Sunday, October 31, 2010

Steve Gets Some Remarkable Help from Extraordinary Friends

Home from the hospital now for 3.5 months, Steve is making progress. He has a formal Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy team - and they are doing an excellent job. Mobility remains a huge challenge. Back in April, it took four adults working with full strength to assist Steve into a sitting position. Now, he has enough core strength to maintain a sitting position on his own, at least for a time.

Transferring from bed to chair used to require a Hoyer lift. But one day, our friend George Mead brought in a sliding board. And it simplified Steve's transfers - and our lives - enormously. George isn't a Physical Therapist. But he'd had some real life experience, and beat all of the therapists to the punch.

Walking is a way off yet. Steve can stand for a minute or two at a time now. But to really build his leg strength, Steve needs to bear weight on his legs. And that requires a standing table for someone in Steve's condition. The standing table enables one to lie, secured, on the horizontal table, and then to be gradually tilted into an inclined position - and finally, upright. Medicare won't pay for such luxuries! And they cost between two and three thousand dollars, new.

Steve's Physical Therapist mentioned to our friend Suzi Spinner that Steve would benefit from a standing table. That was Thursday. Suzi made some rapid fire calls: to friend Bob Ness on Bainbridge Island, to me, to the MS-help Store in Edmonds. Suzi mobilized the troops.

Imagine Steve's surprise when Bob and another friend - who wishes to remain anonymous - arrived at our home  Saturday afternoon and wheeled in a gently used standing table! It's beautiful, crafted from a blond wood that complements the cabinets in our home.

After many thanks and good wishes were exchanged, our friends left to catch a ferry.

I asked, "Who has the kind of friends that would buy him a standing table? That's amazing!"

And Steve just looked at me and broke into tears.

It has all been pretty humbling. Our village is at work.

Take care,
Linda Gromko, MD


  1. Congrats on the new piece of "furniture",,,,, and "Cheers" to moving forward.
    I will be anxiously looking forward to updates!

  2. Amazing friends! I hope Steve will be upright on two legs soon.

    Sending good wishes always,
    Miriam Lippel Blum

  3. Hello Miriam and "Nurse Ratchet" - if that's your real name(!)...we are elated to report that Steve used the new standing table yesterday and "stood" supported for a total of twenty minutes! This was an enormous victory, and most encouraging to him. Thank you for your good wishes. Linda