It’s been a very busy day! My girlfriend Carol, OT by profession, came by this morning and brought some wonderful games that will help us work with Corey. Large block puzzles, a wooden bead maze, a magnet with marbles, soft foam square cubes and many other fun manipulative tools. Corey worked with Carol for well over an hour. She was intently concentrating, getting tired but wouldn’t quit!
This afternoon we had family come for a visit. My nephew Frank, his fiance Hannah and their two girls arrived from London! They will be staying with us until tomorrow night. Elfine is 5 years old and Cecilia (CC) is one. There is nothing like little girls to bring a smile to a big girls face. Corey loved having everyone at the house. Elfine loved all of Corey’s Princess blankets and pillows. She especially loved that although Corey is a big girl, she has a little girl inside her. She sat beside Corey and played, showing Corey all her princess toys. Corey shared her large Princess coloring book. CC could care less about the princesses, she had too much fun crawling up and down the ramps! We have had a great day together.
I’d like to share some interesting information that has helped me learn how to help Corey. Part of my daily research to learn about TBI has led me to chat rooms and blogs from recovering patients from TBI and ABI (acquired brain injury) I’m trying to learn about recovery from Corey’s perspective. The patients I’ve met on line share some interesting points of view. Some feel that the adjustment to the home environment is overwhelming. They are used to a small hospital room, narrow hallways and a familiar route to the dining room or gym. The rooms at home are larger and feel disconnected. Often home will spark flashbacks to “what was”. For some this is very upsetting because of “what is”. For others the flashbacks are like an old friend coming to visit after a long separation.
Acceptance of the physical healing process is difficult for everyone posting. A normal fracture can be healed in 6 weeks, TBI/ABI has no defined healing cycle. The most common frustration shared is how tiring any activity is. The more tired they become, the more confused they can get. They often start out working on an activity but forget what they were doing. Frustration sets in knowing that they are not doing what they know they used to do. Often the fatigue will bring on dizziness. Depression, isolation, mood swings, memory loss, diminished sense of direction and complete intolerance to sound and noise are additional emotional and physical struggles they face.
Respect and Patience is a daily challenge. Some shared that they are treated like a child. Decisions are made for them and about them. They are not asked their opinion because it’s assumed they can not make an adult decision. They miss receiving the dignity to make a choice.
Over all the participants are happy and proud they now have their Independence. They have accepted their challenges and limitations. It was best described by one man that “you don’t get over the affects from your injury, you go around them”.
Corey you have been doing an amazing job of going around the affects of your injury. I read tonight that ‘Acceptance doesn’t mean being passive. If there is something you want to change, then take action to change it’. I think you inspired this quote. I know that accepting ‘what is’ has helped me to learn and grow from you and others.
I was watching CC crawling up and down the ramp, pulling her self upright and trying to take a few steps. What a joy it is to watch her learn to walk. Each time she stumbled and fell she simply went to the nearest supporting object and tried again. Each time with a bigger smile and more enthusiastic clapping! You are not unlike CC. You are not passive. You are working so hard and when you drop something from your grasp, you reach for it and try again. Instead of an enthusiastic clap, we get the thumb up! You’re accepting your challenges, demonstrate patience to repeat your tasks as well as desire to relearn will allow all these steps to bring the recovery you are working to achieve. We are so proud of you! Happy dreams, xoxo