Tuesday, October 2, 2007

China Day 11: On Our Own

Today is another holiday for the therapists, so that means that we are on our own to do therapy. It takes more motivation to get up and work on boring tasks such as clasp your hands together and raise your arms high above your head, repeated twenty times. Then after that touch your foot to your opposite knee with each foot for twenty times. There is also speech therapy that includes opening and closing the mouth several times and puckering and then smiling repeated over and over.

This may sound like something that is simple to do – and it is for someone that has all of their abilities – however it is very hard for Dan to do because we are targeting muscles that don't work for him – his shoulder muscles and his facial muscles. He will strain so hard to raise his arms with his hands clasped together that his knuckles turn white and his fingers make indentations in his hand he is pressing so hard. It is like his brain sends a 'broadcast signal' to his entire arm area, and not really specifically to his shoulders. He just tenses up all over and it doesn't really get the specific signal directly to his shoulders.

We take things for granted a little, don't we. I bet you have never consciously thought about moving your shoulder muscles in order to lift up your arm. You just lift your arm – that is what I do... but with Dan -- he has to think, move the arm up and then try to focus to get the brain signal to tell the muscle to move so that his arm can move. It is all a labored process for him... and this is what we hope to improve by adding more neurons. Since neurons don't naturally regenerate in the healing process, we are hoping that by giving him some new neurons that this 'highway' for electronic signal transfer will get bigger and allow him better access from his brain to his body.

So we did work on our 'boring exercises' today! We also took a bench mark walk around the hospital premises to see how far Dan can walk in a five minute time period. We did this at home in the University Mall as previously noted, but now we know what his benchmark is here at the hospital so that we can check periodically for improvement while we are here.

Tomorrow we will be on our own again – so we hope to get up and 'get at it' early in the morning. I hope that the therapy room is open tomorrow so that we can at least use the facility. I would like to use the therapy mat to see if Dan can raise his arms easier in a gravity free environment (from a laying down position). We hope to get our therapy and IV's done by early afternoon, and then maybe we will go take a walk to the Temple of Heaven which is very close by. We have not been out much, and on Thursday all the therapists will be back and we will be back to the daily 'forced' regime. Then they will work through the weekend to make up for the holiday time lost. We will be glad to be back on the regime as it is more fun to have people helping you when you are trying to recover.

Quote for the day:
“If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all.”
-- Michelangelo

I hope you have a great day!


Anonymous said...

What an inspiring story! I am very interested in your China trip as I have a 7 year old daughter with quadreplegic cerebral palsy. Can you possibly email me some info on the hospital that you are at in China? how do I find out if my child is a candidate for this program? Any info you could share with me would br greatly appreciated. my email address is lynnevonflotow@yahoo.ca.
Thank you sooo much. I will continue to read more about your amazing and truly inspiring story. Good Luck and God bless.

Anonymous said...

Hey Big Bro! Keep up the great work! LaNae, it sounds like you're becoming a therapist! You're awesome! Wish I could be there to help (not help inflict pain~ I don't mean that, Dan! : )
Will you be able to watch Conference this weekend? I almost sent Dan a text a few times...would it work or be buko bucks?
I love reading the blog everyday! Thanks so much for taking the time to give us such great info!
Love you both very much! We're cheering for you!!
~Christi, Slade, Keyanee,
Cody & Ashlee