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Friday Update: 09/19/08

Well, it’s the end of another week…another jam-packed busy week! Phew…am I ready to kick back and relax on ‘Football Saturday’! Matt’s TCM treatments with Jay have been going well. It’s so great to be able to ask questions and talk about what parts of the body he’s working on with different needles. He actually ordered bigger/thicker needles to use on Matt and thinks he may use them on more of his patients too…it seems to get the desired results faster than twisting the smaller ones. The other day he placed needles in Matt’s abdomen and talked about how he’s trying to strengthen his stomach and kidneys…that improving strength here will push out strength to the limbs as well. He’s been changing up the needle placement with each visit, so Matt is definitely getting a good variety of acupuncture points!

We also started the herbal therapies last night. We got our teapot and herbs from Jay on Wednesday and I cooked them up last night. Pouring the herbs out, I was surprised at how they looked…not at all what I was expecting! He said last night at least there weren’t any bugs in it…we chuckled…and then quickly realized he wasn’t joking! AHH….there are certain BUGS he could include in the herbs. Oh boy!! Matt’s concoction didn’t look too bad, and I didn’t think it smelled bad either. I boiled them on the stove in the pot for a good 45 minutes and thought it smelled pretty good actually. Matt has to drink ½ a cup twice a day. I took a sip last night…it was pretty bitter, but wasn’t terrible. Matt thought it was nasty, of course. Poor Matt! I also cooked up a batch of porridge for him to eat for breakfast…mmm! So far, he’s taking it all in stride as usual.

We talked to Jay about how long he thinks we should keep up this regimen and he suggests at least 3 months, and then re-evaluate. So, we’re probably going to continue seeing him 4 times a week through the end of the year. It’s a big commitment, but surprisingly we’re both just taking it one day at a time. Typically a schedule like this could easily stress me out…but right now, we’re both feeling pretty good about it. It’s not too bad – we go and he relaxes there while having the treatment, then we head back home for dinner. So far, it’s working out nicely.

This past Tuesday we went to Stroke Club here in Des Moines. It’s just a bi-monthly gathering of stroke survivors and their families. Amy had invited us a while back and we knew they’d be talking about the China Connection this week, so we decided to go. It was also a good opportunity to see Tim and Mary again. It was a little weird at first, being surrounded by so many others who’ve had strokes…mostly because of the age difference between us and most of them. It’s unusual for someone Matt’s age to be in this group of folks…but they welcomed us with warm smiles and hellos. We also got to see a few therapists from Matt’s past at Younker and Penn that we haven’t seen in a while, so that was fun. One of the other couples there was sure that Matt had been at Younker at the same time as them and commented on how much he has improved. It’s hard for me to remember all the folks who have come in and out of our experience, but it’s always good to see someone who knew us back then…for Matt to hear their words and see their expressions when they realize how far he’s come. That’s good stuff!!

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