Saturday, September 29, 2007

China Day 8: Saturday is a Special Day

I thought we might get a little break today as it is Saturday – but no – still forging ahead. This is a good thing – but I think it is unusual as next week is a major week long holiday and a lot of the therapists will be gone. They will be taking turns, so they are all working the weekend before the holiday to make sure we get taken care of. Apparently the 'Moon or Autumn Harvest' festival is a big family gathering event, much like the Christmas holidays are for us in the USA.

Today we had speech therapy for the first time – I really liked it as well. It is with Lily – our occupational therapist (she doubles up and does speech therapy as well). Where speech therapy in the USA has always been about breath control and pronunciation, this therapy was about moving Dan's lips. She massaged his face and molded it until it would pucker – this is exactly what Dan needs. It is great! I included a picture to show you how she worked him over. We taught her a new English word that she didn't know before – 'slave driver'. Now she sees us in the hall and laughs and says 'Slave Driver!'. She is fun to work with...

Baseline: We did a baseline last night of Dan's speech in areas that we had records on about two years ago. These are a couple of lip exercises that Dan has done to try and improve his speech.
Open / close mouth = 48 (normal 88)
Pucker / smile = 14 (normal 60)

I timed myself for the normal readings – when comparing to his time a couple of years ago he had 46 open / close mouth as opposed to 48 this time, so a bit of an improvement. However, in the pucker / smile category he went down from 19 to 14, so there still needs to be some work done here.

Before we left for China we also went to the mall and did a baseline walking exercise for 5 minutes. Dan walked from Mervyn's to a store just after the Tree House. Angie and I walked from Mervyn's to Radio Shack-- so as you can see we have taken some measurements and videos of what his current capabilities are so that we can clearly measure the progress made.

Tonight we all went out to dinner as a group from the hospital. They arranged to take some vans so that all the people in wheelchairs could go. We went to a traditional Hong Kong style Chinese restaurant. It as a lot of fun and we were able to get to know some of the other patients better. We are now back in our room and Dan still has two bags of IV to go through before we can retire... my guess is at least a couple of hours.

Hope all is well in the USA – we miss you guys, but we think this is a great opportunity to be here! The changes won't happen overnight – but we are prepared to do our part and work hard to see improvement again. It is a good environment here to work toward these goals (and hopes and dreams...)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Dan and LaNae,

I am so happy reading your posts… and I can relate to almost everything you write about the hospital and everyone’s ATITTUDE… after dealing with so much pessimism regarding brain injury from docs/ therapists in the UK… it was a breath of fresh air to work with a broad team of people that instead of predicting the worse, just get on with it with the most positive attitude of “lets do our best and hope for the best!”… Yeah… Wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading every posting everyday… and so glad to see all they are doing for Dan… with all the work plus the stem cells, I am sure you will see improvements… but again they are slow… actually I did not see any on Chris until I arrived back in the UK after 3 months in China… also to be remembered that after you leave China, the stem cells will be alive and working for another 6 months… is it all so great to continue to work and never give up!!!!

I am waiting for your post when you go eat the famous Peking Duck!!! There is one nearby which is so famous and every head of state had Peking Duck in this restaurant, you see pics of Bush Senior, Thatcher, Arafat, etc etc… And the duck is REALLY good – even picky eater Gabriel misses it now…

Thank you for the pics, it is so nice to see all the familiar faces. Yeah, Dr. Guam is so great, he has this calmness within him. He would work with Chris saying “Chris, you will heal and get better”, I would cry sometimes watching him work the way he did… you know because back home, no one believes in Chris… Also, sn’t Dr. Xie the prettiest and cutest doctor? LOL She is adorable, she was Chris’ official doctor, everyone has a “junior doc” assigned to them…

OK, wishing another great week!

Take care!