Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009- Two weeks at Craig!
Maybe you've already got an update from Jody Leong tonight on the 10:00pm news!! There was so much public interest in Christy's story that Jody Leong contacted Donald so she could do another story on Christy!! Wow!!
This morning started out with therapeutic recreation or what Craig likes to call "T-Rec"! It is the downstairs recreation room I mentioned before where Christy can do all the fun things! This morning's discussion was to get a better idea of what Chrsity enjoys! What they found out is that Christy likes Camping, arts & crafts, generally! Fun!
At the am session with speech today, Melea asked all the same questions. What day is it? How long have you been at Craig? What do you remember after your accident?, etc...
After the second speech therapy session, Melea left me a message herself. It was pretty complicated speech pathology talk, but I listened to it a few times, and found some pictures to get a clearer picture of what Melea was talking about. What they found was that Christy has Velopharyngeal Incompetence that is consistent with her Apraxia. I told you it was a lot to swallow! ha! Ok, seriously what this means is that they pinpointed something abnormal with portions of her voice. Her ability to make nasal sounds like "M" and "N" are affected by her (Apraxia) loss of the ability to carry out learned purposeful movements, despite having the desire and the physical ability to perform the movements. It is something that she has acquired from her neurological disorder, and just needs to relearn. So, Nasal sounds ("m" & "n") are made when the pathway to the nose is left open-- air comes from the vocal cords and passes through the nose. nasal sounds- goes through nose- makes sense, right? The same pathway stays open when you are breathing through your nose as well. The soft palate can shut the pathway to the nose or to the mouth so air can not get through. This mechanism or job of the palate is called Velopharyngeal function. For the rest of the sounds during speech, we don't want a nasal sound, so the soft palate closes the air pathway to the nose, and all of the air comes out of the mouth from the vocal cords. This makes the sounds clear. With Christy, they noticed that sometimes the pathway to the nose stays open and air gets through to the nose (when it isn't supposed to) and that's Velopharyngeal incompetency. Also the reverse is true. Sometimes she wants the air to go through the nose more but it goes through the mouth more. It's inconsistent. That matches the nature of this
loss of ability to carry out purposeful movements even though nothing is wrong with her parts or her ability to make the movements with her palate. It's illustrated in the picture here on the right. The arrows are the air passing though both the nose and the mouth. This is just something Christy has to work on over time. She needs to re-train and re-learn & re-coordinate! She's got the experts to teach her! Thanks Malea for your very detailed insight on Christy's speech. I hope I broke it down right for you guys. This is how I understand it. The air flow isn't being controlled well when she speaks even though she may want it to and all the parts can function.
OK, Physical therapy! So Christy spent a whole hour with the therapist doing all kinds of movements on the mats in all sorts of positions! Christy's biggest, most impressive accomplishment today was standing up about 3/4 tall!!! Christy just has the little bend in her knees to go! So close! Chrsity started in a sitting position on the mat tables. She grabbed on to the shoulders of the physical therapist and stood up 3/4 of the way from a sitting position! And she did this about 5-6 times!!! Donald caught it all on video, too!
Christy sat at the side of the bed/mat table with each hand at her side. She was instructed to pick up her butt and scoot her okole to the right. Then she was instructed to pick up her okole and move it to the left! Her arms at her side pushed up against the mat table and lifted & supported her body weight!
PT also did a lot of Range of Motion. It's so important to stretch the arms and legs and muscles & joints out. Today they put Christy into all kinds of positions. They even had her laying on her stomach. This range of motion, stretch is like someone doing Yoga positions on you! Soon, I'll be blogging about Chrsity doing Yoga poses on her own!!
We're so so happy and excited to see such progress after two weeks!! Christy is definitely on her way!! The Craig therapist are wonderful and SMART! Thank God for each wonderful day!