August 29, 2009
It is now 6 and a half years since Russ had his accident. His progress is nothing less than amazing. He recently had his annual visit with Dr. Fellus. This year Dr. Fellus ended the visit by standing, shaking Russís hand and saying ďThank you for allowing me to prove to others that the textbooks about brain injury are wrong.Ē In this he was referring to brain injury textbooks that suggest that there is a finite window for brain injury rehabilitation. That once 6 months or a year have passed the patientís ability to improve is limited.
Earlier Russís speech therapist, Janine, suggested we consider a new therapy called LSVT Loud. It is mainly used for people with Parkinsons or stroke but Janine thought it would work well for Russ. She was not certified in LSVT Loud and suggested we find a therapist who was. However, Janine has worked so well with Russ and has made such progress when so many others have failed we were really reluctant to leave her. In addition, Janine was planning to become certified so we decided to wait. Janine got her training in June and began the program with Russ in July. I is definitely helping him. His voice is becoming stronger and we can all understand more and more of what Russ is saying. This is not to suggest that he has regained functional speech. But with a lot of patience on both Russís part and on our part he is able to speak some basic sentences to us. Frequently we need him to spell out words but there is no doubt that his speech is getting better.
For this visit to Dr Fellus, George-Anne brought our video camera to Optimum Health. (the gym where Russ gets physical therapy and exercise) She taped his exercise workout and we made a DVD to give Dr. Fellus. When Russ started at Optimum Health he couldnít walk without a walker, his left leg couldnít straighten fully so his left foot only touched the ground with his toe when he walked. His left arm was very weak. His coordination was poor and his reflexes were very slow. As an example, Jerry began throwing a football with Russ. In the beginning his reaction time was so delayed that the football would hit his chest, fall to the ground, and then Russ would closed his hands long after the ball was gone. The video shows Russ on the treadmill at good speed with no noticeable problems, he does arm curls and benchpresses with a lot more weight than I and does complex routines that demonstrate greatly improved coordination and reflexes. Jerry has done wonders with Russ and has restored a lot of his old self confidence.
Thanks for supporting Russ as he continues his rehabilitation.