• Karen

First physical therapy session encouraging

Updated: Dec 17, 2019

Meg and Becky, two of David's nieces, made the long flight from New England to visit him recently. We thoroughly enjoyed their visit and hope David feels well enough next year for us to go visit them.

Meg Cacciola and Becky Hanissian from Massachusetts and New Hampshire, respectively. They are so much fun to be with!

David attended his first PT appointment on 12/13. It took 1.5 hours and very thoroughly investigated his current muscle strength and balance. I couldn't believe how many tests the therapist had David do and how much she could tell about the state of his brain and muscles from how well he could perform the tests. It was really quite a workout.

For example, one test involved alternately tapping each foot on a low step stool quickly for two minutes. That might not sound like much, but it was over 120 taps. For someone who has had balance issues and has lost muscle mass due to taking steroids and being extremely exhausted from radiation, that's quite an effort.

The therapist also had David do several balance tests that were more typical, for example, slowly walking a straight line (like a DUI test). But in addition to doing them on carpet, she had him do them on large pieces of foam, which is much more challenging. For some of the tests, he even had to close his eyes

All in all, she said he did very well. In fact, she said his balance and walking speed were better than the age-matched scores for his age. That means in spite of his brain tumors and muscle loss, he did better than most people who are 70 years old. Needless to say, we were very pleased to hear that and hope it portends good news when David has his next brain MRI on 12/24. (We'll get the results of that brain MRI on 12/27 when we see Dr. Frye, the radiology oncologist.)

David will have two PT sessions during each of the next three weeks, which will focus on increasing his lower body muscle strength and learning how to get up if he ever falls. We assume if he makes good progress at those sessions, he will "graduate" and be able to do the exercises at home.