October 18, 2007

If it's Thursday, This Must be Aquatic Therapy

Sometimes I think my life is a giant Parker Brothers board game. Roll the dice and move five spaces forward. Draw a card and it tells me to, "Go directly to jail, do not pass Go. Do not collect $200." Then I roll the dice again and I draw a card that says, "Bank error in your favor, Collect $200." When things are going well, why can't we just stay in that groove?

Monday was land therapy with one of Don's new physical therapists and as I suspected before I even met the guy that he is not as good as the one we just lost. That guy was an extraordinarily caring and smart PT. The new guy didn't push/challenge Don to go beyond where he'd gotten to last week. In fact, he allowed Don to dial it down which I know wouldn't have happened if he would have given Don a minute break and then asked him try the task again. For example, last week Don had done five steps up and back down using a standard height step. This week the new PT used a ½ height step and allowed Don to stop at four. Next Monday I'm going to have to step in and coach them both to go beyond where they left off today. I feel like we drew the card that says, "Train stalled on the tracks. No not advance forward."

Tuesday we went to the hearing center to get the verdict on Don's hearing accident on the firing range---to see if the steroids did any good. His hearing did come back a tiny bit but not enough to make us stand up and cheer. The worst of it is that even after turning up his hearing aids, Don is still having a little trouble understanding and the doctor said there could be some nerve damage which sometimes happens with damage due to loud noises. It could improve; it might stay this way forever. Well, crap! He doesn't need that on top of the stroke issues. Upon hearing all this at speech therapy, the professor had Don's student therapist slow things down. "Go back three spaces."

Wednesday we rolled the dice at the dentist office and both came out with good reports and no more appointments for expensive caps or other things that make you think you drew the card that says, "You made a bad investment. Pay the bank half the balance in your account."

Thursday (today) was Don's first aquatic pool therapy at the new location with the new therapist. She does nothing else but work in the water. The pool is a lot larger than the one Don's been using at the other facility but the water is still the therapeutic 92 degree. The whole place made me feel like I was a pizza baking in a brick-lined oven. But the therapist seems to know what she is doing and I didn't get the feeling that she is going to baby Don the way the Monday land therapist did. "Move forward two spaces."

Friday is the bi-monthly fish fry at the old people's club which---my gosh---if I even thought about cutting out of our schedule---which I did---it would be mean we drew the 'divorce card' and I'd have to pay the board game a huge, ugly fine. I had hoped for a quiet day at home. Oh, well, I just drew the 'weary traveler' card.

Saturday is the disability deer hunt! I got a call from the guide yesterday who will be working with Don and he wanted to know how many deer I wanted Don to bring home. I didn't realize that here in Michigan he could get as many as five doe. Holly Mother of Mary, Don better not shoot more than one unless he agrees ahead of time to donate the meat to the hunter's soup kitchen project. I do not want to draw the card of life that says I have to buy a deep freezer to house a bunch of meat I don't want to cook.

The guide said that when they set up the deer blind, they saw seventeen deer milling around the area and he thinks Don's chances of getting one are excellent. The only down side---at least for Don---is that the landowner only wants doe harvested from his property. I understand that's kind of common for people donating land for the disabled to hunt on but who will be charging other hunters to use once the regular firearms season opens. I'll blog Sunday and let you all know how the hunt turns out. Don will have a good time, I'm sure, even if they get rained out and have to hang around the deer camp all day drinking coffee and eating hot dogs. For him, male bonding time has been almost non-existent since the stroke. The hunt is like drawing the much sought after card, "Advance to Go. Collect $200."

Jean Riva ©

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Geez, your board game sounds as tiring as mine has been lately. I'm hoping in the next week or two to take some days off and do nothing more then watch tv and sleep.
My fingers are crossed that Don gets a deer, I bet I'd feel his beaming smile all the way here in Tn.