Monday, August 29, 2016

Mad Dash North

Dr. C, Michael's VA neurologist, felt Physical and Speech therapy would be beneficial. We made the most of the trip to Eugene. We got up early and arrived in time for breakfast with Mom, Dad and Lorri.

We ran a few errands. I found the pickles Mom G had on her shopping list. Stepping into Staples was like walking into heaven! I didn't realize how much I missed a real office supply store. The boys and I had designed a lesson planner for them we liked. It is a two page spread, has room for 11 subjects, and tracks weekly and yearly hours for each of the subjects. This makes it easy to determine the time spent when awarding high school credit. Michael figured out how to fit it all on to a standard sheet of paper and made it "work."  Last year Nolan printed it each week and then just saved them.... I thought it would be easier to have the thing bound - which we thought last year, too, but our travels never quite took us by an office supply store at the right time. Staples copied and bound the trackers for us, and we're quite happy with the product.  Our writing handbook has been well-used; the binding broke years ago. They snipped the holes, re-punched and spiral bound it for us! Much easier to use.

We then headed over to the VA clinic feeling good about all we'd accomplished in the day. Krista picked up the kids. They'd been told to bring their tennis shoes, always a sign a hike or a game is in the making.  They hiked to the top of Spencer's Butte. Lots of Phys Ed on our first day of school this year.  I suppose these could be our 2016 First Day of School pictures.

It would be wrong to get the impression Michael is stumbling, shuffling, slobbering etc. However, his right arm doesn't swing and some days he  stumbles and staggers; they tell us he does have a bit of a shuffle, and his torso doesn't move when he walks. Part of Parkinson's Disease is muscles become stiff and/or rigid. Dr. C feels early intervention, via exercises, will give Michael more tools as the disease progresses.  His voice has gotten softer and hoarser over the past 4 - 5 years, and he is having trouble swallowing. Speech therapy will be in the mix to help with those symptoms. They haven't called with appointments. We're hoping they find a speech therapist in Roseburg.

We liked the physical therapist. She began by wanting him to come in weekly. We can't. We talked about every other week but settled on monthly. Michael will do his exercises daily and if he makes progress, we only have to drive up once a month.

Hawaiian time is a fantastic meeting spot for a late lunch/early dinner. This was quite the accomplishment as we didn't have much time to plan the trip. LOL
L-R; Nolan, Alex, Stacia, Krista, ARielle, Cory, Micahel and Bella, Bre, Izaak
Bella has reached an age where she isn't thrilled with strangers - classified as "other than Mommy and Daddy," and maybe a couple of others. I was prepared to play from a distance - but she smiled and laughed with both Michael and me and was happy to come right to us.  YAY, Bella!
We tried a selfie - Bella was interested in seeing us on the screen

Gemma has my binkie! 

Such fun
Go Bella....
We ran for the border and were home between 7 - 8 p.m.;  14 hours after we'd left. Our future appointments are on Mondays, we CAN do this again....or we may drive up on a Sunday night and come back Monday. We'll see how Mom G's needs, mesh with our needs.