My wife came home on Friday July 27th after 3 months in various rehabilitation facilities.  She has an application in for further in-patient rehab at a top-notch facility – which has been less than responsive.  Summer time?  Cut backs?  Who knows?   ETA: While typing this, they called – the problem is the referring doctor – he did not fill out a form properly and has not been responsive.  Aaaarrrgggghhh!

In the interim, I joined her gym so that I could assist her in “working out.”  We have been going since Saturday July 28th with only one day off.  I am trying to translate my personal experience and reading into an exercise program that supports her present abilities.  This is my 10th day report.

She has been doing step-ups onto a platform that is about 6 inches off the ground with her arms straight out in front of her.   Step up with your right foot and step down with your right foot.  Now with your left.  The platform is positioned next to a wall so she can reach out if she feels unsteady.  This morning she got on the scale without holding onto anything.  First time.   She also managed the 3 steps into the house from the garage without holding on – also for the first time.  The step-ups are paying off.

She walked slowly on the treadmill for 25 minutes.  This is the longest she has gone. Yes she is holding both sides but she got on it and off it without assistance.  She was able to set the machine up and go for it.  When the machine got balky, she changed machines.  I was not around.  I was taking this time to get in a fast workout of my own.

She is walking longer and longer without assistance.  I may have to retire my nick name:  Mr. Cane.

Yesterday was resistance machines.  She puts her whole effort into the movements and pays particular attention to making sure her right arm or leg is leading and not trailing.  Our aim is to strengthen and use the muscles that hold her erect.  She is still leaning to the right and her right arm hangs rather than moving in a natural sway as she walks. 

Today we bounced a small Swiss ball – about 24 inches in diameter.  Sounds silly but think about it.  We stand about 12-15 feet apart and bounce the ball back and forth.  First using both arms, then with her right arm dominant.  Lift the ball over head with both arms and smash it to the ground.  Throw it back and forth with an underhanded throw.  She is standing and twisting, reaching and stretching, bending and chasing.  It is all about balance and movement.  I admit that I intentionally make my return sloppy and off-center.   I’m not sure if she has figured this out yet.

When we entered the room, she walked to the rack to get the ball and was carrying it back to our area when she spotted a penny on the floor.  She motioned for me to get it.  This is a lady who will spend a fortune getting her nails done and as she walks out of the shop – she will bend and pick up a penny off the rough concrete walkway – with those just polished nails.  I refused to get it.  With one arm holding the Swiss ball at her side, she bent down – ever so slowly and picked up the penny.  She handed it to me; a broad smile lit up her face.