Sunday, September 6, 2009

9/6 Chuck makes phone calls to family

He spoke on the phone to his sisters Nea, Becky and Barb and to brother Bill, to daughters Shelley, and Stacey, to Mom and Dad and he left messages for Mandela, Jane and Dan (didn't have Jeremy's number entered into my post-toilet plunged phone).

He got tears in his eyes at Bill's voice. Told Barb, "Your big brother is alive and well." Told Becky, "I miss you. Come and visit." On Mandela's message he said, "Mandela, it's dad. I'm proud of you and I love you," (after which Chuck and I both had a good cry).

For each person, Chuck had to reach into a different part of his mind and memory to talk and respond. As Barb says, "It will take a village." We will need everyone from every part of his life to help him restore all those connections in his mind. If we could put all the people in one place that Chuck has helped, influenced or impacted, we'd be filling up stadiums.

Today's therapy (overseen by the Boss of Chuck):

15 minutes of independent wheelchair maneuvering using only his hands (particularly to strengthen the right)
Descent and ascent of a 16 step concrete stair leading down a hill in the woods
Ascent and descent of a 14 step concrete fire escape on an abandonned building on the grounds
Two laps around a small track focusing on walking with a steady gait, arms at sides rather than a stilted walk with arms reaching forward
Reading out loud of an entire paragraph from Emmet Fox's Sermon on the Mount (he pronounced words like "essential" and "metaphysics" without a hitch); named denominations of money; beat me several times at Tic Tac Toe (okay, I let him); recited Nursery Rhymes and the song Jesus Loves Me; filled in the blanks.

A:In the beginning God created
C: Heaven and Earth"
A: And God said Let there be
A: And behold there was
C: Light

These and all those phone calls are the things he did above and beyond two hours of formal OT and PT. Can you see how we're not even getting the tip of the iceberg of all Chuck has access to and can respond to and do?

By 5 pm, his eyes were open but he was done for the day. For those who worry that we do too much, I want to assure you that Chuck has a pretty good sense of limits. He absolutely does not do more than he chooses to do on his own. The 15 minute wheelchair stint, for example, was Chuck doing his own therapy. My plan had been to do more stairs. He refused and practiced precision turns instead.

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