Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Laughter

Early in Steve's diagnosis process, we discovered that every doctor has his or her own favorite ways to test neurological function.

There are mental tests -- repeating a series of numbers front and back; subtracting 7 from 100 and then 93 and then 86 and so on; saying the day, date and year.

There are physical tests -- hold your arms out from your body parallel to the floor and then touch your nose with your right pointer finger, your left pointer finger, your right again, and so on; walk heel to toe in a straight line; follow a light with your eyes.

Our favorite was the hands test. Sit down. Place your palms on your thighs. Turn your hands over, so that your palms are up. Repeat over and over.

Early on, Steve was able to perform this test flawlessly. But as the brain stem tumor caused more damage, his left side slowed considerably.

We were both happiest when his hands were in synch. But Steve was most tickled when his left hand was the slowest. It was a good party trick, as he'd say.

Yesterday I rediscovered this short video clip from Thanksgiving 2008. Steve was showing Aunt Ami, Melane and others in the room how his hands couldn't keep up.

I laugh and cry at the same time when I watch it.

video

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