Jul 10, 2012

A Visit from the Doctor from Japan

On Sunday, Dr. Hirai, who is an ALS specialist, and his wife came to visit again.
He also brought his nephew and niece, and we all had a fun time together.

His nephew is 18 years old and in the same grade as Hajime, so he will be going off to college, but he said he would correspond with Hajime by letter and email.
His niece is also very sweet.  They are both Christians. 
I thank God that we were able to meet them and Dr. and Mrs. Hirai.

Now, my questions for Dr. Hirai!

I asked him about Hajime's recent stomach situation and he said that ALS may indirectly have something to do with it, but it is not a direct result of ALS.  Therefore, his intestinal function would not be getting weaker because of ALS.  I was relieved to hear that.

However, it does seem that his eye muscles are getting weaker as evidenced by his eyeballs rolling upward with the whites showing when he moves them.  He thinks that the Hajime's eyes may have been abnormal from before.
When we move our fingers and have Hajime try to follow with his eyes, they move from left to right but then the black part of his eyes move upward. That's why he can't use "eye gaze" very well.

Dr. Hirai has been thinking about different ways for Hajime to connect with the outside world, and he said that he would look into it even after he returns to Japan.  He says that there is a way to figure out what Hajime is trying to say by having him wear something like glasses with a camera attached to them and watching him blink.  If we could use a computer that would allow him to communicate with everyone, that would be great.

We are so blessed to have met Dr. Hirai, but unfortunately for us, he has to go back to Japan at the end of September. 
But he says he can keep in contact with us by email, so I feel reassured.

Dr. Hirai, best wishes to you in Japan!

(Translated by MS)

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