It kind of figures. The day after I pop Liquid California in the tape deck, I receive confirmation on the first programming session for my Nucleus 22 ABI Freedom upgrade processor. The box came last week.

(pic insert; just see Flickr widget for now; also note marketing demographics: the hip youngsters on one side of box, and “mature” couple on the other side)

I haven’t had a chance to inspect the contents closely and play, er, learn about the components and accessories, but soon enough!

Other mechanical updates:

I’ve resumed my balance exercises. I’m amazed how much stability and flexibility have returned in my legs (as much as I’m nostalgic for my toned, muscular legs of youth). So, of course, I’m encouraging even more. (I couldn’t hold myself up, or get out of a chair or bed last March/May, and had to lean against the counter for teethbrushing.) That’s a rerun of prior recoveries, although at an extreme degree. That’s also after when I started being conscious of actions, I suppose. Weird, wild stuff…

My arms and hands were so weak. I wasn’t up to sitting at a computer, let alone typing. My left pinkie and ring fingers were limp, yet rigid. I could only reposition them with my other hand. Still, I kept up with this exercise where I touch the hand’s thumb to each fingertip, successively, concentrating on strength and accuracy. I’m guessing this builds dexterity. For both hands, improvements came slowly with time (perhaps aided with manual, deliberate teethbrushing). The left pinkie is still significantly weakened, but I’m now able to semi-straighten it (rather than it being in a perpetual claw form), as well as pull it into fist-form with the rest of the fingers. I did not expect that function to return. When I first started typing again, I had to use another finger to type zzzzs (a letter more commonly used by me than most people). I’m now happy to report my pinkie is handling the z beautifully.

All of this is icing on top of just living. I’m just mentioning it for others with various neurodegenerative diseases. My toes, feet, and lower legs are still fairly weak and lack the sensation and mobility of my younger days, but I don’t talk about the losses hardly ever. I do the exercises I can (the ones that don’t require any equipment, as I’ve mentioned before), and what happens is always icing. While I’m receptive to improvements, I’m always doing the best with what’s actually there now. I’m convinced of the effectiveness of momentum and inserting improvements to routine–making routine–for the purpose of body and behavior modification.

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