Friday, November 23, 2007

OT and PT

Dad had his initial assessment for his Occupational Therapy yesterday. On our way there, the therapist texted me to ask me if Dad could climb stairs..because the elevator in their building was out of service! I told her that Dad can climb stairs but NOT 3 flights! So she asked if we could just meet somewhere else just so she could make the assessment.

We went to Starbucks, hehehe. Gotta get those stickers to get my lovely leather-bound planner, you know! Anyway, off to Starbucks we went. The therapist's name is Penny and she was pretty thorough with Dad and very nice. So no, Dad couldn't frown and pout with her, hahahaha! He answered all her questions clearly and with some thought. Very good session in that regard.

Penny also brought some instruments with which to measure Dad's grip, his pinching strength and other things. She had some flash cards to tell her where Dad stood in cognitive matters and memory. Basic stuff, really, but they had to be done. When I was buying coffee, she had apparently asked Dad to sign his name. All he did was to make a squiggly line and that was it. He had just enough strength to hold the pencil, but couldn't do anything with it anymore.

If anything, all these "tests" gave Penny an idea of where to start with Dad and what she wanted him to do. She asked Dad what she could do for him. After some thought, Dad said "to sign my name, and to do normal things like feed myself." One of Dad's assignments was to have more concrete examples of the "normal things" he wanted to do for himself.

For Physical Therapy, Dad is progressing with each session. Literally making great steps (yes, pun intended!) during 2-hour sessions. He is walking more fluidly (when he's not tired of course) and is speaking a lot more clearly now. He is frowning less because he is able to understand quickly what we are talking about. Yes, his appetite is still there, which is good, and he doesn't complain when all that is cooked for him are fish, rice and veggies. Ok, and chicken, too, sometimes. He understands what meats can do to his kidney (finally!!!) and he tries to avoid them more consciously now.

All his effort is obviously so that he will get stronger, but a primary motivation for him is that he wants to surprise Mom when she gets home with how strong he already is compared to when she first left for the States. He has gone a long way in less than a month!

I'm getting ready for his and Mom's questions of what to get the other this Christmas. They always ask, every year, without fail. What should I get for your Mom? What should I get for your Dad? Hehehe. Now I have to surf for some romantic christmas gifts for the both of them. They don't want some cheap-y gifts either, but something that they can splurge on. And they're not easy people to come up with ideas for gifts, let me tell you! We kids have had to be creative when thinking of gifts for them, hehehe. Off to put my thinking cap on!

Some scraps first. I did these using some quick pages. I just put some more embellishments and I was done in less than 30 minutes! A record breaker, for sure! :)



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