I’ve got to give it to Jaime, the physical therapist. In his way, he knows Vernon pretty well by now. He keeps pushing Vernon and yet is always patient and kind. And it is clear that Vernon trusts him. whether he likes working that morning, whether or not he remembers his name. I see it in the way he grabs hold of Jaime’s waist when he is being lifted from the chair or the bed. I see it in the way he tries to cheat the exercise by using his strong side instead of his weak, but when called on it, tries his best to do it correctly. It is remarkable how a young-ish man has so much trouble doing the smallest movements. I understand most of the issue is neurological, that the brain is having a hard time connecting to the movement of his limbs, particularly on his right side, which he favors as it were recently hurt.
This video should give you an idea of where he is with his physical therapy.
I didn’t capture it on video, but after this, Vernon was in the beginning stages of sitting up by himself. He almost toppled over a few times, but it was clear he was feeling his own equilibrium and would attempt to balance himself. Though he was still unsteady, it was an improvement on what I’d seen so far. In fact, after being put in his wheelchair, he seemed upset that he couldn’t go back to bench to sit some more.
Jaime complimented him after the session, saying: “Good job, Vernon, you did really well today.”
He lit up and replied: “Thanks. Means a lot!”
Vernon keeps asking for water, which he is not allowed to have yet. He is allowed to have an apple juice with a ‘honey-thick’ texture and is offered it by a spoon. Anything thinner makes him cough as he is still learning to swallow properly. He doesn’t love the stuff and usually wave. When I tried to give him the spoon today, he rejected it, but instead took the cup. I was so nervous he would spill it all over himself, but his hand was steady. I know he would have rather had water, but he did the best with what he had to work with. Again, I was impressed with his ability to drink from a cup. It’s another corner turned.
“Do not despise the day of small beginnings.” —Zechariah 4:10
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. —Theodore Roosevelt