For this weekly update, I listed what I consider as the top six current happenings.
- UTI? Since my birthday nearly two weeks ago (June 25th), Ryan’s urine has leukocytes (white blood cells) present. This is an indicator that his immune system is working to fend off an infection. The good news, at least so far, is no nitrites are showing up. Nitrites, accompanied by leukocytes, means an infection has taken hold in the urinary tract. His urine continues to be checked daily.
- Podiatrist. A Podiatrist (a.k.a., foot doctor), Dr. Shuman, came to our home this past Monday to give Ryan an examination. She worked with me to find footwear that will give the extra depth to avoid skin breakdown, especially around the knuckles of the big toes. We’re also getting some foot-ankle braces that Ryan can wear throughout the day to counter his foot drop. You can read more about it here.
- Retinal Doctor/Tarsorrhaphy. Ryan will be heading out again later this week for a retinal examination. Although we aren’t expecting any problem with a detached retina in either eye, the possibility exist because of the violent force to his head during the attack. It makes sense to check this before the tarsorrhaphy — which is partly sewing the eyes shut — because if one or both retina need reattached then the eye can be sewn completely shut for a while as it heals. This outing will be even more challenging than others since Ryan will need seated to use the doctor’s equipment. This means he will travel, as usual, in the ambulance but we’ll take a second vehicle to transport his mechanical lift and wheelchair. Upon arrival and departure at the doctor’s office, we’ll transfer him from the stretcher to his wheelchair in the parking lot. Oh, how I hope it doesn’t rain that day!
- RT-300 FES Cycle Progress. What I did last week was to purposely decrease his peddling distance in the hope that he would push higher resistance. It worked! On average, he went 6/10 of a mile less per day (from 8.5 miles to 7.9 miles, a 4.7% decrease), but he gained 7.5% in his torque force. I decided to give him a break from it today to allow his muscles to rest. Still, he will do all other therapies. In fact, I’ll keep him on the passive ACTIVcycle (which he uses every day) for an extra half-hour on both arms and legs. For those unfamiliar with the RT-300 FES Cycle, it uses electrical stimulation to make Ryan’s muscles do all the work, albeit involuntarily. You can see a short video of Ryan using it here.
- IBRF. We received the latest qEEG results from the last evaluation in late-May. There’s good news and bad news. First the bad news. Ryan’s right and left brain hemispheres are not communicating very well with each other. Well work on this by modifying his neuro-feedback therapy (twice a week) to promote cross-connectivity sessions. Now the good news. His brain still appears to be healing. It hasn’t stopped, and this is huge.
- Austin Vantrease Parole. Vantrease, who was convicted a felony malicious wounding, is eligible for parole this month and he is asking for a hearing. I received an official notification (which I will post in the upcoming days). Please take a moment to read my post and the comments from July 5th, Austin Vantrease and Parole, to see how you can help.