Diff'rent Strokes is your source for information about Todd Thelin and his stroke recovery. Please feel free to add comments about posts, add new information in the comments, e-mail new information for me to post, or ask questions that we can answer. Keep in mind that posts are moderated, so they will need to be approved before they show-up. This helps fight spam.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Oops, it's been a while

Many people have started calling asking for an update on Todd's eye appointment, so I'm finally getting around to posting to let the Internet world at large know how it went.

It was great.

Ok, I'll give you a little more than that. It ended up being not nearly as long as we feared, nor as invasive. They did all kinds of eye tests (like for colorblindness, peripheral vision, etc) and no MRI's or CT scans or anything like that. And here's what they discovered. Todd can see just fine, it's the looking that's the problem. Yes, they are very different things, just like listening and hearing.

When tracking an object, he can follow it, even down, and when fixed on an object and moving his head he can stay focused on the object, even down. However when his brain tells his eyes to look down, they can comply, only painfully slowly, slower than I can move my eyes intentionally. So he needs practice to build up speed with which his eyes obey his brain.

We learned that he's actually very lucky to have suffered bilateral thelamic embolisms. The luck part is in the bilateral part. The areas of his thalmus that were affected by the stroke control specifically his ability to tell his eyes to point down, and also make it possible for him to focus on close range. So because the strokes were on either side, his defficit is equal. If he were to have had a stroke on only one side or the other, it would have caused worse problems in his vision, because one eye would be able to look down instantly, while the other dragged, and you can imagine that would make it hard to see.

We should be getting his contacts early next week, and we are hopeful that will help, and he'll be practicing looking down. Kind of key when you work on the computer.

We also saw Dr. Dodds, who oversaw his care while an inpatient. He eliminated Todd's Lyrica, in the hopes that he doesn't need it for the nerve pain anymore, and to help him not be quite so tired all the time.

Yesterday he went to Brett's to watch the U opening game, and we've been on a date, and took his mom to Millies. Todd's really doing great. Oh, and he will be able to do a driving test with his OT, who is also planning on seeing him at home instead of at LDS hospital so that she can help him get back to doing what he actually does at home and work.

Sue left yesterday, and while we all miss her like crazy, it is another good step in the right direction. She was such an amazing blessing and support to Todd, me and Oliver but we can now prove to ourselves that we're ready to get back to business.

Life is getting good.


Jj Starwalker said...

Sounds like you learned a lot from the eye folks and are on the way to solving that issue too.

good news!!

I continue to hold you (all) in my daily workings with the Gods.

Coolclan said...

Hi Amelia, Just wanted to let you know that we are all thinking about at the Adoptive Families board. I was so happy to see this encouraging update. Let us know how things are going when you can...! -Holly

Alta said...

Thank you so much Amelia for posting all of this. It is so wonderful to hear that "life is getting good". What a blessing! You guys are in our prayers.