Staci was impressed and surprised at how well Elaine is doing her exercises and how natural things are starting to look. Staci had flashbacks to a few months ago when Elaine couldn't get on or off a mat without assistance, much less pull herself into downward dog! She even picked each arm up and held her weight with one arm and two legs. Oddly enough, it was much easier for her to hold her weight on Little Darlin' than her right arm. Of course Elaine couldn't help but bark when she was in this position. Always keeping us laughing!
During OT they focused on on external rotation of Elaine's shoulder. When you have a stroke it naturally causes you to internally rotate all the time. The brain doesn't send the external rotation message so her muscles have gotten weak as well. It is very painful working these muscles and trying to pull her scapula together and down. Elaine descried it as her scapula feeling like glue or rubber cement and very difficult to pull apart. She is still sore tonight from all the moving around of those muscles. She also is working to be able to straighten her elbow on her left hand. She is trying to walk with her palms facing forward as a reminder to keep her shoulders back. As Elaine was walking to PT, the OT therapist watched Elaine walk away and said, "you are such an incredible patient. You do everything we ask of you all the time and never forget all the little things!" Staci did notice that Elaine is scared of her OT and every time she passes her in the gym she is sure to have her shoulders and arm in the right place!
Elaine headed to PT where it was time for a few routine assessments. They started with walking a straight line and she shaved a whole second and a half off her previous time, which was pretty remarkable. Next she had to so as many squats in 30 seconds as she could. Last time she did 8 and three weeks later she did 13, and these aren't cheaters squats either!
Next they tried something new. She had Elaine walk at a timed pace in a circle counting by 2's. This was something she did not feel she was capable of even two weeks ago. Today, she dual-tasked perfectly! They worked on some more challenging walking exercises, including having her walk and take directions (look left, look up, look down, look right) at the same time, and did the field sobriety test walking a straight line. She was amazing! We continue to be humbled by her progress and dedication. She truly is one in a million. Whenever she walks in the gym, the therapists all light up and run over to talk to her. You can also all see them keeping one eye on Elaine, marveling at her progress. She is definitely a celebrity in there!
After a hard workout (and Elaine was tired before it started), Staci and Elaine grabbed a quick lunch and then Staci had a mandatory nap time for Elaine. She took her back to Elaine's house for some quiet time, hoping she would get some sleep. Staci and the kids picked her up around 4 and brought her to her new home for the next few days. You can tell how excited the kids are from the pictures. They literally were arguing over who gets to help her do this and that. Brian kept saying Nana, play play. Being the incredible sport that she is, she even got down on the floor with him and played, not quite sure how she was going to get back up, but she did!
We are hoping she gets a really restful night of sleep. She was tucked into bed by three little people who adore and love her so much. What an inspiration and role model they have, a true hero! They are thrilled to have her here and looking forward to a fun weekend.