First of all, a belated Happy New Year to everyone! I am doing great and am flattered that you still take the time to check up on me!
The most exciting news is that I received my new Bioness for the leg which sends electrical stimulation to my muscles and enables me to walk without a brace. Within a few weeks I hope to be able to wear it all day long. The Bioness for my hand has helped me immensely with opening and closing my hand and I can now move all my fingers!! I am hoping that if I keep writing about my Bioness machines, some executive from the company will be googling one day and find these updates and offer me a lucrative contract to do commercials for them! So if you subscribe to AARP magazine or Stroke Smart magazine keep your eyes open for Ingrid, the new Bionic woman!
My other great joy in therapy is finding a golf buddy, Tim Corlis. (see picture above) After spending many months together in therapy we discovered we both loved golf. Our wonderful therapist, Cathy Moran, brought in a putting green and putter for us. We now have weekly putting contests every Friday morning. Naturally, the somewhat competitive part of me loves this. While Tim does not appear to be competitive, he started bringing in his own putter, so naturally I bring mine now too! When I discovered I really couldn't hold my putter and walk from my car with a cane I opted to use my putter as my cane. My doctor found this quite creative when I walked in for an appointment!
I've been off from school for a few weeks which has been wonderful. I've had a chance to take my grandchildren to the movies twice. I've discovered one of the great joys of being a grandmother is being able to go see movies like "Enchanted" and "Alvin and the Chipmunks" which you just would be embarrassed to go see without a kid. (I loved them both!!!) Ryan remains as frisky as ever and Elizabeth gets more adorable every day. Please note that she has already started accessorizing!
In December, my private students had their annual winter recital, and it was fabulous! I was thrilled I was able to achieve the same results with one hand as I had with two. As you can imagine, not being able to play with my right hand continues to be a source of frustration, but I know I will play again one day. Meanwhile, my right hand is sounding pretty terrific, I might humbly admit!
For those of you who after my last update inquired about my progress in scooter steering skills in Target, alas I'm just as bad as ever! Would you believe there are no scooters at Nordstroms?
And for those who were impressed with Mel's helping me with a curling iron, I am now experimenting also with a flat iron. I really will need to write a manual on hair and make-up for stroke survivors, but that will just have to wait until I finish my new series with Dennis Alexander.
I am getting ready to do my first out of town "gig" in a few weeks in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I will be doing an all day Pedagogy Workshop and Master Class for the Chattanooga Music Teachers Association. Sigrid Luther has graciously agreed to be my left hand for my sessions. I am apprehensive about the travel, but can't wait to be out on stage again working with teachers. I am also looking forward to doing a master class for the Associated Music Teachers League of N.Y. on February 28 at Steinway Hall in New York City. I feel blessed as a musician that I have so much I still can do, in spite of my stroke. But I feel even more blessed for the incredible support from my family and friends like you that keep letting me know you care.
With heartfelt gratitude,