Saturday, November 17, 2007

China Day 57: November 17th

True to my last blog post – I went shopping today! Just had to take in some more of that fun Chinese tradition! I am still probably not getting the bargain that I should, but it is certainly better prices than in the USA with the exchange rate being about 7.5 RMB to 1 USD. Dan stayed back at the hospital and dutifully absorbed the 6+ bags of IV solution while I was out and about.

Tonight we have had a quiet evening, we stayed in and are working at eating the remaining items in our refrigerator and working to get organized to come home. It has been such a wonderful experience for us to be here.... we have met so many wonderful people and in some respects we are very sad to leave all of our new friends... but it is back to the grind and daily routine when we get back home.

We have Dan scheduled to start therapy on Tuesday, November 27th with an intensive therapy center. He will work on therapy there two days a week for four hours a day. We also ordered a piece of equipment that will help with partial weight bearing so that he can work on his walking therapy as well. This is similar to the harness and treadmill that you have seen him work out on in the therapy videos, but is a 'poor mans' approach to get some equipment to help him simulate this type of therapy at home. The device is kind of like a walker, but has a harness built into it to offload his full weight. It should give him and environment similar to walking in a swimming pool, or aquatic therapy. We are really trying to focus on improving his weight transfer and patterning of walking with this exercise as well as practice walking without the leg brace to see if we can get his leg strong enough (and responsive enough) so it doesn't hyperextend when he walks. We so take walking for granted... it is such a science to re-learn to walk! Proper weight shifting, heel-toe foot placement and teaching the brain the rhythm of it all so that it can do it automatically – pretty hard stuff to do when your brain doesn't know how to do it anymore!

Dan also wants to get a piece of equipment called a quadriciser – this he could use several hours a day and would simulate a therapist doing range of motion exercises with him as well as simulate the rhythmic pattern of walking. It is quite pricey, however, so we will have to see about that one. We have a video coming and have some people to call and follow up with to see the impact on other users... so still checking this one out.

The other item that we are hot to obtain is called a Saeboflex – we will have to wait until we can get into an Occupational Therapist at home and get an evaluation on this. This should allow him to have his right hand in an extended position which would actually allow for functional use! We are hopeful that functional use of his right arm with the device on will also allow him to improve so that he could use it without the device. The recovery videos from this product are amazing to watch and progress has been tracked on patients for up to a year with amazing results. We want to be one of their success stories!

Basically the goal is to have a schedule that Dan can work with at home and in conjunction with professional therapists to give him 5-6 hours a day of therapy. My fear is that I will get home and start working and my focus will change and we will not meet our goals – please harass us and help us so that we transition successfully from the hospital to a great therapy routine at home! We need your help on this...

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