Thursday, February 5, 2015

Day 14 - Our final night in Birmingham

 Ben was ready to head to therapy this morning!

Today was an exciting day, as we started doing things to wind down our trip to Birmingham.  First, Ben got to take his cast off today! (It's not permanent, when we get home, the cast goes back on for 45 minutes a day, every day, for a very long time.  That's a good thing, even if Ben would have you believe otherwise.  In order for movements with his left hand to become autonomic, he'll need a tremendous amount of repetition.)

A preview...

Second, we got to meet Dr. Taub!  Dr. Taub created the CI program, and at what must be 75 years old, continues to write grants for further research in the field of CI. For those of you so inclined to learn more, click here. Lastly, we started our final evaluations for the 22 item questionnaire that was mentioned yesterday.  In all it was an exciting day!

The first half of therapy really focused on fine motor development.  As Ms. Jane indicated, once the cast comes off - and especially at Ben's age - there will be a hard turn back toward what has always been comfortable, you know, using his right hand for everything.  Given that, fine motor skills were our prerogative early in the session.  Ben worked especially hard to use his "tripod" grasp.

Working on fine motor skills...

iPads are pretty ridiculous.  Seriously, who spells a word like that!?  Moreover, they aren't particularly environmentally useful and they generally seem to feed our collective tendency to do many things at a superficial level. Enough ranting... Begrudgingly, I perhaps see why Ben enjoys it.  He did an excellent job of almost "pointing" with his index and ring finger while goofing around with one!

Ms. Jane, wise as ever, cautioned against using the iPad too much and suggested that it be considered more of a "reward" for other more meaningful work.  Her concern largely stemmed from the fact that the iPad world is one of 2D and, as it turns out, we live in a 3D world.  Too much screen time, especially for him, can cause depth perception issues.  

But I'll give credit where it's due, and I must say that Ben seemed quite enthralled by the iPad.

In exchange for the cast coming off, Ben now has the opportunity to where a supinator splint to bed at night. He wears this on his left hand and its purpose is to help elongate the supinating muscles in his bicep and forearm.  These muscles, over time, will help Ben supinate with greater ease.  (It won't be easy, but rather easier.  Supination is extremely difficult for those affected by a stroke.)  Not sure what supination is?  See below!

The process of getting fitted was surprisingly loud and whiny; this was all the more surprising given that he had apparently done so well when getting fitted for his cast. 

We hit Ol' Guin Donalds - McDonalds for those of you not familiar with Benspeak - and ate lunch.  Then, we transitioned to an afternoon nap that was followed up with a bit of homework.  (Puddy pulls, weight bearing exercises on his left side, playing with cars, I mean the whole 9 yards...)  These tasks where a bit harder today as Ben needed additional prompting to keep his right hand down and away.

Our final night in Birmingham was capped with a visit to Dreamland BBQ.  It was fantastic, I mean really, the ribs were delicious.  

Ribs... Yum...

Our final excursion led us to Steel City Pops, an establishment that Reanna has previously discussed, I won't bore you too much, but suffice it to say that someone more entrepreneurial than I is currently missing an opportunity in Iowa...

Anywho, our last visit is tomorrow!  Woot Woot! Y'all have a good night!


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