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Saturday, July 06, 2024

A more detailed look at my progress

So I recently had an evaluation of my progress at the place that I go to for my physical therapy. In a nutshell, I am making progress slowly but surely.

A more detailed explanation is that I am walking (still assisted by a walker) slower than a year ago when they tested my walking pace for a continuous six minutes. 

However, I am walking with more precision and control than a year ago. So the speed doesn't matter to me, I am not looking to win any races. So I'll take that progress. 

Secondly, I had to do a test where I had to move blocks from left to right (then right to left) across my body as fast as I could. I completed this test actually slower than a year ago but this time I had no back support. 

So I had to support my entire upper body. A year ago I did it faster, but they gave me a chair with a back on it. So again, that is progress that I will take.

Next, they made me push circular buttons which lit up with a specific color in a specific order and I had to tap the correct lit button as fast as I could. 

Then, they made me act like I was going to pick something up off the floor, but I was holding a metal bar that weighed sixteen pounds. It tried to pull me forward and I had to use my strength to fight against it. 

Lastly, I had to stand up (without moving) unsupported for fifteen seconds. Then, I had to raise up first my right foot then my left foot onto a stepper then back down again. I passed this test as well. 

I asked my therapists to rate my progress on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being no progress, and 10 being totally normal. However, they told me that it was too complicated to rate myself like that because there are too many different individual factors to take into account.

If I was forced to rate my progress from 1 to 10, I would rate myself between 4-6. I feel like anything less than 4 is unfair to myself and anything more than 6 is being too generous.

I understand that this is a marathon and not a sprint. However, I am a lucky guy who has a very supportive family and friends. Even if it takes me 5 more years to get back to normal, I am lucky that my condition is not degenerative and will not get progressively worse, only better with time and effort.

I go to physical therapy 4 days a week to work on my balance and walking. I also have speech therapy once a week to try and regain my ability to speak normally and get off the thickener that I have to add to my liquids. 

I have great therapists in both speech and physical therapy. I am extremely lucky to have the opportunity to take advantage of the services that they offer.

I am blessed and lucky to be alive and functioning for the most part. I look forward to the day that I can walk again unassisted and speak normally again and drink liquids with no more thickener. 

My hands still shake when I get overly tired and my fine motor skills are still lacking but the swaying feeling that I had (like I was constantly on a cruise ship) is gone. I am still relatively young mentally, but I am trapped in a body which sometimes doesn't listen to my brain. 

That is the most frustrating thing. To have my brain healing faster than my body. I am trapped in an old man's body. 

All of these things may seem simple to people who are without medical conditions but I assure you, they are not easy for me. However, it is good for my practice and my excellent therapists always have new and unique challenges for me. 

Overall though, things could be much worse. As long as I don't need anymore brain surgeries or to go back to the hospital I will consider myself fortunate.

Til next time, Tyler 


  1. Keep pushing always. We love you- can’t wait to see you

  2. Proud of all your progress. Love always, mom