Sunday, September 6, 2009

9/6 Honeymoon Suite

I schlepped a bunch of food and changes of clothing so I wouldn't have to leave the facility much over this long weekend. In my newly appointed role as Boss of Chuck, I instated a number of changes yesterday.

1. I took charge of speech therapy.

A:Chuck, what do you need from Laurie Ann?
C: I need for her to realize llllllloo....nng
LA: You need me to be more loving?
C: (tentatively) Yes.
A: I don't think that's what he was getting at.
LA: Chuck what do you need from me?
C: I need you to, I need you to.....
LA: (Interrupts) I think I've been pretty nice to you. It's just we have to keep you safe. etc. etc.

I observe people doing this a lot. Talking to someone who isn't Chuck. Not really knowing how to be present to him. It's understandable since they don't know him, but not helpful. Lots of baby talkers, loud talkers, small talkers and people talking to themselves by talking to Chuck. Chuck tunes it out.

I did, however, get several worksheets and some advice from Laurie Ann about work we could do on our own. We're doing groupings of words, filling in words and a bit of writing on a white board.

2. We did our own weight machine routine yesterday geared at strengthening and stretching arms/shoulders. We spent some time on hands and knees on a therapy platform strengthening balance and right hand/arm strength.

3. In our room, we've been playing beanbag Corn Hole using a (sterile) bedside commode as a basket. We've got a basketball hoop up in the room (practicing a shot off the right hand fingertips using wrist action), we've got balloons and beachballs to bat, leg weights for walking and several resistance bands.

No more empty, restless hours. I'm seeing if we can get karaoke or a live band or a limbo bar. Maybe some virgin cocktails with little umbrellas? Have invited nurses and aides to a Corn Hole tournament.

4. Chuck blew through the speech therapy worksheets when it was just the two of us. It's a matter of doing the things he can be successful at and building from there, same way it is for anyone else. Don't let him fail at thing after thing or belabor the failed thing. Move on! Succeed! Celebrate! That's how I teach language arts to kids who'd rather be doing just about anything else.

Chuck's cousin Twyla and husband Bob came by for a visit. "Twyla!" Chuck exclaimed and gave her a big hug.

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