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Friday Update: 05/05/06

Well, today we met with a neuro-psychologist from QLI Omaha. He came out first thing this morning to talk to Matt and I, to get a better idea of how things are going. They wanted to see if Matt looked like a good fit for their rehab program etc. We sat and talked with him for about an hour, just going over what things are like here at home and what goals Matt has for his long term rehab. Obviously we want to maximize his rehab and get as much back as he can. The doctor from QLI thought Matt would be a great candidate. He could see how motivated Matt is, how bright he is, and ready to take on challenges. He explained how their program would work a little bit more, which helped us try and get an idea of what his days would be like. They have the residents living in separate houses on the campus, each with their own bedroom. Each house is staffed with people to help with the day to day tasks. But I get the idea that the residents do as much as they can for themselves in each house. Each house has its own kitchen etc, where all meals are prepared. I told Matt…sounds like he could get some practice cooking and MAYBE even washing up dishes!! Overall, the visit was good.

Of course, so much time has gone by, they are unsure if insurance will approve the request…so that is the next hurdle. I had also sort of talked myself into thinking that he may not be approved to go…so I don’t think I really dealt with the thought of him actually going and what that would be like. The longer he is home, the more of the old Matt comes out…the more I want him to stay with me here at home. I know I’m being selfish…I would just miss him so much. I know that if insurance agrees he can go, then he has to go. We have to make this sacrifice for the long term good it could provide. It would just be very difficult to be apart. Like everything though, we try not to worry about it too much until the time has come.

Yesterday we saw Matt’s neurologist who prescribed a new drug for the tremor that has really started to affect his right hand. She explained that the tremor is caused by lack of dopamine in Matt’s body. This is another chemical that is produced (where else) but the brain stem…so Matt’s hemorrhage has affected this production, causing the tremor. The medication that he started will trigger a reaction in the body to produce the needed dopamine and should help alleviate the tremor. Dr. Struck explained that it is not unlike a Parkinson’s tremor, just caused by the hemorrhage, instead of the disease. She is an expert in Parkinson’s treatment and research, so she is confident this drug should help. We hope so! It will be good to get that hand going back to normal again.

Matt continues to do well in all of his therapies. The weekly PT sessions in the water are going really well also. He’s been working hard on his walking and is very close to being able to walk with the walker by himself. Last week I did actually have him walk across the living room with the walker and I wasn’t even touching him! He did pretty well too! Most of the time, he only requires a tiny bit of help if he starts to lose his balance, usually he can self correct and keep going.
Matt’s latest speech intelligibility tests result came back with big improvements. His therapist had 5 different unfamiliar people listen to the tapes and came back with really good results. His intelligibility for sentences was 97% and for single words was around 82%. The first time they did these tests, his percentages were in the 20s and 30s! He was pretty excited about the results! He’s plugging away, as usual…and making good progress along the way. We still haven’t heard anything on timing for the embolization procedure, but I will keep you all posted when I have news. In the mean time…HAPPY SPRING!

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