Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Back on the bike

      In September I bought a new bike (Trike) at a UtahTrikes while my family and I was in Utah at our sons' wedding.  Once the trike was delivered, there were a few challenges to overcome.  The pedals of the trike wouldn't work, and it took a long time before we found a workable solution.  My walking brace didn't work to support my ankle in the cycling position, but we were fortunate to have another brace that could be modified to work.  

      I started out with a .4 mile ride, partly because we found the problem with the pedals on that ride.  Other rides with attampt at solving the pedal problem were .6 and .8 miles.  After finding a good pedal  (Platform Pedal with Heel Support - Dual Straps -  at Workmancycles.com) I could ride 1.2 miles, then 2.4 miles, but due to using my walking brace, I hurt after the ride.  It took a while to get an old brace reconfigured, but once it was our first ride went 3.2 miles, than yesterday I went 5.6 miles.  Now my right leg looks almost exactly like my left leg and there isn't a stall in my pedal stroke.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Challenge Center

Suzy has been continuing her rehab at The Challenge Center in La Mesa, since being released from Sharp's outpatient rehab program. Yesterday Brent videotaped Suzy's therapy session.

In this video, Suzy is lifting her body with her weak leg without a safety net.

Suzy walking without cane or pole. Working her way toward unsupported walking.

Maren explaining how Suzy's normal stride will be with more practice.

Notice how little Maren is helping Suzy.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Suzy Rides Again!!

Suzy and Brent found a company that custom makes 3-wheel bikes. For most Californians, the fact that Utah Trikes is located in Payson Utah could be a problem. Conveniently for Suzy, Spencer was getting married in the Salt Lake Temple a few days before Brandon was going into the MTC in Provo, so she was able to visit the shop for a test drive. They rigged the bike so that the steering mechanism is on left, so Suzy is able to steer and shift gears using her left hand.

(the gasp at the end of the video is because Suzy's right foot started to come loose.)

Suzy was surprised at how easy the bike was to ride and control. They thought a ride to the end of the cul-de-sac would wear Suzy out, but she thinks she could have gone farther. She was also quite proud that when her foot started to slip, she didn't panic.

Next time they are going to find a place where she can ride for about a mile.

She going to be riding in their ward's annual Ride Across California in no time!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

January 5, 2011

Just as I got home from a dinner meeting and was taking off my coat, my cell phone beeped like it does when I receive a text. I figured it was a reply to a text I had sent earlier to someone at the meeting. As I got my phone out of my coat pocket, I was pleasantly surprised to see the text was from Brent. 

Brent: new videos going up. Notice the long steps and smoothness of the walk. She's walking without the cane for workouts, but with these big steps she gently touches the bar.

Me: Awesome!

Excitedly, I quickly logged in to YouTube to check out the new videos! I can't quit smiling! Suzy has made such great progress.

Can I just tell you how proud I am of my little sister?! It is exciting to see how far she has come. Physical therapy has not been easy...with the 45 minute drives both there and back, plus the seven hours of therapies every day, it has been a big commitment of time and energy. Hard both mentally and physically. There were times when the therapists gave her new challenges that scared her...I'll never forget the nervous look on her face as Liz handed her a cane on her second day of PT and told her she was going to use it instead of the bar on the wall as she walked...but with every new challenge Suzy gave 100%. This stroke hit Suzy like a hard right hook out of nowhere, but she has fought back with a smile on her face.

As she is getting ready to graduate on Friday, I imagine she is both excited and nervous. Excited to be moving forward and nervous to be moving on to new things. Suzy and Brent have found an outpatient program closer to their home where Suzy can continue with her physical therapy three time a week. I am sure Suzy will be the bright spot there, just like she has been at Sharp.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Brent has been working on Suzy's Christmas present since Thanksgiving, when Michelle and her family were in town. One day while Michelle took Suzy to Physical Therapy, her husband and two boys helped Brent and the boys de-clutter their bonus room. Then after Thanksgiving Brent had a hardwood floor installed, so he could turn the bonus room into an exercise room for Suzy. 

Knowing that Suzy will be graduating from Physical Therapy on January 7th, Brent wanted to get things set up at the house so that Suzy would be able to continue with her therapy at home. He had the idea to customize Suzy's bike, so that she would be able to use it as an exercise bike. After meeting with her physical therapists to find out what would be safe, he met with someone that would be able to do the work for him.

Christmas morning Suzy had a great surprise!

Suzy's right foot has a tendency to turn in towards the chain, so they are having to tape the foot to the pedal & hold it straight while she pedals.

In preparation for Suzy graduating from the physical therapy program in a few weeks, they have been given some exercises to be doing at home.  She has made some great progress with lifting her leg and was able to surprise Brent the other night when she showed him she can raise it about 10-15 inches from a laying position. Hopefully we will have videos of her progress soon.

Suzy is also now able to go up the stairs by herself...no one watching or helping!