Sunday, September 28

Determination

After yesterday’s long but wonderful day we weren’t sure how Jackie was going to feel.  He had three therapy sessions today, two of which were in the morning.  We let him sleep in as long as we could.  We went to the gym with him for his 9am PT session since we did not know the therapist.  She was a very nice, gentle staffer who has works at Magee’s outpatient facility.  She worked well with Jackie and did a nice job of letting him know everything she was doing and why.  By the end of the session Jackie took a couple steps by the wall and then using the rail.  PTL

After a quick stop in his room to get some meds, we went to the second floor terrace so Jackie could rest in the sunshine. He had his ear buds in and drifted off to his favorite music.

OT was next and once again we accompanied Jackie to the gym. One of the younger therapists was assigned to Jackie.  We had seen her before in the gym, but she never worked with us.  She recently moved to the fifth floor gym for rotational learning.  Jackie enjoyed her company.  They both played basketball in high school.  Stretching was first on the agenda and then trunk work.  Putting a balloon on the overhead lift allowed it to be repositioned in different places so Jackie had to continue to reach further to get it.  Then something small but incredible happened.  Jackie ever so slightly moved his left arm to tough the balloon.  Jim and I both had a tear in our eye as we clapped loudly to celebrate. PTL This is such a hopeful sign that with time, his left side will re-engage.

To our surprise Jackie’s determination was getting him through the day with great results!  Since his speech session was in just an hour, we went back to the room and kept Jackie in his chair.  He had to get some noon nutrition anyway, and weight shifts allowed him to stay comfortable.  We knew his weekend speech therapist as Jackie has had her before.  Becca had prepared her with everything she needed and ultimately it was a good session with a decent amount of verbalization.  PTL

Jackie was now extremely ready for his nap.  He fell asleep right away and slept peacefully.  When he woke up it was time for the Eagles game.  Jackie was hungry so we ventured down to the dining room and ate and watched the game with many other bird fans.  Since this is still a fairly new experience for Jackie,  I asked him if the noise and activity bothered him.  He responded with a thumbs down.  We are making progress!

Next up was a shower and then bed. Jackie surprised us today.  His determination drove more baby steps.  At one point during OT when he was starting to engage his left arm he began to spasm on his right side and cried out.  After a little bit of muscle massaging he tried engaging the left arm again, knowing that pain could follow.  He could have just given up, but he kept pushing knowing it wasn’t going to be easy.  None of this is easy.  But on days like today, will and determination won out.  PTL

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.
~Martin Luther King Jr.

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