Paul continues to struggle with the aphasia and his ability to talk. Until now, we've been using a message board, which is just a laminated sheet of paper with the alphabet on it. He spells out words and we write them down on a dry erase board. He has gotten much better at communicating this way, however it can time consuming and exhausting for both Paul and the person he is communicating with. So, this week, we met with reps from a company called Dynavox and have ordered a touchscreen device that will assist Paul in communicating. It includes a keyboard, word prediction, and voice activator that articulates the phrases for him. Of course, we do not want this to take the place of him talking and we, and his speech therapist, will continue to push him to talk.
Again, Paul is progressing, grasping and expressing more complicated thoughts yet he still gets confused and needs to be reminded of what has happened and putting the pieces back together. We continually try to fill in the gaps from pre-accident until now. He seems to have stronger memories of significant people and events from the past. For example, wanting to call an old friend from high school that he has not spoken with in 10-15 years or even thinking that he recently saw that person at Pate.
That said, he does continue to progress and things change weekly. This is a good thing. Today, I am going out to Pate earlier than usual to watch Paul's physical therapy treatment in the pool. He walks on a treadmill underwater and, as of last Thursday, insists upon walking up the steps to get out of the pool as opposed to using the lift chair. His determination continues to show up in every task.
I'm off to Pate. Thank you for your support and interest in Paul's recovery.