Cya CVA!

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The sweetest sound I've ever heard...



(Originally posted February 25, 2009) J.J. saying my name. He actually got the kids' names back today too. Thank you, God. I needed to hear that.


In other news, he walked 120 feet today (at one stretch, not total--that was far more) without any assistive device. He's received the okay to shower alone and is dressing himself in his super baggy pants (this happens when you lose 35 lbs. in a little over a week!) without any help. PT is working with him on fine motor activities. I still haven't observed an OT session, but I hear he's working on transferring in and out of a car and is working in the kitchen on loading/unloading the dishwasher and that sort of thing (heh, heh. How awesome is that? Many wives will be jealous of my husband's OT!). In speech therapy, along with mastering the names today, he also started doing some math and reading exercises. His voice is softer and more gravelly than before. His therapist said that J.J.'s right vocal chord seems to be paralyzed. This may very well be permanent. But you know, with all the other damage that could have been permanent that isn't, I'll take this one. I actually think it's kinda sexy :)


I also got to sit in on J.J.'s psych eval. Essentially he's well adjusted (who knew?), has a good support system and seems to be in fairly good spirits. He will be starting a low dose antidepressant simply to help to take the edge off his frustration so his therapy will be more effective--many studies have shown that stroke patients have better outcomes if they use these medications. In the words of the counselor, "There is no downside to this. Probably it will help, and if it doesn't, it won't hurt". J.J.'s new neurologist (that's right, Dr. Acula didn't follow us from the hospital!) will need to sign off on this and then he'll start getting it in the next day or two.


He's getting so conversational when we're not dealing with a therapist that it's hard to remember that a week ago the man was just nodding all of his answers. He told me today it feels like there's road construction in his brain that everything has to find a detour around. I told him that I think this is an excellent analogy--that lesion where the cell death occurred is very similar to a road block. The parts of his brain that store his knowledge, his memories, his personality weren't impacted--it's the part of his brain that hooks them up with the rest of his body that is the problem. As soon as they get around the roadblock, everything will be back. Today is the first day that in my heart of hearts, I truly believe that J.J. will have no lasting damage (well, other than that vocal chord) from the stroke.


I picked up the kids around 3:30 and we visited with J.J. until 6:00, including eating with him at rehab. He's picking right up on disciplining the kids, showing off how readily he can say Leah's name now. My favorite comment was when the rest of us had finished dinner and were waiting for Eli to finish his frozen yogurt when it was completely apparent that his eyes were bigger than his stomach and he wasn't going to be able to do so. J.J. turned to him and said, "Eli, give it up". It was such a J.J. kind of comment.


I'm now entering into the fourth phase of my day when the kids are in bed and I need to work on anything that needs to be done around here. I'm going to throw in a load of laundry and get back to my INHP work. Tomorrow's schedule will be a little different--I have several important meetings at work in the afternoon and a webinar in the morning, so I'm going to eat breakfast at rehab with J.J. in the morning, then go to work, then leave around 3:30, pick up the kids, go back to rehab for dinner and get Eli to tae kwon do. That's the plan anyway. Which means something will go terribly awry...


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