A big step (consisting of several small steps) for Mom today is that she was able to get to the bathroom ON HER OWN, using a walker!! :-)
Her speech therapist tried having her read the days of the week aloud. But instead of staying on task, she tends to drift off, look away and begin speaking of other things. Though much of it is unintelligible, Lois heard the words "Gorham" and "Canadian," so she was probably talking about the 100th anniversary celebration of the former Canadian National Railroad station in Gorham, to which she devoted countless hours last year.
The therapist says this inability to focus is typical of apraxia. According to Wikipedia, "Apraxia of speech may result from stroke or be developmental, and involves inconsistent production of speech sounds and rearranging of sounds in a word ("potato" may become "topato" and next "totapo"). Production of words becomes more difficult with effort, but common phrases may sometimes be spoken spontaneously without effort."
We see this is true, as Mom can say things like "I'm doing well, thank you." Today she was listening to someone on the phone, and responding appropriately with short syllables, and although she wasn't volunteering any information, she sounded quite like herself!
Another encouraging sign is that she seems to recognize when her speech isn't coming out right. (Not all patients do.) This is important, because it gives her motivation to work at improving.
When Lois arrived at the hospital this morning, Mom was participating in a class, with two other patients, involving arm exercises. At first she was just watching, but when Lois started helping her initiate each movement, she continued the rest of the repetitions on her own. Her right arm range of motion is more limited, but therapy will continue to work on that too.
Visitors today were Aunt Becky, Aunt Betty, and our cousins Ginny & Debbie. Thanks for coming!! Lois is planning to fly back to Virginia on Saturday, and it will be 2 1/2 more weeks before Alice is back up there. We are hoping someone will be able to give Dad a ride to visit during the weekend.
Thanks so much for all your prayers, love, concern, and help during this time. God's love is being shown to us through you, and we are very grateful!!