Yesterday I met with my wife’s Occupational Therapist.  Her therapy sessions are coming to an end.  It is now up to us to continue the various exercises and movements necessary for her to regain full function.  This is critical since she still is not able to drive.  That is a death sentence in the Burbs.

OT focuses on her arm and hand.  A bit on the body and leg but mostly the upper body and fine motor coordination.  We went through a number of arm exercises, including Thera-Bands, light weights and machines.  She pointed out the requisite form which would only focus on certain muscles and not bring into play others.  Her trained eye could tell when the wrong muscles were activated.  I tried to learn.  Form – Form – Form.  No surprise there

Because my wife has become adept at using her left hand and arm instead of using her affected right arm and hand, the topic of constraint-induced movement therapy has been discussed.  The focus of CIMT is to combine restraint of the unaffected limb and intensive use of the affected limb. Types of restraints include a sling or triangular bandage, a splint, a sling combined with a resting hand splint, a half glove, and a mitt.  Reminds me of some of the methods used to stop kids from biting their nails or sucking on their thumbs.

So far the only restraint is my constant nagging and forcing her to re-focus.  Constant reminders – constant cuing.  No fun for her or me – but she suffers it quietly – at least most of the time.

The Therapist was pleased that she was talking with someone who understood what she was saying and could expand on the concepts.  I hit her with Cuban Presses – a new one for her.  She approved them.

This morning’s gym session was 10 minutes on the elliptical and then 10 on the treadmill.  The elliptical is good since it makes the arms and legs move in a natural pattern rather than those machines which have the each side of the body move in unison.  She followed these by a series of arm machines.  Light weight – but 20 to 30 reps.  She is retraining muscle memory – not building up strength.  Hard to understand – but that is what it is all about.  She did fine.

She is making progress.  She pretty much can go up and down the stairs on her own – except first thing in the morning and when she gets tired.  Last evening as we headed for bed, I had her go up the stairs without holding on to the railing – even just to steady herself.  She did it.  Not pretty – and I had my hand on her back just in case.  But – she did it.

I am slowly weaning her from depending upon me to do and go and get things for her.

Just hoping we can take the car out for a trial spin before the snow hits.  Everybody – get off the earth – here she comes!

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