Braced to walk

Braces – ugh. The word evokes jagged bits of metal and leather straps. Polio victims and adolescent teeth. And orthotics – ugly shoes with two-inch soles. Tom went to get fitted for a brace today. His ankle and tibia muscles are weak from the stroke, which makes it hard for him to walk correctly, so his physical therapists … read more Braced to walk

Taking a shower

Tom startled me by confessing he’d taken a shower. By himself. Those of us who haven’t had a stroke take a shower every day, without thinking about it. For Tom, this accomplishment is real cause for celebration. It’s made up of so many individual accomplishments, each of which took hours of therapy and exercise to perfect. First, being … read more Taking a shower

Think through these things thoroughly

Thelma saw thistles in the thick thatch. Thelma thought Martha threw a booth into Lake Athens. They saw father put the lather on the smooth leather. Those speech therapy authors should be thrashed. Because they can’t write worth a thit. Quoted above are a few of the sentences that Tom had to say as part of … read more Think through these things thoroughly

After the fall

Mr. Benson is Tom’s roommate in rehab. He’s about Tom’s age, and like Tom he is tall and handsome. His eyes seem very sad. He has beautiful long eyelashes. He doesn’t smile – maybe he can’t. Three strokes and a subsequent seizure left him without much ability to speak. When he presses the call button for a … read more After the fall

First steps

Tom took his first steps today. I mean that he walked. He hoisted himself up off the bed, using a walker. The two assistants hovered, advised and guided, but the balance, coordination and movement were all Tom’s. The attending neurologist and team of six residents happened to be making the rounds, so they watched. Tom barely … read more First steps

Simple pleasures

This little piggy went to rehab. This little piggy went home.  This little piggy had salmon, this little piggy had none …  And THIS little piggy went “wheeee wheeee wheee wheeee wheeeeee!” All the way home. Since the stroke, Tom can’t flex the toes or upper part of his right foot. So I manipulate his … read more Simple pleasures