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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

First day of out patient therapy

Todd had a big day today. He had two doctor appointments in one day, which meant that he could not sleep all day as he has been doing.

First we saw Dr. Peterson, our family doctor. We have been seeing him for many years, like around 8, so he knows us pretty well. He walked in the room with Todd's chart in hand, a stunned look on his face, and said "So Todd, what the heck?!" We told him that's what we've been saying. We told him all about what happened, and he said that he's been going over Todd's history, trying to figure out if there was something that he should have seen, or any warning signs, but couldn't come up with anything, so it is truly as we thought, just a freak accident that you can't see coming.

Not having seen Todd after he first had the strokes, but knowing the history, and how far he's come, he said with chagrin, like he didn't want to get our hopes up too high, that it might still be another month before Todd is able to start back at work. Another month?? Yippee!! That's infinitely better than the 3-4 months that the last doctor told us! Now before we all start throwing parties, let's all remeber that these are just guesses. So much of it is up to Todd, and even more of it is not up to any of us. So keep the prayers coming, they are still very much needed, felt, and appreciated. And please pay attention in your own lives for the blessings that I'm calling down on each and every one of you every single day.

Dr. Peterson has referred us to the Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah to be seen by their specialists. His vision is not good, but we can't determine ourselves if it's more than his decreased ability to move his eyes intentionally. (He can look straight ahead, and track movement, but the tracking is very jerky, he has a hard time focusing initially, but can't look down.) We hope that the eye doctor will have some ideas on exercises that he can do to improve his vision, because that's a big part of his frustration now.

Next we went immediately to his first out patient Speech Therapy appointment. She began as they all do with doing baseline evaluations, and these were much improved since his baselines in rehab. He found none of the oral muscle weakness which was present earlier. His aphasia (not being able to find words he wants) is still there, but is improving, but where he needs the most work (says me) is in his attention span. Anyone surprised here? Todd? I know. So she (Michelle) is going to work with him on strategies for improving his attention span and memory. I think I'll pay attention too, maybe I'll be able to remember where I put my brain.

In Todd recovery news:

Many of you who have spoken to Todd on the phone recently may have noticed the same inprovement that I'm about to mention. Since Todd first got his speech back his voice has been very monitone. In the last day or so both his mom and I have noticed a significant increase in the inflection of his voice. It's certainly not something that is vital to communication, but it makes understanding him a little easier. I can tell better when he's joking, (though even before the strokes he had great fun teasing me because I could never be sure). And it's also proof that his improvement and recovery is continuing.

He also has much better control over his emotions. He still gets overstimulated very easily, but instead of blowing up he is able to acknowledge it, and make steps to correct it. He's only used his Adavan (anti-anxiety medication) once since he's been home. In rehab he was using it almost every day.

And to leave you with a funny anicdote, Todd crashed as soon as we got home this afternoon. I went and ran errands, and our friend Misty came over later, about 7:30. The sun was just getting ready to set, when Todd woke up, and when he came downstairs he had different clothes on. He hadn't realized that he'd only been asleep for a few hours, and thought that it was 7:30 in the morning. It took some convincing to get him to believe that it was still Wednesday.


Darci said...

Oh my! It was pure coincidence that I fell upon this blog. Please know that my family (the whole Simmons clan) is praying for Todd. Brent and I are here if you need anything. Seriously! We love you guys! I know that Todd will be just right before we see you at the annual Christmas Eve get together.

Katrina Miller said...

Hey! Here is my post of support. I wish I could be there with you guys in person. Amy you are amazingly strong and are an inspiration.

But I wanted to say, Stephen's BEST speach therapist was named Michelle. So that makes me happy. I hope you guys have as good of an experience with YOUR Michelle as we did with ours.

I'm thinking about all of you offten.

Allison Thelin said...

That's totally happened to me!! I took a nap on a Saturday afternoon and I woke up and it wasn't dark yet. I felt rested and my two brothers were in the kitchen eating cereal. I informed them that it was a fast Sunday being a loving little sister. It took them a little bit to convince me too.

Anonymous said...

Hey there Todd,

We were talking about you today and saying how much we missed you. It's great to hear how quickly you are recovering. We are all praying for you and wish you the best.


Camilla said...

i am so glad things are progressing. I hope they can help with the eye problems as it sounds really frustrating! and hey you can tell todd he is doing better than me, I take my Ativan most every day! I am encouraged to hear that he may be able to go back to work in a matter of months. We will continue to pray for todd, porter remembers him at every meal and at bedtimes in all his prayers too. Its really cute!

love you guys!