Dennis Watlington October 2013
Last Tuesday I visiting my friend Dennis at the stroke rehab center where he currently lives. If you have followed my blog for a while, I sometimes post some work I do with Dennis. I really never understood a stroke. My Mom died of a stroke. It happened all so quickly that I really did not get a chance to process what she was going through during those few days she lived after it. Dennis had three strokes and survived. He is in his third year of recovery and here is some proof of his progress.
I do need to make it clear that Dennis has a much bigger circle of support than just me, and has a "Saint" in his partner Caroline.
In addition to my art projects, I have Tae Kwon Do training. I started using it to help Dennis's mobility. I figured out that the rear wheel-well and side rail of my pick-up truck would make an excellent place to get Dennis up, (pictured above).
This is what Dennis accomplished; wheeled himself into position, locked the wheelchair, reached out and grabbed the rail and stood up...then stayed there for a complete "James Brown" song, played loud on the truck radio, sat down and repeated this three times! We were joking that it looked like the white guy was trying to teach the black guy to dance! Humor is all part of the process, we laugh and joke the entire time, even though, I am not opposed to having him get agitated. "Working Out" his emotional range is important, and probably the lesser addressed part of stroke recovery.