My father had an ischaemic attack of paralysis on 28 July and a second attack that was a hemorrhage on 9th august. Both these were massive attacks on the right side of his brain leaving his left side was fully paralyzed and he also lost his speech completely. The MRI shows large parts of the right brain as damaged.
After being discharged from the hospital we started Bobath physiotherapy from a nearby known doctor. We started off with passive exercises and other exercises which are more of a compensatory mechanism and makes use of the unaffected side.Â There was very ordinary improvement; we didnât feel that exercises helped. It was more like self-improvement that the brain usually regains. The exercises were very muscle stimulant oriented which did not make sense because the problem was with the brain.
The improvement stopped after about 2 months.Â After 5 months. He could walk with a stick but in a very right-sided manner & he felt highly insecure & was always afraid to fall as his foot was turning & sticking to the ground & knee was extremely painful & recurvating & hyper extending, my fatherâs attention was always on his foot looking down constantly as he was helped to stand up. He never could look around while walking as all his focus was on the leg & on the ground. The Bobath physiotherapist had given up on any possibility on the improvement of the hand.
We met Dr.Vasa after 8 months. She told us that all the passive movements are going to lead nowhere and we must stop them.
She gave us certain exercises, made us understand their purpose, showed us how to make him do them and gave us guidelines continuously. She said she will direct us how to approach the problem to solve it & not to maintain it, this opened our eyes & made us realize what we were doing was maintaining the problem & some times strengthening the problem & making things get worst with time as we were accepting the compensatory movements for so called independence, that was truly not independence but we were encouraging life time of handicap completely out of ignorance.
We had to do exercise for 8hrs a day. We were given small targets, which are getting accomplished slowly.Â It made a lot of sense as Dr Vasa is trying to get the impaired side to improve with orders coming from the damaged brain to the affected muscles automatically.Â The exercises are by no means easy but with due dedication, my father is able to do them.
My fatherâs affected left hand has straightened out more (exercises reduced spasticity, & to our surprise it did not return back as it always happened earlier) and remains towards the left of the body as opposed to the hand being stiffer and elbow bent, sticking to the chest. We were very happy to stop the drug for spasticity as this drug had lot of side effects & did not help reduce spasticity.
His walking gait has improved a lot.Â We were told not to use the stick and now he is learning to walk without support in a stabilized manner using both his legs now like a normal person.Â Â Also there is a bit of spontaneous speech which is a good side effect.
Basically Dr.Vasaâs exercises are directed towards getting the affected side to work rather than compensating for it and in training the brain and make the working part take up lost functionality instead of the futile passive exercises. Also my fathersâ confidence has increased.Â We are excited to work with this new concept of Dr Vasa about Spasticity.
We become responsible to achieve our own recovery & feel pride as our efforts bear the fruits & we no longer depend on the therapist to make us exercise, Dr Vasa simply is our Director directing us to lead us to the recovery.
We donât know how to thank Dr. Vasa who has shone the light in apparent darkness. Of course, we have a long way to go yet, but we believe that this is right way to approach this disability. We strongly encourage affected persons and/or their family members to try this new concept to re direct the damaged brain. We are still following the Vasa concept under the supervision of Dr. Vasa and will subsequently post on this forum to update readers of improvements in my dadâs condition. Thanks for reading.