Thursday, November 13, 2008

Update - Nov. 13, 2008

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.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for the updates... Great progress! Do you remember the book we all read for book club that talked abt Dynavox and the different communication devices? Hope the meeting goes well.


Rrramone said...

Thanks for the update Patty, that new device sounds cool! I will post some pics from his haircut on Sunday soon too. There are some good ones.

Give Paul a big hug for me!

Love and blessings,

Sarah said...

I continue to have Paul and the entire Jerde clan in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for the update Patty!! The new devise sounds cool!!!

Much love,
All the Puccis

Kristine said...

This is indeed good news. Thank you Patty for keeping us informed and for being our touchstone to Paul.

You all are in my thoughts daily.

Much love,

Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping everyone updated on Paul's remarkable progress. The Dynavox sounds like an amazing piece of technology that will help Paul share his thoughts with his family and others.
Please know that I check the blog daily and keep the Jerde family in my thoughts and prayers.
All my best from Manistique.
Mary Ellen

Dena said...

Patty, I have not been able to get online for a few weeks and logging in to this update is AMAZING! What great progress and love the photos. It goes without saying that while I have not been online, you are all very much on my mind and in my daily prayers. Congratulations on amazing progress, Paul!

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