Friday, August 6, 2010

Evening Walk

     Boo really enjoyed our walk yesterday.  Although we didn't walk far, he could see better than usual and wanted pictures of his favorites.  We saw llantana, wisteria and lavender---and Boudreaux who thought stalking Boo was a good way to protect him.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Long Overdue Post

Talking to Boudreaux

     Boo continues to make progress in many areas.  It is a very up and down progression however.  On his good days, he carries on conversations with only a little effort, can follow a thought to its logical conclusion and incorporates his usual dry wit into conversations.  On his less than wonderful days, he is easily overwhelmed and does best in very familiar surroundings with things kept on an even keel.  On those days, he may try to initiate conversations.  Generally, he only responds to questions and has difficulty following conversations.
     This summer physical endurance has become an issue that we have yet to resolve.  Boo will take walks of 1 to 4 blocks in the morning or late evening most days.  He seems to enjoy the scenery, but not have the energy to continue.  I've added soy protein shakes to his diet twice a day hoping that extra protein will lessen muscle loss and eventually increase his stamina.  Boo really likes the shakes and they don't raise his blood sugar.  He seems less easily tired on our walks this week, but this is only the third week he's had these shakes.  We'll keep using the shakes and anything else I can think of to try.
     One thing that we've tried that has made a tremendous difference is adding a kitten to our household.  While I've never known Boo to be fond of cats, he is quite attached to Boudreaux.  Boudreaux is about five to five and a half months old and very responsive to Boo.  Now, when I cook, take out the trash or do routine things around the house Boo is content with Boudreaux near him.  Several times at night when Boo has gotten confused and decided to walk around, Boudreaux has awakened me.  He is definitely worth his kibble!

Friday, April 30, 2010


     Yesterday Boo "graduated" from occupational therapy.  He met all his goals for dressing, grooming and eating. He has made more progress than I anticipated.  I think being at home and having therapy in a familiar environment really made the difference.  He certainly became more cooperative with therapy when he came home.
     Regaining the ability to dress and groom himself, has done alot to help his self-esteem.   Boo can dress himself when his clothes are set out for him.  In fact, he can even button his shirts.  If he is confused or tired, that's different.  He requires either verbal directions or sometimes physical help.  With the help of a shower chair and a handheld shower, Boo can easily bathe.  Thankfully, we have a large shower that's easily accessible.  His stamina is not up to par yet.  When he showers and dresses, he must take a nap.  All things in time I guess.
     One of the occupational therapists retaught Boo to cut his food.  While that may not seem like a major breakthrough, it absolutely was!  He's been hesitant to cut his food since losing most of his vision as a result of his first stroke December 2007.  After this stroke, he had some temporary loss of fine motor skills.  This didn't seem immediately noticeable in the hospital, but became more obvious at home.  Karen, his occupational therapist, used theraclay exercises that seemed extremely useful to regain fine finger motion.  She also taught him to use visual and tact8ile clues to help him cut food.  I remember therapists in 2007 and 2008 doing similar exercises with him in an outpatient setting.  Boo was less than cooperative then.  Was the difference being at home?  Was it the personality of the therapist?  I'm just grateful that this is one more skill he's relearned.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lovely Day for a Walk

     This has been a beautiful day, cool and slightly breezy.  Boo and I went for a ten minute walk this morning. He stopped and played with my sister's dog, Daisy May.  Daisy May seems to know not to get under his feet when he's walking.  She waited very patiently this morning for Boo to throw her toy.  Great exercise for both of them! 
     The more I am able to work Boo's occupational and physical therapy exercises into our daily routine, the more receptive he is.  We "dance" the side step and the backward shuffle across the front porch every day to various folk songs.  As long as we call it dancing and I dance too, he's a happy participant.  The same exercises done alone or without music aren't nearly as appealing. I do need to work on my music selections however.  I don't care for them.
     One area we need to tackle is conversation.  Boo will talk to me and to our immediate family with relative ease.  Many times it takes a while for him to remember a word, but he still jumps in and has his say.  Around others, its a different story.  He seldom contributes anything.  Do the conversations move too quickly from one topic to the next for him to follow?  Is he  more embarrassed than I realize because it's difficult for him to phrase things the way he'd like?  Is he having trouble hearing?  Is too much happening at once for him to integrate it all?  This is definitely an area that needs alot of thought and work.