged to keep practicing all he has learned at home.  This at first seems a hard reality but it is the way of therapy and the way therapy always ends.  Mike, in our experience, does benefit from more time so even after discharge from therapy I feel certain he will make gains and head back for another round before too long.

Please pray for his perseverance and for our family’s endeavor to carve out a new normal on a month to month or day to day basis.

Living on grace, michelle

May 15, 2008 at 7:21 pm 7 comments


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