My dad’s speech pathologist came in this week and tested my dad’s swallowing. He decided that my dad’s swallow has gotten a lot better, and he is now aloud to eat anything he wants! My dad is really excited for this! He’s going out to lunch today downtown to have sushi, which he’s really looking forward to. He’s also really looking forward to being able to go to boogie’s burger and have a burger.
His physio is continuing to improve his arm movements. They are still testing out power wheelchairs for him, and have almost perfected it. He will most likely order a wheelchair soon. He is getting quite good at steering the chairs. They have him go in elevators and through obstacle courses. Hopefully next week they will be able to loan him one for the week, so he can get around all by himself.
Here is a message from Stewart:
Since that video of my first day on the bike, I’ve been on it every day for half an hour; I’ve even missed breakfast so as not to miss this therapy. Just to be clear: I’m not pushing the pedals, the pedals are pulling me. But, in my mind, I try to push the pedals. So far, I’ve ridden 10 days. But these pedals help move my muscles and improve blood circulation in my legs and may have helped my nervous system make some improvements lately…more on that in the future (with video).
“It’s about the millimetres”, said Will Gadd to me. I’m trying to move forward, and sometimes it’s a millimetre forward, and sometimes it’s a millimetre backward, and one morning last week, it was a millimetre forward. A therapist was helping me bend my finger joints to keep them limber, while I sat there with my eyes closed. Suddenly, she said “Did you just move your thumb on purpose?”. “What?”, I asked her. She said “You just moved the tip of your thumb a millimetre.” I told here I hadn’t consciously moved my thumb.
In fact, what I was doing with my eyes closed was imagining that I was moving all the fingers of my left hand. She said “Do it again.”, and once again I imagined moving the fingers in my left hand, and my right thumb wiggled. A little while later I notice a slight flicker in my right index finger and my left ring finger. Later in the day, I was able to replicate this behaviour for my girlfriend Julie.
A few days later, I received a suggestion to practice moving my fingers mentally, both hands at the same time. Within days I could move both thumbs about a millimetre.
Fast-forward to today. I practice trying to move my thumbs every day, and some days I can move two to three millimetres up or down, other days only about a millimetre.
In the next installment, more news about wrists, hands and both arms.