Sunday, December 31, 2006
Robb and I had a lot of time to talk in the car the other day. Apparently, his therapists told him how impressed they are with him for both his determined attitude and focus, and also what we call his "body awareness."
He mentioned this, because at some point he realized that nobody was going to come knocking on our door with an offer to heal him, and that if we was going to get better, his improvement was his own responsibilty. He was going to have to do the work, and nobody could do that for him.
I thought about that for a second, and told Robb that if he kept talking like that, I was going to burst into tears. I'm so proud of him, and all the hard work that he has done since he broke his back and injured his spinal cord.
We drove on a bit further and I said, "So I guess you're not going to make any New Year's Resolutions, huh?"
And we both burst out laughing.
Did someone drop a house on Robb, or what???
Pictured above are Robb's new ankle braces. He tells me that they are "assistive devices" as opposed to "therapeutic devices."
To put this another way, they help him walk better, but they are not going to make him get better.
These braces double the strength Robb has, in pointing his foot.
Apparently, the fact that Robb can barely point his foot is entirely unusual for his type of injury. But because of this, making these braces was a bit of a personal challenge for Robb's orthotist.
The braces fit inside Robb's shoes, and the first time he wore them, his stride length increased by about forty or fifty percent. I would call that a huge improvement!
At Robb's most recent therapy appointment, he and his therapist estimated the force he can exert with the front of his feet. The front of his left foot can support about forty pounds, and the front of the right seems to be able to support between twenty and twenty-five pounds.
Imagine standing on tip-toe, on just one of your feet. Now realize that when you are doing that, you are supporting your entire body weight, and probably more as you push against the ground to rise up on tip-toe. This is exactly what Robb cannot do, because the nerve damage does not give him any control over the muscles in this part of his feet.
A Year Ends
So much has happened for us this year. We've learned a lot about ourselves, and about how wonderful our friends and family are.
I've even learned that if I ask Robb to let me take a photo of his feet wearing my ridiculous striped socks, he'll laugh and ask if I have enough photo-manipulation skills to make it look like a scene from the Wizard of Oz. (I don't.)
So let's all click our heels together, and make a wish for a happy and joyful new year.