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Bob's Improvements



Wanted to add some things I see different with Bob lately. He is a little over 1.5 years since his massive stroke. He is changing a lot lately.


1. He is talking a lot more. He may still get hung up on the noun, but he is making more effort to say what he is thinking, which shows me he is actually doing more thinking. I think he sat more in a daze from exhaustion before. He seems brighter now, and I see thoughts and things he wants to say coming to the surface. He's getting ideas.


2. He remembers things and reminds me of them. OK, still in aphasia talk, but he reminds me to take the leg thing (I don't even know what it's called) with us to therapy. He wanted to eat at LaRosa's today, to scope it out so we know all about the doors and parks before the retirement party of his friend. He keeps thinking it is tomorrow, but I keep saying it is a week away - no matter, he knew he needed to go there and see how it all was laid out.


3. The other day, he turned his head quickly and started to fall over... but something different happened. Usually when he would go into a fall, he'd just go down like a tree, helpless. This time, something different happened. He was kind of moving around on his foot, like he was trying to right his balance! I was so excited I said, "do you know what you just did?! You just helped me stop you from falling!" He gave his non-chalant, 'so'. me: SO! You've never done that, your balance reflex is kicking in, and you are helping to right yourself. Sure, he'd still fell if I hadn't been there, but this is the start of something to come.


4. Bob was left with sequencing problems, so I generally have to cue him what move to make next. He often brushes his teeth at his table that he uses in the tv room. It is like a computer / hospital type tray table that can slide in to you. He used to use it to make international calls for work, when he had a 4am call with China, so he did it from home. Anyway, I bring that little spit tray from the hospital, his brush and a small water glass. At the beginning, I would hand him the water and tell him to rinse, then hold the spit tray and say, 'spit!' Then I stopped giving him the water and would just say, rinse your teeth, then I'd say 'spit'. He'd then take the brush from me and brush his teeth. Well, we are now trying to establish the sequence a little more on his own. I said the stuff in front of him and waited to see what he would do. He picked up the spit tray, and spit into it, and looked at me. I said, "well, you should really take the drink of water to rinse your teeth, and THEN spit in there". So, the last few days, I've been just sitting it down and waiting, and he hesitates, like he is trying to think what to do, but has been getting it right.


ABOUT READING. Well I saw this show on tv called Your Bleeped Up Brain, and have been watching it. It was talking about how you see clues about things, and can misinterpret what you saw, because while you THINK you saw it all, your brain was automatically filling in the most likely information for you. I was very excited to here this said, because I have watched Bob do this while trying to read simple sentences out lout.


For instance:


the sentence said: The car turned the corner and parked.

he would read: The card turned around and went down the street.


His brain would just supply a likely outcome for anything he was reading. Practically every sentence, his brain would supply an alternate story, leaving him fighting to try to find out what REALLY was written there. He is able to read a little better, with less brain interference, and so progress. I bought him another children's book from Walmart, A large blue story book called "5 Minute Marvel Stories". This is the best book I've found, as so many childrens books have hard to read fonts, written on top of the pictures that are dark in color - terrible for him with his vision problems and brain antics. This has lots of pics, but the words are large print on a white part of the page and double spaced. He was able to read it better, but can not really retain what he reads. I tell him, you can't do several things with your brain at once, right now you are just learning to get those words off the page, into your brain and out your mouth. The more you read, the less of a struggle it will be, and your brain will have some cells free up to remember what you are reading! I hope and pray he can read normal books one day, as we always planned on it and have a million books! Oh, and ha, ha, we are reading about 3 pages at a time, with a paragraph on each page, and it is about 5 minutes a session, or 10. He did still stammer and have to re-read to get right here and there, but big improvement from not being able to read 2 words together in the beginning. But that's ok, the book will last longer!


He was concerned about buying it at almost $20, but I told him, 'you can't put a price on learning to read again!'



It's probably about the size of a piece of paper:




I was hoping there would be a preview of a page, but there is one for kindle on the right side of the page. Here's my pic, which is too light on the print. The print is actually nice and dark. The only thing that would make this perfect is if it was spiral bound! Don't know if anyone else is fighting to learn to read again, but maybe this will help someone.






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Sandy: great news. All the pieces to the puzzle, connecting and interacting. Very impressed with the improved balance. Do you think it is because he walks so much now, understands better how his body feels and moves? Rock on - Debbie

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I don't think the balance is because he walks more, as he is just starting up more walking, as a result of him seeming better all together. Rather... it is more like his brained has healed a little, and everything about him, seems a little more Bob. He gets humor again. I say something, and he'll give a little laugh; he gets a look on his face that is familiar and looks like the old Bob; he gets more thoughts and wants to tell me what he wants or thinks; more willing to go into public; while not recovering balance on his own, his brain is beginning to alert him to try to balance himself. Just so much, I think something in his brain is rewiring and affecting a lot of things.


PS - He poked me in the butt with his cane when I bent over! Definitely guy mentality surfacing!

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LOL - while not for public, exactly what you want.


Bruce always had good balance. But I see Bob on the path with the Hemi and yes I know you were spotting him. But Sandy, that is not the terrain we start with - LOL.


Before the overtoning, Bruce's first restaurant he walked into (long leg brace and cane) was John Michael's. A strange little place we came upon on one of our jaunts, but also the name of our nephew.


I just look to Bob, who has to be cautious, walking all over the place and Bruce who has great balance and strength, not walking at all. Told me tonight he never thinks about it.


At 1 1/2 years in, you are absolutely right. Brain healing and self-confidence. Kudos Bob. Debbie

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I just realized I had the name of the show wrong on this, and could be trouble for anyone trying to find it. It is called "Your Bleeped Up Brain" and is on the H2 (history 2) channel at 11pm on Wednesday night, eastern time.

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