One of the things that he was able to do was to participate with Tom Sweitzer, who has become his music therapy instructor. Tom worked with him last weekend and again this Sunday morning. Forrest worked on the xylophone and also on the recorder. Forrest and Tom worked on breathing in and pushing out. Forrest took the instrument from Tom’s hand, still slowly and with tremors, but he was able to grasp it and blow and make a musical note with it. This is the first time he’s been able to do that! The thing that impressed Tom, as well as mom and me, was that he actively wanted to do it and was active in the role of reaching for the instrument. More exciting news about this coming soon from Tom!
Forrest and I watched the Redskins game. He was very interested in the game, and upset (along with his dad) when they almost blew the lead at the end. But they held on to make it work. He had several things he thought were funny, and is responding to much more subtle humor than he has in the past. We see this as a really good sign as Forrest regains his fun loving personality. Although he still hasn't spoken since May, he smiles more often and is definitely engaged and interested in the conversation.
Forrest and I also worked on communication with the iPad; and while he has trouble reaching out with his fingers, he was able to utilize the iPad with his fist and respond to several different questions with increasing clarity. He also actively reached for the iPad and wanted to communicate, which is again, a new thing.
So, Forrest continues to make slow but steady progress on a variety of fronts, including motor skills and cognition; he still struggles with his movement disorder, but has improved in his swallowing, and had only one emesis episode this week. We all see these as very positive signs and look forward to him continuing to make progress at National Rehab Hospital as he works around the clock to rebuild his life.
Thank you for your help and encouraging words over all these months.
For Forrest and Team Forrest,
44, Dad, and Sundance in the Family Room celebrating the Skin's win on Sunday!