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Tuesday Update: 07/25/06

Well, we’re at the half way mark of Matt’s rehab stay in Omaha! I can’t believe it’s been six weeks already! I can only hope that the remaining six weeks go as well…and as fast! This past weekend I flew out to San Marcos to spend some time with my parents, sister, and her family. It was a good get away for me, but it was difficult to be there without Matt. I always get a lump in my throat whenever I’m with my parents, sister, and brother in law without Matt…it doesn’t feel right, something is definitely missing. Matt, Dad, and Chad have such a close bond, that it feels strange to just be there with Dad and Chad. I would stop and think about the last visit we had there, all of us, and how much fun it was. I would see things that would make me think of Matt and then the pangs of missing him would hit me. We talked every night though, and he even talked to my dad on the phone for a few minutes each time he’d call. Dad was happy to talk to him as well, and each time he’d hand me the phone with a smile on his face…so tickled just to talk to Matt. Matt’s sister went out to visit while I was gone and they had a good time as well. This weekend I can’t WAIT to get out there and hug him to pieces!!!!

Last Friday we had another meeting/conference call with all of Matt’s therapists and other staff working on his rehab plan. We talked through how things are going and the progress that he is making. They all agree that he’s doing well and continuing to make slow, steady progress. It may not be lightening speed…but I’ll take steady any day!

Here are a few highlights:

He’s now walking 300 feet without resting in PT, with contact guard only of one person. (When he first got there he was at about 150 feet.) They are working on the speed of his walking now, as his safety in improving. They are concentrating on the quality and consistency of each step. Matt’s standing balance is pretty good, but it’s when he goes to move and changes his base of support that he tends to start losing his balance. They are continuing to work on his endurance and balance each day.

Matt is pretty much independent around the house, aside from walking to and from meals and the shower room. They don’t really see much of him until he’s up and ready for the day and comes down for breakfast. He’s been standing for his morning ADL routine every other day and is doing well with that.

Matt is working on strengthening his right shoulder with different weight and pulley exercises. His kitchen assessment went well, and will be planning to make himself sandwiches or the microwave pizza 2 times each week to get better at that.

In speech Matt is working really hard on different patterns of articulation to try and improve his clarity. Matt can usually make the sounds better when he really tries, so they are working on trying to get the sounds clear the first time. The therapist has communicated the techniques he has been working on to the other staff working with Matt so they can all provide helpful feedback throughout the day.

Matt has been going off campus for an outing in the community once a week. This week he’ll be going to Borders bookstore, for a change of pace. They are also going to attach a bag to the side of his wheelchair for him to put his wallet in…so he won’t have to keep his money in his sock any more!

The handwriting class has been going well. Matt is working on improving his handwriting with his left hand, until the tremor in his right hand subsides enough that he can use it again. (I got an anniversary card in the mail from him…signed ‘Love, Matt’…so I can attest to its improvement!)

Matt is also going to get involved with the golf group there to see if he can participate in the group, maybe working on putting to start with.

Emotionally, Matt is coping well with things and is hanging in there. His psychologist said she will be there for him to vent to on how boring some of his therapies are, since he’s doing so well otherwise. She just reiterated that Matt’s deficits are all motor related…so unfortunately the only way to improve them is repetition, repetition, repetition…which is naturally going to be boring and uninteresting to him. But…if he sticks it out we hope the results will be worth it.

Of course the big talk this week is the car show on the QLI campus this Thursday! I can’t wait to hear how it goes!!!! I truly hope Matt can enjoy an evening with his dad and friends, showing off his baby and looking at others. It will be a good chance for some of the staff there to gain even more insight into Matt’s past and personality. He is so proud of the work he’s put in to that car, and so loves to talk about it and dream about doing more to it in the future. It should be a really good time for him!


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