Monday, December 1, 2008
Update on Dad. Stephen Visits Dad Day 46 Post Stroke
So, I finally got back down to pay a much needed visit to Dad. I surprised him at his rehab facility, Cane Creek, in Martin, TN. He was just starting to eat lunch when i walked in and he looked surprised to see me...all smiles. I let him finish lunch before he started his afternoon therapy sessions. One thing's for sure...he hasn't lost his appetite. The little guy can still put it away...and definitely prefers mom and grandmom's home cooking to the facility fare.
I stayed the rest of the day with him and went to his speech, physical, and occupational therapy sessions. All the sessions were very good and the staff seems very nice and competent. He's definitely improving.
Last week he learned to hum "Amazing Grace". This week he's added 3 more of his favorite hymns to the list and is eager to perform for anyone that will listen. We were in the middle of his speech therapy session and he started humming "Amazing Grace" again...only this time at the end of the first stanza, he said two words! "was blind, but now I see." We were all surprised and ecstatic to hear him say "I see", because he's only been able to get out incoherent mumbles and groans thus far. His face lit up like a kid's on Christmas morning when he said the words...it clearly surprised him as well. I don't think he even expected it...but, whatever synapse needed to fire...did! This is AWESOME, and has rekindled our hopes that he'll speak again.
For the remainder of the evening, he wanted to hum "Amazing Grace". He still only got out "I see" at the end...but hey, it's a start. We had a great afternoon. I took him outside for a bit...was cold, but refreshing, and dad loves being outside and breathing cool, crisp air. We spent the last hour or so just hanging out in his room while he tried to stomach the facility's dinner menu. He devoured the home-cooked food at lunch, so didn't have a choice at dinner. When finished...it was back to humming church hymns. He gets really frustrated trying to talk so he almost immediately goes into humming the hymns now that he's discovered he can say "I see." It's heartbreaking, but exciting at the same time. Apparently, the "singing" part of the brain is a different area than the speaking part, I've been informed, so a lot of stroke patients learn to sing their words before speaking normally. Baby steps...baby steps indeed. He's a fighter and won't be giving up anytime soon, I don't believe.
He'll be at Cane Creek till Dec. 7th, so we're hoping for some more big improvements. After the 7th, we're going to try to get him into Vandy again...but, don't know if that'll even be an option...gotta love "the system." Thanks for the continued thoughts, concerns, and condolences. We all greatly appreciate them...especially dad.