Friday, January 21, 2011

Constraint III

Jacob will begin Constraint Therapy III on February 21st. Since we both have missed so much work this year, we decided to have Jacob's therapy at daycare. He will have a constant companion throughout the day and will be in an environment that he loves. When we were home with him during therapy, we had to escape to the kitchen or the garage. Otherwise he would call for us all day so we think this will be ideal for him.

I really did think the first time around that after 21 days, Jacob would be able to use his right hand as if nothing had ever happened to him. Once I started researching however, I realized that once would not be enough. Jacob is different than a typical stroke survivor in that his left hemisphere never established pathways for the function of his right arm and hand because the brain tissue did not exist. There was nothing to re-learn. He was learning from scratch, which is why the first round really helped him to recognize that he had a right arm and hand.

Now after surgery, it is evident that his right hemisphere is responsible for the functions of the right side of his body because apart from increased muscle weakness, Jacob is functioning as he was before surgery. The second round helped him to recognize that he could use his hand in a purposeful way and he has been able to maintain this after surgery. It was a gamble to have him participate in Constraint Therapy II knowing that in only a few months, his left hemisphere would be disabled, and we might have wasted all of that money. But we believed in the science and we believed in Jacob.

Even if Jacob never has independent use of his fingers, I know that going another round will improve his function.

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