The Adventures in Therapy

Yesterday I had the day off so I got to spend it with Shade up in Jax as he went through his various therapies. The Brooks staff have a wide range of fun and engaging therapies that they employ for their patients and for dads who get bored easily and need entertaining. 

When I first arrived, Shade was getting his groove on to some music therapy, beating a drum to Bon Jovi and working in some fancy dance steps. 

He then practiced walking with therapist Matt. Matt scooted along on a rolling stool, supporting Shade with his shoulders and guiding Shade’s steps with his hands. Shade nearly burst a gut when Matt pointed to a gym pad and said, “Ok, Shade, jump on the mat.” That nomenclature could be a serious problem if he ever did therapy with a professional wrestler. 

Shade then had a session with the opthalmologist. We explained to the doc how his eyesight is fine but he’s had horrible double vision now for 5 years. His right eye not only is pushed up and to the right, causing a second  image at a diagonal to the left image, but it also is twisted 15 degrees in the socket. Why the original stroke caused this is anyone’s guess. That’s why correcting glasses can’t do any good. Even if you get the two visual images on top of each other, one is twisted 15 degrees. 

They devised a crafty solution: opaque tape on clear glasses that obscures half the lens. So at any one time he’s either looking out the left OR right eye but not both. Yet the opaqueness allows some light through. A simple solution to a complex problem. 5 years at a top neuro-opthalmologist could not come up with that. 

At lunch, Shade was overjoyed when he got upgraded to chewy foods. That meant he got pizza. It took him an hour to eat it, but he didn’t mind. 

After lunch was free recreation. During this time he was allowed to go down to the play room and do what he wanted. We played air hockey for about 45 minutes. Violently smacking discs around is quite therapeutic.

He also tried his hand at pool. His left hand couldn’t hold the cue stick but we adapted. He slotted the stick through the clear tube on his arm harness and was able to shoot a few balls. 

Finally we went outside to the gardens and shot some hoops. He practiced dribbling the ball with his right hand and he kicked it a few times with his left foot. 

This will be the last time I can visit until Jun 13 because of work. I’m bummed that Brooks is so far away but it’s definitely the right choice for Shade. He’ll be there until June 30. I expect huge improvements when I return from my travels next week. 

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