Thursday, September 24, 2009

9/24 On the spot vs. relaxed speaking:Notes from Day One

Chuck has longer windows now of clear and articulate communications in a private and relaxed setting (as in the dictation from yesterday), but rest of the time, his speaking is garbled. We went for several days where he spoke a good deal but I understood very little. This is how progress will look probably: longer and longer windows of clarity. Dictating is different than reading and reading is different than writing or spelling out loud. All are different pathways that have to be reconnected.

As I told Chuck, everything he does, no matter how slowly, now belongs to him. Dressing belongs to him. Using a shoe horn. Tying his shoes. Shaving. Reading. Dictating. Buckling a seatbelt. Writing, speech, planning and providing will belong to him again over time.

The Doc finally got through to me that at this juncture rest and time are more important than intensity and effort. (The opposite of how we generally solve pressing problems.)

We took a walk around Lake Anna today and greeted several friends on the journey: Ruth Kaser, Vic Myers, Lois and Gary Matney, and several other friends associated with the Mum Festival. Nice to be doing Home Rehab in a small town where folks know us. "Day one!" Chuck said to Vic.

I'm setting up workstations and ways to live in each room that keep Chuck safe. When he's asleep, I can be on the computer. When he's in his chair downstairs, I can do kitchen work. When he wants to get moving and going somewhere, there are several options (Y, store, Lake Anna, short visits). Then there are the scheduled times which friends are providing and there will be outpatient trips for speech and physical therapy 2-3 days a week.

Everything we're doing here is therapy in the real. Reaching, lifting, looking at mail, solving problems, walking, resting, climbing up and down stairs. Leaving lots of room in next several days for lots of rest. I'm very pleased Chuck is taking a good nap now. He was always vigilant and kind of jacked up-- never rested during the day at Edwin Shaw.

This is the first true quiet since July 1.

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