PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy. Gregory will be getting both, five days a week, for the near future. The goal is to help him gain back some of his strength after a fall, a two inch gash on the back of his head and a bruise on the forehead, a Grand Mal Seizure with new medicine that causes drowsiness for a while, and a bout with the Flu with medication that has been compared to "being hit by a truck."

He is at greater risk for falling out of a chair because he is so sleepy so they put him in the chair pictured. He can easily be moved around and can doze off without being a risk to his safety. Most regular wheel chairs are too small for Gregory's height, he isn't strong enough to hold his legs up while being pushed, and they are easy from which to fall out. The chair looks like SHIT but serves its purpose.

I spend approximately one hour with him during both OT and PT. He practiced throwing and catching a beach ball with Andrea. At first he was unable to coordinate his arms and hands to do so. I asked if I could help and she said, "Sure." Gregory was able to work through his inability with me and threw the ball with increased energy. I almost cried. He smiled. Then he proceed to throw and catch with Andrea.

Next with the help of four people (and me) he was able to stand up from the wheel chair and using parallel bars walk several feet. Everyone was excited for him and I could tell he was proud of himself.

Getting him to sit down was another story. Whether because of fear, or pain, or stubbornness he had a very hard time sitting down. All five of us were trying to direct him at the same time or in rapid fire. Andrea was the first to realize, "Hey guys. One at a time."

He was finally able to sit down while leaning his head on Andrea's shoulder, possibly for physical support but most likely for moral support and confidence!

Next Nick worked with Gregory to help manipulate his feet and arms, facilitating their movement with his own. After that Nick and I were able to get Gregory up a second time and he walked several steps. (Amazing for what one is grateful!)

Sitting down as very difficult again. To help him relax I began sining the "Soft Kitty" song made popular on the long running "Big Bang Theory" TV series. Sheldon's mother used to sing the song when he was ill and the "little boy" in him still needs to hear it when he is not feeling well.

Before I knew it, four other therapists joined in the singing, Gregory relaxed, and then was able to let us help him back into the chair. Hard holding back tears.

Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur.
Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr, purr, purr.

Comparison chart

Occupational Therapy

Physical Therapy

DefinitionOccupational therapy (also abbreviated as OT) is a holistic health care profession that aims to promote health by enabling individuals to perform meaningful and purposeful activities across the lifespan.A health care profession primarily concerned with the remediation (fixing) of impairments and disabilities and the promotion of mobility, functional ability, quality of life and movement potential
FocusHelping people live as independently as possible. Restoring function. E.g. brushing teeth, combing hair, going to the bathroom etcHelping people move better and get relief from pain. Restoring movement and mobility. E.g. stand up, walk, get in and out of bed etc
Who needs itPeople with mental and physical impairments, developmental disabilities, after sudden serious health conditions like a stroke, Chronic conditions, like arthritis, after a work-related injury.After injuries or long-term health problems like back pain, Osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis.

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