Saturday, March 26, 2016

Chicken Poop For The Soul

Dear Littler B,

I have snuck out of the hospital room after my patients finally wore thin enough to make me want to be bristly. Promise me in the years ahead of you from your time to when you become me that you will do everything and take every class you can to learn to have patients. (The birth of your oldest will bring you a long way, haha)  In his progress and healing, walking way from situations are the right course of action.

Here are the facts of where we are to today, since I think the last letter may have come off as a pity party moment.  We have been fully immersed in a completely stacked daily schedule of therapy.  Multiple sessions in turn of physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy.

The Physical Therapy is helping him to learn to stand again without falling over, learn how to walk again, learn how to coordinate his thought with motion.  His left side is very weak unfortunately. That has been a struggle for him as he is a lefty. He has done exercises from learning to walk with a walker, throwing bean bags into a basketball net, using parallel bars to using a Wii to try to work on all of the issues misfiring in his "broken" head.

Wii was his favorite without doubt. You will learn what that is in many years but the best explanation is take your Atari, add full color picture (no more pixels) and motion control via a unit that looks like an exercise step (a "balance board" as a replacement for the joystick) and integrate that with the game via standing on the board. It has games like bowling, soccer, archery etc where the motions of your body will actually play the game through pressure points activated on the board. The guys of this time are all macho (no different than in your time) but they like the intense graphics of other game systems. The Wii will be your favorite because you actually feel like you are doing something with your whole body involved.

Speech Therapy has been focused around a couple of things as the stroke gave him trouble forming words. The location the stroke occurred usually takes away the ability to speak, however he has been lucky. He is only slurred as you have seen from previous posts.  She is also working with him on cognitive reasoning. That one has been a struggle. Your husband, though usually quiet is a very intelligent man who can figure any puzzle, riddle or test.  At the point of this letter, he is not that and it gets him frustrated. He is getting so much better though and will continue to improve with support, love and patience.

Another thing that his therapist is working on is appropriateness of speaking because unfortunately he seems to have lost the filter that is supposed to be in place between his brain and mouth to tell you "hey, maybe that wouldn't be a nice thing to say". He has been a little bit verbal with me and only a couple of the nurses at times in a way that the real Toby wouldn't.

He doesn't mean to be, but when he starts getting tired and confused he gets edgy. You will have to pay attention when you get to be me to notice those signs and walk away at those times so that he knows when he is being inappropriate or rude. ie. instead of being the old Toby saying "hey, could you get me a soda" or something like that he will say "It must be nice that you can walk down and get a soda, some people can't". That is his way of saying he wants one.  It's not all like that but nights are rough. Sometimes I think he does it to be funny though like teaching our favorite little munchkin to say "chicken poop" where ever he goes - then he blames it on his broken brain.

"Sometimes You Just Have To Say Chicken Poop"
Tweet: Sometimes You Just Have To Say Chicken Poop via @BidyBidyBop
#Frustrated #Love #Stroke

I have to admit you will have a soft spot in your heart for his speech therapist. The whole therapy team is going to be absolutely amazing, as well as the nurses - however she is sassy and spunky in the particular flavor that resonates with you.

The last piece of therapy is Occupational Therapy. This is where they will work on things like teaching him to shower and shave and all of the personal things he has to relearn. This has been the easiest of the challenges here in the hospital (maybe not the shaving) because they have all the tools like a seat in the shower and wand for water. They are also the ones helping him deal with his eyes and the double vision as he no longer has control over his one eye. (as you saw from the video in my last letter).

There have been other forms of therapy as well that come via the non-medical folk. There is a wonderful woman named Kathy who brings her dog to visit those here in the hospital. He is absolutely missing our baby, so this lights him up to no end.

A couple of angels in the form of blogging colleagues put together a GoFundMe site to try to keep our house which has been a constant worry for him as he is not able to work, nor will he be for a long time if ever.  I love those girls so much! Heidi of WomanPulse & Miranda of JKLMNAdventures.


Aunt Sis made a quilt to bring down when Mom and Dad came to visit, and your oldest sister made a card and actually mailed it to the hospital.

Mom and Dad also came down from NY and that meant so much to him. His family is local but they are very different than our family. They are not close and as of yet have not visited. Try to keep him away from the subject if you can, it will be a hot button that messes with his b.p. Moving on in a Thumper moment...

Mom & Dad got Toby a hat to match Dads. He LOVED it so much! When he is very happy, his mind almost turns a switches on and he becomes almost childish giddy/happy. (like the video I shared with you in the Random Acts of Kindness letter)

I have to say dear young me, there are more good moments than there are bad. You can handle that even on a bad day, and you know it. You are strong and always find the sunny even in the darkest times.  Most of your life you will wonder what that gift is that you have....

You know, some people have the gift of voice, sports etc. You will always look for that one thing that you are good at, I think I have finally found it. You can find the good in any situation. Not that that will make as much money for you as Michael Jordan earns but it will make you a more pleasant person to be around most of the time, and you will become friends with some of the most amazing people because of it.  I don't regret a single moment, so neither will you.

What kept my ears and vocal chords busy during this letter

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