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Today, March 1, was a new beginning for Don. His first full day at Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital in Concord NH was strenuous and engaging. For example to baseline him they had him put small round pegs in a peg board with his good right hand which took 25 seconds. His left hand which is compromised took 3.5 minutes. He did however pass his speech test and will not require speech therapy. Considering he couldn't speak at all just 6 days ago, his improvement is amazing.
So what happened???
Six weeks ago Don began feeling very tired out. He had a rapid attack of painful carpal tunnel in both hands and last Monday received a steroid shot in both wrists. Two hours later he began to get dizzy with nausea and weakness. By 1:30am he asked for an ambulance. He was being treated on Tuesday at Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro for Vertigo and on Wednesday a stroke slowly progressed that took his speech and paralyzed his left side. He moved into ICU and stabilized Friday. We were very fortunate to get into Encompass Health, the top acute rehab center in NE where he was transferred to late Sunday.
Don applied two interesting strategies: - He decided to distinctly speak Bible verses from memory, out loud. He amazed all with his rapid speech recovery by Sunday and clarity of mind. - He has begun speaking to his hand to heal as the Lord used his left hand for a healing ministry for many years. Interestingly one of the therapists said that was a great strategy as the brain begins to make the connections with help from speaking to the body parts.
Due to Covid, no visitors are allowed including his wife. Tomorrow they will let us know his release date. So, I will most likely not see him physically for at least 2 weeks. We did however manage a Zoom call this afternoon for 30 minutes. He is encouraged, but does struggle with fear and lack of strength.
At this time, he is not prepared to take phone calls. He tires easily and is quite emotional, normal for stroke patients. Cards would be wonderful. His address is Donald Littlefield Rm 218W, C/O Encompass Health, 254 Pleasant Street, Concord NH 03301
Don sends his love to all and we thank you for the outpouring of care and prayers. As he improves, I will update his progress. Blessings to all.