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My husband Patrick

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givincare

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Patrick has had an eventful autumn this year. At the end of October he started a two week study at UNC using constraint induced therapy. It was hard for him to follow the program of wearing the mitt while at home, and hard for me to fill out his daily diary of activities, as many nights of the week I was at work while he was home. We both did our best to do what was needed. There were also days where he wasn't in the mood to go in the morning (he had to work HARD!) but I was able to convince him to go by reminding him that he was also helping other stroke survivors with his participation. It worked, and by the end of the day he thanked me for encouraging him go.

 

It was awesome for him to get 6 hours of occupational therapy a day, five days a week for two weeks during the study. It was also admittedly nice for me to have a little break for those 6 hours too! While he didn't have a miraculous recovery of his right arm, some improvements were made.

 

Now, just over a month out of the study at the university, his regular OT has continued with the progress he made. Today, Patrick for the very first time since his stroke, wrote his first name with his right hand!!! He was so excited to tell me about it when I got home. His OT here in Colorado is his favorite by far, and they seem to have a great relationship. That also seems to hold true for his speech therapist as well. I guess we made the right move coming out here.

 

On not such a positive note, Patrick suffered yet again, another seizure. It was a Grand Mal and lasted for 2-3 minutes. The doctor decided to up his dose of trileptal, but after seeing him so dizzy and spacy, we have determined the dosage to be beyond his limit. He is back down to his previous dose for the moment until our follow-up with the neurologist. I don't think the dosage was the problem anyway, I think (okay, KNOW) he had not taken his meds that morning. Hopefully we have that issue under control now. He is back to using a med box, so I can more easily tell if he took his meds. When he was taken off the coumedin this summer, he threw the box away as it made him feel "sickly", reminded him he was different than he was before.

 

The thing that is always the hardest after a seizure is the emotional damage it does to him. He has physically always bounced right back, but the "why me's" always start afterwards. What can you say? There is no reason why a seemily healthy 36 year-old would have a stroke and subsiquent seizures. I don't have an answer. It is also the realization that getting back to driving is post-poned once again. Other than the physical/language recovery, this is by far the tops on the list of things he wants to get back in his life.

 

This last seizure was a week ago, and he seems to be doing pretty well emotionally the past few days. He chooses to focus on his therapy and speech homework which gives him a sense of accomplishment. I am so proud to have a husband who has worked so hard to recover when it would have been so easy to give up. I have to wonder if I would have been so tenacious if I were in his situation. I can almost promise I wouldn't.

 

On another front, the students and professor at the university enjoyed him alot too, during the study. One of the students called the other day and asked if Patrick was interested in being interviewed by the local paper regarding his participation in the study. We said yes, as Patrick is always wanted to get "his story" out there. I will be there to help get his thoughts out, but somehow with Patrick, he always seems to get his point across on his own. It may not be in words, but youusually have a good idea of what he is trying to express by his expressions. It will be a cool article to read it!!! I hope I can post it when it is printed.

 

Kristen

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Great to hear the updates. So sorry about the seizure.. but glad Patrick is moving forward.

 

And I think you would be tenacious if you were in the same situation.. just look what you do now... ((hugs))

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Wow, Patrick is so awesome. He deserves the progress he has made with all that hard work. I guess that is one advantage of stroking at a younger age or maybe Patrick will always be determined.

 

I have taken over sorting Ray's meds, between us we are trying to get the dosages and timing as good as we can. He was beginning to "forget" the mid-day med for his diabetes and so the sugar levels were erratic.

 

We all do the "why me" from time to time, as long as the record doesn't just stick on that one spot it is okay.

 

Yeah for Kristen. :cheer: Yeah for Patrick. :cheer:

 

Sue.

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Kristen,

 

This is a wonderful update and I'm really happy for you both.

 

I've forgotten is Patrick just doing the constraint induced therapy for his arm and hand only or is he also doing the kind they use for aphasia? I think it's the former but I can't remember. t sounds very frustrating either case but he must be very proud of himself for doing it.

 

 

Jean

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Jean,

It was soley for the arm and hand. I have never heard of it before for treating aphasia, I'll have to investigate that a bit!

 

UNC only has an OT department, not speech. There is UNC which is only about 20 miles away and they have a speech department, but I have yet to see anything they offer that Patrick would be a candidate for. I plan to be around for quite a while though, so there is still hope down the road!

 

Kristen

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Kristen

 

The contraint therapy for speech is only done in California and one of the professors where Don goes for thearpy says it's really just a marketing tool for doing the something that is too frustrating to do 100% of the time. It involves not replying to anything thing but actual speech. The client goes for six weeks, all day, with someone not queuing or accepting jestures as they do things like get dressed, eat, etc. Someone on this site once posted about it and said it did help but I question whether spending that much time with a regular speech program wouldn't have gotten the same results for a cheaper price. You can look through the old posts in the Lanuage Disorders forum to read more.

 

Jean

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Thanks for the info, and I have to agree that from what you said, it wouldn't seem like the best treatment for us.

 

I should clarify that his constraint induced therapy took place at CSU in Fort Collins (not UNC which is in Greeley). For some reason I always get those two mixed up!! The speech department is in located in Greeley which we hope to take advantage of some day.

 

Kristen

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hey Kristen:

 

thanks for updating us about patrick, I really hope and pray his seizures can be controlled through meds, but tell him, he is lucky roght now gets beautifam ul driver right now, I am happy for patrick's accomplishments so far, and as I say this though I might have to give Jean royalty "surviving stroke is not for sisses"

 

Asha

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