Hi Everyone,

Although we are living with the greatest challenge of our lives; we still have to live each day to the fullest. I made a promise to Corey that we will not be stuck living within the same four walls and this weekend we had our first excursion.

Friday I took a personal day from work; we loaded the van and drove to Long Island to see our family. Corey did very well on the ride with no motion sickness. It took us 4 hours. She looked tired as we drove up but as soon as I told her we were 10 miles away, she literally perked up and started to look out the window.

We stayed at my brother and sister-in-law’s house (home of Uncle Tom the Great and Aunt Marjy). Logistically we had to arrange for our weekend nurse to come with us. The homecare agency makes the arrangements for a temporary license so she can care for Corey out of state. The medical supply company we receive Corey’s food from has a travel program. They are anational Medical Supply chain. We rented a hospital bed through them. It’s delivered via their local branch offices. The bed was delivered before we arrived on Friday and will be picked up tomorrow

When we arrived Marjy met us in the driveway. Tom and our friend Paul Gable built a ramp for Corey to get into the house. The ramps elevation was perfect and the guys designed and constructed it in sections that are bolted. This will allow them to dismantle it and store it until the next visit!

As soon as we rolled onto the back deck, Bauer (Tom and Marjy’s dog) came out to great Corey. She had a big smile and instantly reached out to pet Bauer.
Tammy, our nurse and I brought Corey in to get her settled and she took a great nap. The ride took a lot out of her.

Friday night Corey was engaged with her aunts and uncles, cousins and the baby cousins! Visiting is wonderful but she wanted to get up and get going. We did some more standing exercises but she also wanted to move. She was successful taking steps towards Marjy and Tom. When she reached them she gave them each a hug. Guess how much they hated that?! At one pointCorey stood at the kitchen sink and when Aunt Diane went outside to wave through the window, we opened it so Corey could shoot her with water using the spray hose right through the screen!

Saturday we went to the Rinx to visit with family and our NY friends. For those of you who don’t know my side of the family, it’s quite large. Our current count is 63 which includes 3 generations; Dad, his wife Mary, my brothers and sisters, our nieces and nephews and their children. This weekend 33 of us made the trip. It’s always great to get together and everyone couldn’t wait to see Corey. In addition to the reunion festivities, we also managed to go swimming.

The time in the pool is exactly what I was hoping it would be for Corey. Tom and one of the lifeguards used the “fireman hold” to lift Corey from her wheelchair and walk her into the pool. We took turns holding her as she got used to the buoyancy. Once we knew she was comfortable in the water, we managed to extend her left leg and arm. Stretch her legs out at the hips. Range, bicycle, stand and most importantly kick her legs. She did an amazing job. She was in the water for almost an hour. Saturday night concluded with a back deck barbeque. Corey loved watching the babies run around, sitting with her cousins, Papa and Mary. She especially loved the opportunity to sneak a water pistil shot at Uncle Tom. That of course turned into a water fight with the garden hose, which the little ones joined in…Tom lost!

I must say that today I noted a marked improvement in her left side. This morning as I was working with her on her morning exercises her left toes grasped my fingers and she straightened her left leg from a bent position! I attribute that to yesterday’s swim. It was a long ride home (6 hours) and Corey didn’t fair as well on the return trip. She did get sick and was very tired by the time we arrived home. However, I gave her an immediate shower and she settled right into her bed.

Corey it was terrific to see your reactions this weekend. You didn’t take a smile off your face all weekend. In fact it grew into laughter the better part of the weekend especially when Uncle Tom would torment you and you retaliated! Going back up to Long Island and spending time with family was exactly what you needed. The trip up/back and the interaction/stimulation of the family definitely wore on you but you managed it very well. I am so proud of you. The strides you take continue to surprise me. It was your maiden voyage and now that we know how well you handle it, it won’t be the last!
I hope tonight you dream of all the places you’d like to go to next. Happy dreams, xoxo