Last night, Fred discovered that Elaine accidentally took her night medicine in the morning. This explains why she was so tired yesterday and felt very out of it all day. Her medicine box was upside down and Elaine opened it as she usually would and grabbed the pills. It was a lesson learned and Fred has now marked the box as an extra reminder. The therapist said it will take another day for her body to regulate. Needless to say, she still plugged through the day today!
Staci picked Elaine up to go to Hoag. She still managed to have a really great session despite being a little out of sorts. Staci didn't go with Elaine last week and was amazed to see such noticeable progress in just a week. Her left knee is now straightening on its own and when she steps, it doesn't stay bent. She is really walking incredibly well and making great "strides" towards a normal walk. It is easy to see why she had the hitch. If you are standing, bend your knee and try and walk. You will feel how your opposite hips pops out. This was something Elaine was doing every time she was on her feet, and she couldn't help it. Through all her hard work, she has retrained her leg and also gained the necessary muscle strength to support it. It was really exciting. They are continuing to work on her taking equal strides with both her left and right leg and to have her heel hit the ground first on her left leg and get up on her toe. The therapist has also encouraged the rest of us to not remind Elaine of specific things to work on while she is walking but simply suggest she feel her walk. They are working hard on her proprioception, which in simple terms means her ability to understand where her feet are without thinking about it and knowing they are going to be in the right place.
After PT, Elaine had OT. While Staci and Elaine were waiting for the session to start, Staci suggested that Elaine try and put these tiny (and they are tiny) pins in the board. The even trickier part was that they are key-shaped so you have to figure out how to make them fit. Elaine even surprised herself when she was able to do it. The therapist even walked over open mouthed. It was really cool!
After that Elaine worked on her hand-eye coordination with the therapist shining a laser pointer against the wall while Elaine chased it with her hands. She did it really well so they decided to make it more challenging by having her count backwards by 4s from 100. That proved to be quite tough, but Elaine did well. She also used the arm machine and had her best 5 minutes on it yet!
Staci, Elaine, and the therapist then discussed how well Elaine is doing and that it really is time to start incorporating her daily life into therapy. Staci explained to Elaine that no one thought she would be doing as well as she is, and have the ability to do so many things. The next big hurdle is her gaining the confidence to be able to do things consistently without worrying or wondering if she is able. Next week they are going to practice cutting fruit and vegetables, opening cans and jars, and continuing to do normal activities. Elaine is going to go to the grocery store this week and push a cart as well as find her list by herself. These are all tasks that Elaine can do, but hasn't done in five months so they seems a little intimidating - she just needs to practice. We are also going to work on her math skills to continue to wake that area of her brain up.
It was truly a remarkable day, especially for Staci. We know how courageous and brave and dedicated Elaine has been throughout the process. But it was so exciting to actually see things really coming together for her and for her to see her progress. She really is able to do things we never thought she would be able to do again, and she has so many things to look forward.
Elaine: remember, just because you CAN cook, doesn't mean you have to every night:)
We are so proud of her and feel fortunate to see her making such measurable progress. We are on to the next step of getting her life back. Christi, Taylor, and Brian will now become an active part of her therapy as well as she discovers that she can get their snacks and drinks, change Brian's diaper, play their make-believe games, and get back to being Nammie. Nothing would make any of them happier, especially Nammie. We are so grateful!!