Posted By Kathleen David on January 13, 2013
Fezzig: You just wiggled your finger. That’s wonderful!
Wesley: I’ve always been a quick healer. -The Princess Bride
I have learned or relearned more about how our muscular system and nerve system works in the past two weeks than I have in years. After one has a stroke, there can be a couple of days of aftershocks as the body and the brain sort out what happened to it. The total effect of the stroke might not be known for a while.
Where Peter had his stroke is where the motor control of the body really routes to the rest of the spine and through out the body. In his case, the right side of his body was severely affected. From the time he got to the hospital on Saturday and till New Years Eve, we weren’t sure about a lot of things except he was alive which for me was the important thing and that they were working on keeping him that way.
By News Years Eve the crisis had passed and the damage was done. As we watched the ball drop in Time Square, we seem to turn a corner. He never lost sensation in any of his limbs but he didn’t have any motor control. As the New Year rang in, he was able for the first time in a couple of days to move his hand to close it around the fingers of Ariel who was holding his hand. He then light gripped my hand as well.
From that point he has been working on that grip which has been getting a little bit every day. However if he wanted to extend the fingers, he had to help the hand to flatten out. We all worked hard to keep the tendons from tightening up on him making it harder for him to spread his hand flat. Once the tendons either lengthen or shorten, it makes it just that much harder to get range of motion back in that part of the body. So we have been fighting his body to keep him where he was before the stroke.
Yesterday he could open his hand on his own. Not with his other hand or someone else spreading his fingers, his right hand responded to his brain’s command to flatten out. Now he has to work at it, but he can start to do it. The more of this he can do without assistance, the better it will be for him in the long run.
He still has a long road but he keeps moving forward with determination.
He also started getting back to work again. He had the time and energy to conduct some business and answer some e-mail that I really didn’t have the answers for. His replies seem a little more terse than usual but that has more to do with trying to get things done so he is short with his wording to get the idea across. He is doing what he can to get himself back to where he was.
I am grateful for every finger wiggle and toe twitch.