Friday, December 2, 2011

The human brain and spirit

My father had a stroke at the end of June and lost all feeling and motion on his left side.  But he immediately started working on getting whatever movement and strength he could.  In the ICU the first week, a Physical Therapist came in almost every day and held his leg up for him and told him to push his own leg out.  He didn't have much ability, but even then he could use his muscles slightly.
7/3/2011 Dad strapped in the chair sitting straight up and reaching out because he feels like he's falling over (strong pusher syndrome)
7/3/2011 Needed to have others do everything for him
 This week I went to help him practice walking- he can pull himself up out of his wheelchair, and move his entire left leg (lifting and placing it, not dragging it as the original optimistic prognosis was) and walk while holding on to the railing in the hallway or even using a walker/cane thing.  We are there to support him in case he needs to sit down or loses his strength, but other than that, he does everything himself.  I am so amazed and impressed by his progress.  It's a miracle of the human brain being able to rewire itself after a massive cardiovascular accident and the subsequent tissue damage to a large portion of the brain.
12/1/2011 Dad sitting straight and just got done shaving his whole face and brushing his teeth by himself and is now ready to wheel himself out with little assistance.
Getting ready to walk- sitting in wheelchair, he grabs onto the railing, pulls himself up to standing, and walks while holding the rail or the hemiwalker

It is also a miracle of the human spirit- my dad's sheer determination to get his life back as much as possible.  He is so optimistic and hard-working.  I'm so glad that he has been blessed so much.

I'm continually in awe of the human body and it's complexity and sophistication.  When I took Human Anatomy last spring, all the things I learned made me think over and over, "I don't know how anyone could learn this stuff and not believe there's a God."  It's all too perfect and beautifully organized and orchestrated. :)  I find it so fascinating and amazing.

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