I am happy to be able to tell you that Ross is still making progress. He is communicating with gestures and words. When he wants his shoes or off, he will point to his feet, and maybe say "feet." Sometimes, if he isn't wearing shoes, he wants them on so he can walk, or if he is wearing shoes, he wants to have them off and a foot massage. When I ask him the right question, for example, do you want your shoes off, he says, "Yes, yes."
Another new skill, is that he is able to pull a blanket up over him, or off of his body when in bed. He also will move his pillow. Most of this is accomplished with his right hand. The left is becoming looser (not in a tight fist) and he continues to do his own therapy by holding his left hand with the right hand.
He frequently puts his right hand on his heart to show affection. I recently showed him the Christmas picture of him and Marley, his niece. He put his hand over his heart to show me how much he liked it.
He still has that delightful sense of humor. Recently, he said, "I want food, I love food, I want to marry food." Then he laughed. He also will tell us to "Close the door" after gesturing that we leave his room while he was watching television.
He is drinking with a straw again. This is very therapeutic, and it also slows down his efforts to drink the whole glass of water at once. We were using a straw for a while, but he refused it. I think this is another example of something I have been thinking about. There often seems a right time in his recovery to work on a particular skill. Rusty and I have been noticing that there seems to be a continuum in the emergence of calmness and progress.
Ross's biggest improvement continues to be walking with the walker. He is taking larger steps forward, and precise steps backward when he is ready to sit down in his chair. When he is coming up the ramp from outside, he lifts his feet across the threshold. His movements are very fluid.
We recently purchased a special foam mattress topper. We were surprised that he started sleeping through the night, and waking up in a happy mood. I have realized that when he was sometimes telling me in the morning, "I don't have a back," he was telling me he was in pain.
We are so blessed. Thank you all for your love and support. Also, thank you who have written, and are traveling a similar path with a loved one. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Onward and upward!