What do you think when someone mentions “pull-ups”? Seriously.
Body builders? People who want to pep up their muscles?
To be honest, I don’t think I ever managed a pull-up in my life. I haven’t given up on it yet, but it’s still going to take some time before I’ll get there.
Well, I was thinking about that when I was doing those really mindless exercises with Pádraig. Fingers, hand, lower arm, upper arm. About ten times up and down. Not that they wouldn’t be good for him. They are. But it’s very passive. And boring. And sooo un-challenging.
So I thought: why not try some simple, easy ‘pull-ups’. Just starting with the arms.
And while doctors and physios are still discussing whether he is able to open and close, and close and open, his hands, or at least one hand, and which hand works better than the other… I put my hand into his. I lifted my hand up. And guess what? Pádraig held on. All by himself. He, by himself, held on to my hand (I did not hold on to his) and when I lifted my hand and arm up, his arm went up to.
There was no difference, absolutely none, between the left hand and the right hand. He held on to my hand (I did not hold on to his) when I lifted my arm up, and he basically pulled himself up (well his arm, at least) by holding on to my hand when I lifted it.
Today, we did it 20 times on each side. Another first!
By Christmas, at least some of his muscles will be back (and I’ll have built up some on my own too:).
Today, his doctor stopped one of the drugs Pádraig had been getting to control possible cramps. We don’t know, of course, whether this was just coincidence – but today, Pádraig ate really well, a full plate of chocolate pudding and mashed apples. No problems with swallowing at all. And he spent another few hours with the cannula blocked off. No problems with that either.
We had a short conversation today with his doctor on his tracheostomy and the different views we got from a speech therapist and two nose, throat and ear doctors in the UKE. We’ll keep exploring all the options and working on the best solution for Pádraig.
Today’s German Music Tip
Udo Lindenberg, Baltimore. – A German version of this great Randy Newman song, about the seagulls coming into town for survival in a city where you really don’t want to be – because its end is near. They steal a car and get away, far away. Take my hand.
Pull-downs (is this a new word?)
The German word/phrase/verse of the day