Just in case any of you might have been wondering what I look like in occupational therapy, this photo is a sneak peak. Who needs dignity when you could have this snazzy vest??
But on a more serious note, as we approach the last week of April, it truly feels like we’ve been “showered” with reasons to give thanks! Here are some of my most favorite ones:
- Goodbye, cane…hello, hands free! Yup, I am now able to get around the apartment solo. This has been a long time coming, and we are so thrilled!
- The left knee is finally straight! This also felt like it was a super long time coming…quite possibly because it involved sleeping in a large and somewhat odd-looking leg brace for a few weeks. I said “odd” because we couldn’t decide if it looked Medieval or more space age-ish. But anyway, having a straight left leg is a beautiful answer to so many prayers…especially since at my February and March ortho visits they weren’t sure if it was even possible.
- Ivan is done with his coursework and will graduate in about two weeks! This accident has changed our lives in more ways than we can number, and I’m so grateful and proud he was able to push through and finish well in spite of having so many new “irons in the fire.”
Looking forward to May, here are some needs we are still waiting and praying for:
- Return of sensation in my left hand – it’s stayed consistently numb since I woke up after the accident, and my neurologist confirmed that this is a result of the strokes, not trauma. Typically most stroke healing occurs during the first three months, so the fact that it didn’t heal during that time means we are now beginning to problem-solve in case that impairment is permanent. The good news is my therapists have taught me that it is possible to control a body part that you can’t feel (this really amazed me!), so I am slowly re-leaning some motor skills in spite of the “dead” feeling. However, unless the sensation returns, my ability to do any activity that involves heat, lifting, sharp objects, or fine motor skills will be significantly impacted for safety reasons. I’m also still not able to play violin at this point since it’s a very tactile instrument and is left-hand dominant. On the positive side though, I have had some successful experimentation with piano since it’s more easy to play by sight and the basic hand movements are simpler.
- Continued mental healing. As my body grows stronger, we are increasingly aware of the healing in my brain that is yet to take place. Traumatic brain injuries take 1-2 years to heal, and the time frame for brain healing after stroke is more ambiguous. My therapists are doing their very best to help me face this unseen injury (including giving me homework such as “go into a coffee shop for 5 minutes”). We are slowly seeing improvement here, but my ability to talk to visitors, process information, make decisions, or be in any sort of a crowded or public environment without having a mental episode is pretty limited. I think this is most poignant because I miss being in church every Sunday…but with God’s help and continued healing I hope that worshiping in church will become a reality again.
Thank you all for walking with us every step of the way! I cannot get over praising God for all the progress this month has brought. He truly is powerful! And looking forward to our continued requests, I am confident that His hand will guide us toward His perfect new “normal” for our lives. Whatever that turns out to be, we know without a doubt that He is still good!