Thursday, March 15, 2007

Graduation from Easter Seals

They graduated me from rehabilitation at Easter Seals, yesterday, 3/14/07, and I earned a gold star, only the third person they have commenced with such high honors. It was a very melancholy day. I should have been thrilled to move on to the next chapter of my rehab, but I will sorely miss the connection I have established with my friends on the staff at Easter Seals. They not only rehab one’s physical bruises but their emotional ones, as well.

The therapists Easter Seals have enriched my life, beyond words. The Easter Seals’ therapists are consistently very professional, always providing feedback that is so positive and uplifting yet, never, even marginally, discouraging. It will be very difficult to say “goodbye” to Jocelyn, my speech therapist, to Susan and Marie, my physical therapists, and to Chris, my occupational therapist. I will forever benefit from my experience at Easter Seals, the one positive aspect from a likewise very bad chapter in my life.

We had a celebration, 4/14/07, for my therapists and my personal coach, Paul Lapierre, and his wife, Sheila. "Lappie" often prefaced a new exercise he is introducing, joking “this aint no Easter Seals”, implying that what he is about to instruct me on is “very vigorous”. They (both, Lappie and my Easter Seals therapists) developed a mutual appreciation for each other’s trades. My son, Paul, prepared a fabulous meal and we shared a viewing of the video of "Joe's Progress" and some of the image shows Lynn has, documenting our life in Italia.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

My Typical Week

At Easter Seals rehab center, my therapy is 2 to 3 hours. I have just been reduced to 1 time per week, but I was previously at 2 times per week. Each day consists of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, each lasting 1/2 hour. My last session was on March 14th. I see an ophthalmologist 1/2 hour each week. I perform a workout with my personal coach/trainer, Paul LaPierre, twice per week. Each workout lasts 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours. I try to get an extra workout in each week, usually with my son, Paul, or with my wife, Lynn, or with a friend or relative. Paul (Lappie) has written down my workout regimen on a white board, posted in my basement. His workouts begin with a warm-up of 15 - 20 minutes, split between a walk on my treadmill, and a spin on my 18 speed road bicycle that is mounted on my trainer. In addition, we perform a variety of strength (Weight training) and balance exercises. With my wife, Lynn, we also attend an aerobic swim workout, 3 times each week, for about 45 minutes of vigorous exercise. We also started a ballroom dance class. I’m working hard not to step on Lynn’s toes. Weather permitting; I try to either snowshoe or X-country ski in the nearby trails. I go to a massage therapist, who works on the muscular difficulties on my left arm and another therapist who specializes in cranial sacral massage treatments. I have attended private tutoring of computer skills, with a neighbor and friend of my Mom's, Judy Tassistro, a nurturing, retired teacher. I start a yoga class in April with my daughter, Kate. I look forward to Spring, when I can get outside more.