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Thursday, October 28, 2010

A New Kind of Ball Game!

Today was another day of Cale working SO hard! I feel like I can say that every day because he does every single day! I'm so proud of him! He keeps telling me and all of his therapists it's because he loves me and every time I hear him say it, my heart turns into mush!!!

The morning started with Dr. Howe for Neuro Psych. It was such an exciting session! Cale has been making crazy good gains physically, but cognitively, he's been going kind of slow. It's kind of hard trying to make it easy to understand through the blog, but it's really where Cale is struggling-a lot. Well, today he showed that he's starting to come around! Dr. Howe asked him where home was and he said "Washington State" then Dr. Howe made a comment about it, and Cale said it's up. I asked him if WA is north, where are we? and he said, "California." Dr. Howe had told him 5 minutes before but that's the first time Cale remembered and was able to say it! He was only able to repeat if it was less than two five is big! Also, she asked him how his mood was today and Cale said "boo". "Why?" she asked, and he said, "I'm here" and then he turned, pointed at me, and said, "Kathleen makes it better!" Oh my goodness! SOOOOOO sweet!! Dr. Howe and I had a cheesy gushy girly moment! :) Cale must be the sweetest man alive!!! Before she left she brought up how Cale is initiating more which is another sign of progress and healing!

My day started with lots of smiles!

Next was OT and because of a meeting, Pat combined PT. Cale was worked to the max! Pat had Cale walk (with out the walker!) all the way to the basket ball court. I'm not sure how far it is, but just know it's far! He had to help some, but when he did, it was not a lot and Cale was having to focus so much. It takes more than I knew just to walk! Cale had to think about balance, weight shift, good steps (using heel to toe), bending his knee, posture, and still so many more things. When he finally made it to the court, he sat on a bench and threw the basket ball for a tiny bit. After a while, they had Cale stand and do some more passing and once he was balanced and doing good, they let him shoot hoops! He LOVED it!

Here's a video of Cale's first ball game...

...and here's a video of now!

Cale is all done with the testing in ST! It was slow going, but he finally made it through! Patty wrote up for me some of what Cale is struggling with and goals to help him. I thought I would share it so you can see specific areas to pray for and so you can see where he's at. We did some new exercises today and he did pretty good already! Patty also said that there are different classifications of aphasia, but she hasn't classified him yet. His testing was very inconsistent at times.

SPEECH (muscular control): C’s speech style is most consistent with a "hypokinetic dysarthria." This is marked by rapid speech rate, tremulousness in his voice, flat melody, imprecise consonants (undershooting/reduced movement of the articulators – lips, jaw/teeth and tongue). The growth in C’s nose is also reducing the airflow out of his nose, making "nasal" sounds such as /m/ sound more like /b/, or /n/ sound more like /d/. Goals will address: making articulator movements BIG and EXAGGERATED, slowing rate and possibly increasing melody/volume variation to emphasize certain words.

LANGUAGE (understanding, producing, and using language): C is still having significant problems with receptive language. He is understanding about 30-50% of more complex information (e.g. multi-unit commands, paragraphs) being presented to him verbally. His ability to comprehend what he reads is also significantly reduced (at this time, reading out loud is very difficult for him in addition to understanding what he is reading). Expressive language was more difficult to assess because of his speech problems, so there is a possibility that he might be able to use more language than what is shown on the testing. He is undoubtedly still having at least moderate difficulty with word-finding, and sometimes his words come out wrong ("paraphasias") or he gets stuck ("perseveration"). Writing was also difficult to assess because his handwriting was small and often illegible, but he may have some ability to use a spelling system to help supplement his communication. Goals will address: word-finding, trialing augmentative/alternative communication strategies, etc.

In RT we played Skip-Bo. Cale's new thing has been to say "cheat" if someone beats him, or does something better. Rebecca was telling him that instead he should be saying good job. When I made a really great move, Cale said "Good job cheat!" hahaha! He's so funny! Haha-he makes me giggle! :)

The Darling's were beyond spoiled today! A couple weeks ago, I was given a certificate for a spa package. One night I was looking through the booklet and saw the spa offered couples massage...hmm! I talked with Dr. Sigford and she said Cale would be able to. His tube is out so now he can lay on his belly. I called and made the appointment and today we got our massages! It was wonderful!! After we were done, I asked Cale what he thought of it and he said, "It was great!!" The lady that did Cale's massage was so sweet and gave us big hugs afterwards. We are both very relaxed and will hopefully sleep like babies! :)

Cale has turned into an even pickier eater(is that possible?!)! It's "Ewe!" to everything. Right before I said good night, I told him he's not allowed to say ewe anymore and then he said "Ick!" -oh dear.


  1. Kathleen, I am so happy to read this. First of all, he looks awesome in that video! I can't believe he is standing unassisted and catching a ball and he looks steady as a rock! :) Secondly, Brian and I are praying a lot for his mind. I believe God will heal it, even a little at a time. Love you girl. You're such an encouragement.

  2. Kathleen, I am so pleased for you and Cale. Thank you for sharing about his therapies. It is good to know what you guys have to deal with on a daily basis. I love you, Marion Hansen (NBA watch out!!!!)

  3. Love that His sence of humor has not changed much - ewww to ick ! Love it ! Enjoy this time Still praying daily for you and Caleb! love ya Reenie

  4. I am so happy for you and caleb I am glad are coming along may the future get better you are in my prayers tanya


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