Thursday, May 17, 2012

#111

Elaine had another great day! The morning started off well, she and Fred laughed a lot. Ben dropped off Starbucks, and then Staci picked Elaine up for therapy and a visit to the neurologist. When Staci arrived, Elaine was walking around holding a red piece of paper:


Obviously, Staci knew exactly what Elaine was doing. Since the minute she arrived at the ER, as a part of the series of neurological questions they ask, they ALWAYS ask to spell "world" backwards. She was bound and determined to get it right! They arrived at the doctor's office. After the nurse asked her questions and said, doctor will be in to see you in a few minutes. She hadn't even finished shutting the door before Elaine reached for her purse to study!


She put the paper away just in time. He came in and smiled to see her looking so beautiful and clearly doing even better than when he last saw her. She was telling him about the pain in her left arm and in leg, especially her foot. Her left foot and toes cramp up and her toes scrunch up, causing her a lot of pain. We will sneak a picture of the tape job she does on her foot each morning. He explained that it is the brain sending too much energy to specific spots (her upper shoulder as well as her foot). The brain is still trying to figure out how to compensate for what was lost. It is doing a remarkable job because of Elaine's hard work, forcing her brain to work. He prescribed a new medication to try and help alleviate some of the pain. He also encouraged her to give massage another try. She is much stronger now than she was a few months ago and he believes it would be very beneficial. He continued on with his evaluation and was impressed with her arm mobility, as well as strength. We knew the time was coming and here it goes:

D: "say no ifs ands or buts about it."
E: "no ifs and or buts about it."
D: "say the word world and spell it backwards"
the moment she has been waiting for all morning and...

Elaine gets the giggles and can't stop long enough to even get the "d" out. Staci goes on to explain why she is laughing so hard, and how Elaine frequently gets the giggles and laughs uncontrollably. We all agree is much better than crying! Needless to say, this got a slight laugh from even the doctor (who doesn't laugh). Elaine even gave him her pink bracelet! He will see her again in 8 weeks. He is thrilled with her progress and hopeful that the medicine will help ease the pain. 

They quickly hurried off to therapy for the next two hours. She spent most of PT walking on the treadmill and working on walking. Her hip has been hurting her and they think its because of the way she is walking. It seems like every time she goes there, someone is telling her a different way to walk. They all fight to work with her and it seems they all want to take credit for her progress. We know, without a doubt, that Paul is the one responsible for her progress and without him, she wouldn't be doing nearly as well. 

After PT, she had OT. They decided on some stretching for Little Darlin' and a neurology test today since her arm wasn't feeling very mobile. The therapist took her in a quiet room to eliminate all distractions today. As you can imagine, Elaine wasn't pleased. When you walk in there, she knows everyone's story and why they are there, and not just because they personally have told her:) Her radar is as strong as ever! 

She gets ready for the test, and this is her least favorite part of therapy, and it goes very well! Staci has been there for many of the tests since the beginning and was so proud of Elaine's improvements. A brief overview of the test. They give you 5 words (increased from 3 last time) at the beginning and then you are asked to remember them by the end. Elaine remembered 3, remembered that there were two more and with very small hints, remembered the other two. This was a HUGE improvement from last time. 

They ask you to remember a series of numbers and sentences (intended to trip you up) and she did excellent on that as well. The hardest part for Elaine is the math. They start at 100 and ask her to subtract 7 each time. Its tricky, try it! Again, it was the best she has ever performed! We all got a good laugh when she was asked to come up with as many "F" words in 1 minute, as she could. No proper nouns or numbers. Her first word, "fart." You can imagine the look of surprise on the therapist face coming from little Elaine. You can also guess that the giggles were soon to follow. Even with that diversion, she still was able to get 4 more words than she did last time. Her score went up by 3 whole points, which doesn't sound like a lot, but by the way its scored, it is a drastic improvement since April 5, which is when she took her last one. 

After therapy, Staci and Elaine met Fred and Taylor for lunch. They had a wonderful lunch together and continued laughing! Fred and Elaine then headed to the bookstore and then to pick up Elaine's new medication. They relaxed at home the rest of the afternoon after a very busy morning. 



We are so thrilled with Elaine's improvements. It has been such a great week and even Elaine can see a difference in herself. She is always her toughest critic. If for one minute she could look at herself though our eyes, she would be moved to tears and be in complete amazement. Keep it up Elaine!! We are so proud of you!

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