It’s been a bit since the last post so I’ll try to remember as much as possible. Starting with September,Thom just continued of the various therapies at home. Thom had speech therapy a couple times a week for an hour at a time and did physical therapy once a week for two hours. He also had a massage before PT to hopefully loosen him up a bit and that did wonders too. Both went well overall and were a good bridge until we could get him back into more intensive therapies.
In the last post, I mentioned that there was an agency that was supposed to help me out a couple times a week, well, that was a massive failure and led to more stress than when I was doing everything totally by myself. First person came late and left early (I have cameras at the house and get notifications on my phone, that’s how I knew). Next person was great but she abruptly quit the agency. Third person was terrified of Zuri, the 85lb Rhodesian Ridgeback and couch potato when she isn’t begging for pets and attention. Then we had someone who literally had no idea how to help Thom up from his chair and had to call her husband…. Yes, they thought it was a good idea to get someone into the house who wasn’t authorized to be here in the first place. Then we had a no-show on three occasions. I gave the agency (Utopia Home Care) so many chances but they said they couldn’t find anyone who wanted to help. I’m not sure who wouldn’t want this job (sit and play on phone and just help him to bed, literally paid for 6hrs for 30mins of work).
Aside from that, September was very quiet aside from a couple visits from some Mu Alpha Theta folks as well as a few former students. If I recall correctly, it’s been a number of years since he saw all of them so it was great. We also had some awesome close friends stop by to keep him company and watch the Bucs with him while I worked the game. October had a few visits as well between a group of teachers and faculty from Berkeley stopping by for his birthday and also grabbing dinner with some others too. We also had a couple kids from the neighborhood stop by while the Lightning were playing to walk Zuri as I wasn’t able to due to speech therapy all day in St Pete in October.
Speaking of speech therapy in St Pete, this last four-week session was great. During the first go at The Aphasia Center, Thom’s main goals were to just speak, no matter what, just speak as much as he could and in all different shapes and sounds. During that first time, he was able to say well over a hundred words with a bit of help. This edition had a much different approach. Instead of trying to say more words without any context, they wanted to really hone in on a handful of words and phrases instead that were a bit more practical. Thom’s main goals was to say twenty words with help in response to questions. First week he was able to say three when given cues and was able to write a few words as well in response to questions. In the second week, he jumped to ten words and was articulating these a bit better. Third week he was able to do twenty-six words and four phrases in response to questions after practice and say fourteen words/phrases with only one cue. By the end, Thom was able to orally read phrases up to three words consistently. Thom was pretty excited to be back at The Aphasia Center and definitely felt it was worthwhile. We will continue speech therapy online once we come back from California and eventually will go back there again for another round of intensive speech therapy.
Speaking on California, on Monday, Thom and I will be flying out to San Francisco for a 7 full days of intensive physical therapy with the NEURO-IFRAH folks. I’m really looking forward to this trip as he will get four days of therapy, the weekend off, then three more days of brutal but rewarding therapy. Regarding the weekend, if there are any folks out there in NorCal that would like to meet up, please please please reach out, especially if it’s been a lengthy time since you last saw Dr Morris. I also would like to thank Judy Chang, she generously helped us out with the plane tickets out to California and lifted a huge burden off my back by doing so.
In the coming weeks, aside from heading out to California, Thom will have a consultation regarding some intensive therapy with someone who was recommended by Dr Lori from The Aphasia Center. We will also continue online speech therapy and the physical therapy at the house. Also hoping to get a few more people to drop by as well to at least say hi or keep him company while I’m working the Bucs or the Lightning. He has called me each Lightning and Bucs game, whether to say hi or to tell me he's too warm and would like the AC on. It's been so awesome seeing how far he's come, even with these little victories.
The photo is from Halloween at The Aphasia Center.