Friday, March 6, 2009

March 6, 2009- Part II

The biggest thing that happened in therapy this afternoon was with occupational therapy. They were doing exercises for Christy's eyes. This is a picture of Christy in front of the light board. What happens is a red light comes on the board and you have to push it. All the lights are buttons too. The light then jumps to another space on the board and you have to push that red light. If you take too long, the board starts to buzz at you! We had the lights off and the door shut for Christy to see the light at its brightest. This exercise was the first of its kind that we saw and allowed us to see how Christy is doing visually. It took a couple of times for Christy to catch on to focusing on the light, but she's a fast learner! The therapist would guide her to the left, right, top or bottom. Then she would look to see if Christy could see the light, and then guide her hand there. The therapist would say "See, it's lighting up your fingers red". After a few tries, her eyes were looking at the light, and she was using her strong left hand to touch the lights. Christy would always go a little to the right of the light, but occasionally she could get it. When Luis was breaking it down to me later, he explained to us that the brain re-learns by experience & repetition. Putting her hand on the light over and over allows the brain to reconnect to that task. So, not only was the OT assessing Christy's vision, but re-teaching her brain to be able to locate the light and push it. Some lights she couldn't see at all. Christy worked really hard at this exercise & did an excellent job! After Chris was over the light board, the therapist did some range of motion in the gym (see picture on left). Occupational therapy concentrates on the arms, and physical therapy concentrates on the legs.
It's amazing because Donald picks up on all these exercises intuitively. After that light board experience, we went to hang out on the bridge and get some warm sunshine. Don held his hand out for Christy and asked her to slap it. He moved his hand around and asked her to look for it and slap it. He's constantly thinking of ways to help Christy to rehab! The repetition can only help her.

Christy had chicken and gravy with mashed potatoes & gravy, peaches, and banana cream pie for dinner. She said the chicken tasted good. She had a couple french fries too. Of course, she washed it all down with two diet cokes!!
The other eventful thing was that Chrsity had her first shower in a shower chair!! She's upgraded from that plastic bed with a drain! Christy liked the chair much better. We got her some sweet smelling shampoo and leave in conditioner. Christy helped wash her own hair (with her left hand). We shaved her armpits and legs too! After the shower, the tech brought out two warm blankets from the huge warmer next door. It felt nice and cozy for Chrsity after the shower! That was really cool. Christy looked like a nun with her habit on all wrapped up in the blankets :) When we got back I braided her hair, so she doesn't get dreads while she sleeps.
Christy is still having pain from leg spasms, and "motor restlessness" tonight. Christy said that she felt a little anxious when she was moving around a lot. She calmed down, and the nurse dug in her bag of tricks and tried a new combo sleep medication regime tonight. The nurses are so wonderful here. They come and talk with you, discuss what we feel is the best thing for Christy & they really care! It's such a relief to be here where they are so calm and comfortable with what Christy is experiencing at night.
Craig is like Queens in that there are no therapies on the weekend. So Saturday and Sunday she gets a little break. We all get to hang out & cruise! As I understand it, Dr. Ripley will be done with tests and evaluations by Monday (MRI scheduled Monday) and will have a family meeting on Tuesday. Shucks! I'll be gone by then. I'm so fascinated with everything that goes on here, i wish I could stay with Chris and Don and Alan. But I have to get back to work:( Until tomorrow!

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