Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Five months in and still going ...

Hello everybody, it's Jon back with you posting. Sorry to start each one of these the same way, but I truly am sorry it has been so long since the last post. We have marked another milestone in our journey, as last Thursday was exactly five months after the stroke. I really expected to be farther along at this point, but most of that is probably due to our naivete (I prefer that word to stupidity) based on this being my first and hopefully last, serious brain injury.

We continue to make progress in therapy, although there haven't been any major breakthroughs in a while. Some of the highlights include: running (with a little assistance) in physical therapy, doing significant work on all fours in occupational therapy, and being able to use my left hand much more effectively and efficiently at home. It is also almost easy for me to get on all fours now, and to see why that is such a big deal, you need to go back a little in the blog and read about our experience the first time I tried it at Hillcrest! I don't get nearly as good of stories out of it now, though.

It was evaluation day in occupational therapy today and they actually put some numbers to my movements to compare with previous attempts. I don't know exactly how much I have improved, but it is substantial, just slower than I had hoped.

We go back to the physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor next week for our first visit in almost three months. We are hoping for good reports. And I know I've talked about it before, but we are expecting to cut back on both therapy schedules some following that appointment. We should drop to two days a week in OT and one day a week in PT with much more of an emphasis on homework and exercises between visits. I have mixed feelings about that because I enjoy the push and expertise we get at the appointments. I will have to get better about finding time at home to get it all done.

There has been some frustration at my progress over the past couple of weeks, and each time, God was there with a reminder of just how blessed I really am. Last week, I shared therapy time with a man who had a stroke similar to mine. His stroke occurred a year and a half ago, he is still confined to a wheelchair and has less use of his left arm than I have. But every word that came out of his mouth was positive about his situation and encouraging about mine. What a great message he delivered without even realizing it. Then today, during the occupational therapy evaluation, during my highest moment of frustration, I could hear the burn victim in the room next to me crying because of the pain he was in. But he refused to stop working and continued with therapy despite the obviously excruciating pain he felt. Please don't misunderstand me; I don't think God was showing me the misfortune of others to make me feel better about myself. That's not how it works or how I meant it. I think the message was that I can't spend time feeling sorry for myself because I will miss opportunities to improve.

I hope that last paragraph makes sense and my real meaning came through. Maybe that's why I don't update more often. :) I also continue to be blessed with amazing support from my family, friends, co-workers and people too numerous to mention. (Some of you probably deserve your own category anyways.) Thanks to all of you, I appreciate your continued support and interest in our progress and journey. We will write again soon, hopefully sooner than the last few times, but I can't promise that. Take care and God Bless!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jon:

    Okay, you are not going to believe this but I just lost the post I just wrote. Went to send it and evidently the internet went down. So now I have to try to remember what I said. Frustration, right?

    So glad to see the update as I check each day to see if anything else has been written. I figure if I don't see anything then all is well and everyday life is rolling along.

    Frustration is one of the biggest obstacles we face each day. I am so glad you have a support group who encourages you....just don't let yourself get too tired. Being tired causes frustration to set in and if you become physically/emotionally tired it can break you.

    I am very moved by your paragraph about the man who had a stroke and how he ministered to you. You never know when we will be called to minister to someone, that is why we are supposed to treat each other as if they were angels. I don't believe God makes someone suffer so that we'll feel better about ourselves, but I do believe that He uses whatever He can to help us learn. My heart broke when I read about the burn victim and I pray he will improve and that his pain lessens.

    My eyes tear up when I think that we could have lost you. You are a miracle, Jon, and there are so many of us who thank God every day for you.

    So, "stay the course," "a thousand points of light," (you have to hear those quotes as being said by Pres. George H. W. Bush--or Dana Carvey doing Bush on SNL). Just keep on keepin' on.

    Prayers continue to flow for all of you.