After focusing on his right hand for a few weeks, his right thumb and pinky are starting to move very slowly. His therapist is optimistic that they can get more of the fingers to follow suit, it will just take a lot more time and effort. His left hand continues to gain strength; they are working on isolated finger movements and he can now compress up to 15lbs (a few weeks ago he could also squeeze 3lbs).
But it’s over in PT where the really exciting work is happening. While his left leg has been gaining movement, starting from the toes up, his right leg is waking up from the hip down! Without getting into all of the technical distinctions and details: both legs are waking up! Over the past couple weeks, his physical therapist has been getting really excited about this progress in his legs and they have been focusing more and more on rehabilitating both legs. Some of the new exercises include a max-assist stand, next to the mat, where one therapist supports his knees and another therapist supports his upper body, and Thomas holds his arms on a walker. With this support they help him stand, and he is even working on small squats and shifting weight from side to side! Of course to stand it takes more than just leg muscles, so they have been intensely focusing on his lumbar and core muscles in tandem. These muscles give one the strength to stand upright and shift weight from leg to leg. There are almost a dozen different types of exercises he now does to identify new muscle groups and strengthen existing ones. This is all very exciting, but a huge number of challenges remain and we are taking it one day at a time.
To even be able to contemplate standing and walking is worlds away from where we were six months ago in Baltimore, hoping Thomas would survive the night…
Thomas Peters, six months on
January 16, 2014 by