Tuesday, September 25, 2007

China Day 4: 09/24/07

So far – we love the China doctors and therapists!

This is awesome! The thing that we like best is the attitude that if Dan will try, he can improve. We love the holistic approach of mind and body. Today Dan is continuing his IV treatments, has had some acupuncture, Chinese massage, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.

The acupuncture looked painful, but Dan said it didn't hurt too much-- I am sending some pictures for you to enjoy Dan's torture! He said it was alright until he tensed up. He has one leg that does its own thing, and so when it was tense, the acupuncture hurt a bit. He was a good sport about it though.

I loved the occupational therapist!

I have never gotten along well with OT professionals, most likely due to my first experience in 1986. Dan was only 4 months post injury and we were released from McKay Dee Hospital. We started up a therapy program in Logan, and we were expecting the therapists to work the muscles and get further improvement. What we got was 'compensatory therapy', which means to compensate for the loss of functionality rather than work to improve muscle coordination, and hence functionality. So they ask – 'can he dress himself?' The answer is 'yes, if you give him about four hours, he can do it!' The focus is then on offering substitutes like buttons on the shoe or Velcro, etc. Now these are nice devices, but at 4 months post injury I wanted to continue on THERAPY!! I got in a little argument with the therapist in which I was informed that I just didn't understand the severity of Dan's injuries and that Dan would NEVER recover and the I just NEEDED TO ACCEPT this! Needless to say, we quit therapy there and never went back to that establishment.

How can one expect to improve when there is so much negative attitude around that you will NEVER improve! No wonder most people don't improve after two years post injury. They have been programmed in their minds that there is no HOPE and when there is no HOPE there is no improvement!

Sorry for the tangent there... back to the occupational therapist here (Lily). She worked with Dan to help him improve his muscle coordination and skill. She forced him to stop using his full body when making movements and to keep his head straight (something that is hard for him to do). He tends to 'compensate' and will move his shoulders and head to get his arm to move. She positioned him in front of a mirror so that he could see how he was 'cheating'. She worked hard on helping him improve rather than compensating for what he can not do. Five stars for OT today!

In the session with the Traditional Chinese doctors, we talked a lot about how Dan need to focus his mind on healing. There is much power in the mind and they are helping Dan to learn how to tap into this power and have it help him as he works to improve. In the Chinese massage, he worked a lot of the meridians of the body, especially in the stomach and head area. Heather will like this – he did some cranial sacral massage on Dad... ;-)

It looks like we will need to work with the physical therapists to show them Dan's capabilities. We didn't quite get there today, but Dan did have a good session with lots of stretching. This is good for him as the tendons in his ankle are really tight and he doesn't have good flexion, especially in the right foot. It seems that these therapists have not worked a leg brace before. They had me remove the brace and tested Dan's functionality without it. It would be nice not to have to use it, but in order for that to happen, the signals have to travel faster from the brain to Dan's knee area on the right side. He hyper extends the knee without the brace and his walking is really slow. (slower than normal slow...). I will talk to the doctor about this tomorrow and we will formulate a plan. I would like to see the focus be on balance, proper weight shifting and stretching. We will continue to work in this area.

We have an consult session with all the doctors tomorrow at 1:00 pm. At that time we will be able to get a lot of our questions worked out, and we will finalize the treatment plan. For now, the bone marrow operation is scheduled on Thursday.

One last note... if someone ever offers you 1000 year-old eggs, the correct action is to politely refuse them! We had some at the Autumn Moon Celebration party that the hospital put on last night. Next week is a holiday for the Autumn Moon and so they had a party for the patients this week. I got to tell the jokes and yes, I did tell the 'Ocean Roar' joke (sorry kids – but no one laughed at that one – probably because it is NOT funny!). I did tell a pretty good joke on the Clinton's though, if you remind me I will share it with you.

Take care friends!

Chinese Breakfast - can you guess what we're eating?

Acupuncture - See Dan Flinch

Taking a walk with the physical therapist

They like to come as a group, which is an interesting approach. We really like the doctors thus far

Getting his proliferation cocktail via IV

Dan with his AWESOME Occupational Therapist

Dan getting stretched in Physical Therapy

Dan with Dr Wisdom Guan - he is a wise guy in every good sense of the word.

Dan on the tilt table - also good for stretching the tendons!


Anonymous said...

Love the pictures! Thanks for keeping us updated. We are so proud of you, Big Bro, and so excited that you are able to undergo this opportunity! We know it will be far from a vacation for you, but we also know your determination and how strong you are! LaNae, you are such a rock... we appreciate your dedication! We love you both so much! Can't wait to read the blog tomorrow!!
Slade, Christi, Keyanee,
Cody & Ashlee

Anonymous said...

Hi LaNae and Dan,

I am soo excited about reading your updates... specially because I recognize everyone in the pictures and can related to everything you write!!!!!

Dr. Guam is indeed fantastic!

I am glad you are happy with the doctors and therapies...

Thanks for keeping the daily updates! I will check again tomorrow...


Anonymous said...

We are watching the blog with great anticipation and love the positive feeling that we are getting. Sure do appreciate your updates. Makes us feel like we're part of the process. Mom Schenk sends her best from Caribou Memorial Hospital.

Love, Uncle Bruce & Aunt Laura