posted by Mary Lello, Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 5:00 AM
Something is changing. There is something happening in Jim's brain that is new. Oh sure, he has better days then others, but when he has a good day he's very, very good.
Monday was a good day. I've been working with him to say one sentence to me "tie my shoes", or even just "tie shoes". For months I would not tie his shoes until he said this sentence back to me after I would initiate it. But Monday he came down into the kitchen and said "Mary, tie my shoes". I hit my head on the ceiling in my leap of joy! It didn't come out perfectly but it came out well enough. And when his speech therapist, Dena, worked with him Monday afternoon she said he was doing things that he wasn't able to do back in July when she first tested him, that he was saying more words and saying them easier then he has in months. A very good day!
All the care takers met a couple weeks ago and I shared this idea that Todd had suggested - that each person could pick a sentence that they would like to practice with Jim, and that sentence could become their "tie my shoes" experience. I suggested it be 3 words and to accept less but NOT to accept garble. Make him say the word perfectly. With practice, mimicery and watching another persons mouth for the formation of the letters he can say words damn close to perfect. I also suggested that if they tell me their sentence that I could try and practice it with Jim on a regular basis so he doesn't get that sentence only once a week.
So we are getting some wonderful sentences to say; "I want to meditate", "I love you", "Go for a walk", "Read to me". We want to insist that JIm talk to us instead of our figuring out what he wants and then just doing it for him. It feels like a good plan anyway.
Todd is trying to get Jim to say "Damn it" after each sentence as well as some other proper use of expletives in a sentence form. Thanks a lot Todd! But my favorite sentence might be the one our friend Matthew said he started to work on - "I don't think I feel like doing that just now thank you" ... this cracked both JIm and I up since it's so impossible presently! But I loved the humor of it! Jim loves the humor of it too. Lately there have been almost as many belly laughs as tears. Balance is nice.
It just feels like we've made a little step up away from that long and exhausting plateau we've been on. It feels like his brain is making new connections, just starting to respond. Baby steps .... no, more like insect steps. But even the tiny red ant gets to the top of our massive Oak (Grasshopper). I tell JIm "we've climbed so many mountains by taking one step at a time", and as much as we both would like to sprint up this damn path we're on, we can't. So I say just keep moving forward ...
- .. and today it feels like we are.
Loving you all!