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Friday Update: 02/10/06

Well we’ve just been a flurry of activity these past few days, let me tell you! I keep thinking/hoping things are going to settle down into a more ‘normal’ routine…but stuff keeps popping up! Mostly, doctor appointments. We did see the Neurologist and she thought Matt was doing great. She walked in and said she was excited to see him, to see his progress. She had him do a few things to demonstrate his abilities, and she seemed pretty pleased. She looked at his eyes long and hard, and asked one of her fellow doctors to come and look at them too. She thought maybe he should be referred to a Neuro- Ophthalmologist to see if there was anything that could be done to help improve the ways his eyes move. She, herself, only has vision in one eye and also had surgery performed to make her eyes look as if they are working together normally…so she thought it would be worth a shot to see if something could be done to help Matt. She sent a referral that day, and we have an appointment in Iowa City on March 8th with a Neuro- Ophthalmologist there…at EIGHT o’clock in the morning!!! YIKES!!! It will be interesting to see what they have to say. The Ophthalmologist who has been following Matt up to date, didn’t really think there was anything but time that would help improve Matt’s eyes…but perhaps this Neuro- Ophthalmologist will. Either way, we’re going to check it out and see what they have to say.

The Neurologist also did 2 more Botox injections on Matt’s right arm, to help improve the mobility of his hand. She did a smaller dose than before, since the muscles are so much less spastic than before. We’ve got another follow up visit with her in 3 months, and she can do another injection if needed, but she hopes that with time and therapy he won’t need it long term.

Therapy-wise, Matt is doing great. He continues to impress the therapists with his hard work and strength. This week, he had an occupational therapist work with him who first saw him just a few weeks after his hemorrhage…and then again while he was at Younker. It had been a few months since he’s seen Matt and he was very impressed with Matt’s improved strength and stability. One of these days we’ll have to pop back in and visit the folks at Younker and Fleur Heights. Matt wants to be even better though, to really show his improvement. But, keep an eye out guys….we’ll drop by sometime!

One day this week, his physical therapist had him working on his quads. (If you’ve ever participated in sports, your coach likely had you do something similar in practice.) He had his back up against a wall and would squat down as far as he can, then push himself back up. His quads are very strong and he had no trouble with this at all! The therapist and assistant were (in Matt’s words) blown away by how strong and stable he was! She’s had him pushing this large weighted contraption around the gym, which he also does very well. And she’s had him working on a stationary bike…which he gets off and onto virtually all by himself!

We have discovered that at night, after Matt has taken his sleeping pill, his speech gets a lot better. We talked to the Neurologist about it and she said it’s not uncommon for the pills to help relax the speech muscles, making it easier to talk. Sort of like having a few drinks, and your speech flows so much faster! We taped Matt talking a few times, just so he can hear that voice and know it’s in there somewhere. The other night he was being so funny. He kept saying it was ‘crazy man…crazy.’ He also thought he sounded like he had an East Coast/Gangsta’ accent! HA! He also had good inflection in his voice, whereas now it is pretty monotone. He said ‘How YOU doin’?’ just fine!

It’s so good to have these moments of silliness…it is so US, and I just miss those moments so much. His sense of humor, his laughter, and the tender, loving way he has of teasing me…it’s good to have some of that back. Matt and I dream of taking a trip to Hawaii when he’s feeling better. We were originally going to do it for our 10 year wedding anniversary, but now we’re thinking we’ll do it whenever the time is right…no need to celebrate an anniversary…we want to celebrate our life together as much as we can, as soon as we can, and as often as we can. And SO SHOULD YOU!!!

To quote one of the great minds in our generation...

‘Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.’

----Ferris Bueller


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