Friday, April 8, 2011


As part of Dad's recovery the doctors gave him orders to meet with an occupational and a physical therapist.  Today was Dad's first visit with the occupational therapist.  This visit was just his assessment.  Next week Dad will meet with him once and then it's recommended that he continues twice a week while he goes through radiation and chemo, depending on Dad's energy level.

The Occupational Therapist sat down with Dad and asked him about his job duties and responsibilities, his daily grooming abilities, his leisure time pursuits and the overall layout of the house.  He also asked Dad about his vision, speech, memory and how Dad goes about organizing himself each day.  Then the therapist conducted some more concrete assessments to create a baseline to measure progress against.

Dad had to do the standard vision test (Ironically he has better vision out of his right eye, the one he closes most of the time).  He also had to stand one foot in front of a board with lights on it (see picture above).  Dad had to find the light that was on and push it off, then find the next and push it off, etc.  He had 60 seconds to find and turn off as many as he could.  This measured his reaction time as well as his ability to see in each visual field.  Dad's visual ability and reaction time was the weakest in the bottom right.  Which we could have predicted, since every time Dad has tripped over something it has been on the right side. 

Dad did many other assessments regarding verbal and visual memory, coordination and strength.  He also made Dad start from 100 and subtract by 7's.  This must be something these therapist are all taught in school, since the one in the hospital asked Dad to do the same thing.  Dad just said, "I knew I should have memorized that." 

From these assessments the therapist gave us many recommendations.   He counseled Dad to slowly take on more responsibilities to build endurance and coordination back.  He also said we should make sure that his walking pathways are clear from any tripping hazards (learned this the hard way when he was out in the garden with me the other day).  He thought Dad would benefit from helping to fold the laundry (coordination) and using a spray bottle and cloth to wipe down the counters with his right hand (grip and arm strength).  I think Mom would benefit from that one as well.  He suggested that as we are driving Dad around, we should ask Dad what signs we are passing, or ask him to tell us when he thinks we should turn.  We'll see how well that one goes....  We are also going to start having him search for particular word phrases, pictures, headlines etc. in the newspaper.  I think this would be a fun one to do with his older grandsons!  The therapist also is recommending some speech therapy.

The therapist said he'd work with Dad to help him get back to driving ability and able to complete more of his work tasks and the tasks at home he wants to do.  I found it all very fascinating.  Dad on the other hand said in the car, "I don't really think I need to go play games with this guy every week."  Hopefully Dad will see and feel progress each time he goes!


  1. Great report!!!! I don't think I could do any better than Dave at those tests! It's to bad he wasn't tested six months ago to compare where he is now. . . . . I think Dave needs to hop in the truck with Smokey and I and go for a ride and practice reading signs. We love you guys and pray for you often. Listen to Rascal Flatts "I won't let go". See you soon! Uncle Russ

  2. Way to go Dave! Don't let them talk you into thinking you're not capable. Never give up. You'll show em who needs therapy? keep keeping on Dad

  3. Thank you so much for all the updates!Let me know, Dave, if I can bring you more cookies. I promise not to spray you with water the next time I come see you. You are a blessed man to have Janis and your sweet daughters by your side at all your appointments. I know it is a great blessing to have your family with you through this. You are in my prayers and in my thoughts every day. Keep getting stronger and listen to the women in your life! Love, Wendy

  4. Russ- Dad says he's waiting for a ride anytime. Just come and get him.!

  5. Ha ha. I love the comment "I don't really think I need to go play games with this guy every week." I think I'd get a little tired of that sort of thing as well. We'll start saving magazines and newspapers to do object/word searches. Lincoln and Sawyer would like that - it'd probably help Sawyer with his reading skills too. Thanks for the update! Good to see you guys on Sat!