Corey had a better day today. She was happy, eyes bright and welcomed me with a big smile as I came to give her a morning kiss. We exercised and worked on sitting again. We also worked on discovering what her visual field might encompass. One of the tasks suggested by her doctor was to hold a sketch book at different heights and positions. This exercise not only promotes fine motor control holding the crayons but raising her arm and controlling the stroke of the crayon as well. The observations I’m noting will help the Optometrist/Ophthalmologist with their initial exam as well as the OT and Speech therapy team.
Tonight we went out to dinner…in our backyard to our neighbor’s house! It was nice to sit and visit. Our kids grew up together and it was fun to share stories and listen to their memories. Corey enjoyed it too; we even managed to get a few laughs from her.
This particular set of friends has not spent time with Corey since her accident (other than her “other” mom…one of many girlfriends that over the years I share the mutual adoption of “our” kids). The comment that refortifies my daily resolve was, ‘she’s in there…she is listening and responding to everything we’re saying…she just wants to come out!’
Tonight Corey and I sat in her bed. I rubbed her head until she fell asleep. Corey has been recovering for 8½ months from her injury. As I sat next to her it occurred to me that we are too. What a path it’s been. I have tried to interpret and share what this “new normal” life is like. I’m not sure it can be described with the written word. To be honest, it’s been a daily struggle to hold onto hope, optimism, strength and courage. There are days I know I show those traits on the outside but on the inside I am shattering, doubting, fearful and a multitude of negative emotions. The intense pain from those negative emotions is so stifling I deliberately force it out of my thoughts so I can breathe evenly.
Each day I sat and talked out loud to Corey with no anticipation of a response yet hopeful that there would be recognition and evidence of her emerging. It’s difficult to talk with someone that doesn’t speak. And then one day a response that surprised and confused me, a physical queue. Was she really saying yes with a thumb up? Was that a spontaneous or deliberate answer? Let’s test it with another question…It was deliberate. Today she is signing almost 10 words with 80% accuracy.
Each day it’s our job to keep her limbs moving so her muscles don’t atrophy. I would wonder will she ever walk, use her arms or hands? And then one day a twitch, wiggle and slight movement of a toe, knee, leg, finger and arm. I have finally come to a place where I can sincerely feel the hope for something new each day. Most times I strain to see it desperate to renew confidence in my spirit. Then, typical Corey, when I’m not looking she surprises me! Tonight I transferred her to the side of the bed. As I began to stand upright, she reached her right arm up to pull me back in towards her. She wanted a hug. I leaned over, hugged her back, closed my eyes and focused only on the touch of her hand as she stoked my back and arm. I sat beside her and she leaned her head on my shoulder. I cradled her and we sat in silence, content to be together.
Corey you have taught me so much. The most significant lesson is how to be present in the moment. It has been a process for me to learn how to communicate without any verbal responses from you. You’ve trained me to appreciate and understand your nuances, movements and especially your unspoken expressions. You have taught me to become aware and trust my instincts again. I’ve also been more appreciative of my friendships as well as conscious of the daily discoveries that often are overlooked by the distractions of what used to seem important. I now take the time to be aware of my surroundings. I am no longer content to let the moments of my day slip silently and uselessly away. Rather than living in a day that was to be endured, I am now living in the day that is cherished. This day is here and now and I’m so grateful to LIVE IT with you! Happy dreams, xoxo