Hi Everyone,

We received an encouraging report today from Corey’s team.
First of all, she continues tolerating her trach being capped and her vitals overnight were excellent. She will be capped tonight as well and with any luck, the trach will be removed tomorrow!

We are waiting to hear from the Neurosurgeon at Christiana in response to her next CT scan. He wanted a CT at 6 weeks to see how the neck fracture is healing. Due to the VP shunt, he may want to wait until she goes in for the cranioplasty on December 9th. Another week or so in the cervical collar is better than putting her through too many CT scans.

We are also waiting to hear from the orthopedic surgeon for our follow up appointment. Corey will have to get another round of x-rays to check if there is a measurable difference in the HO (bone growth) over her left clavical fracture and right femur.

PT is very encouraged with Corey’s progress. Natalie, her primary therapist, noted that Corey has been holding her head independently for 10 second intervals over the course of a full minute. This is a good sign of muscle activation. Her trunk control is also improving as they continue to work with her sitting at the edge of the mat/bed and bolster. They are hoping that Ortho will upgrade her weight baring status so they can begin one person pivot transfer with Corey. If this happens, it is a sign that Corey is strong enough to participate in the transfer from her bed/mat/wheelchair with one person instead of 2-3 clinicians.

OT reports that Corey is consistently fixating at midline and during positional changes her eyes are circling and more active. She doesn’t miss a trick and wants to see everything that’s going on!

Speech is seeing similar responses in her sessions. They are working on stimulation to improve swallow timeliness. This will prepare her for vocalization and food intake.

Corey had her casts removed today. She’s developed a little rash and the team decided to give her a day or two off. I bet she’s relieved; the casts weigh more than she does!

She was awake and alert for the entire evening. On Tuesday nights, we typically watch the Biggest Loser. (We call it our Fat People show) Tonight was the 10 week makeover show. At one point I turned to Corey and saw her looking up above the collages on her wall. Positioned above the collage is a picture of my mother.
I swear she was staring at “Dedema”.

A therapy technique is the use of scents. My sister sent me some of my mother’s perfume (Shalimar) I asked Corey if she was looking at Dedema. She had a very long blink. I opened the bottle of perfume and held the atomizer near Corey. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes for the length of her breath. When Corey opened her eyes, she was fixated on the image above the collage. At that moment, I heard one of the contestants comment, “Hope is everything. Without Hope, we have nothing.” The same contestant continued with, “Don’t lose sight of what you’ve already achieved”.

I believe that my mother’s presence coinciding with the message we heard is not coincidence. Quite frankly, that is what mom would say if she were here with us now. One of my sisters and I were talking tonight about how the awareness of these messages are sent when we need them. That’s why they don’t all come at once. Everyday another little sign or message is sent so we don’t lose our sight or our hope. Thanks Mom! I’m so glad you’re still with us! xoxo