Hi Everyone,

It was another day of firsts. We began at U of D this morning for PT. Cathy and Corey worked on trunk control by sitting on the edge of the matte. Corey is doing a great job of extending her right arm for weight baring and balancing her “tip” to the right. For the first time, as she “tipped” to the left she extended her left arm as a protective instinct! This is exactly how the right side started to come back 6 months ago.

We then positioned Corey on her belly over the wedge. Our homework is to work on this once a day trying to build her tolerance up to 45 minutes. The reason we need to prepare her and build her tolerance is this will be the length of time and position required for the casting. Today she managed 15 minutes. This posture is wonderful to help with trunk extension, loosening her hips and working the butt and leg muscles. It also helps with strengthening her neck muscles to hold her head independently. She held her head for 6 minutes before she fatigued.

I had appointments today but the nurse reported that during her session with speech and for the rest of the afternoon Corey was “Chatty Cathy”! She didn’t stop trying to speak all day! With the combination of signs, the whiteboard and her trying to form her words, she is really starting to express herself. The therapy team and I believe that if we can help Corey harness her communication skills, she is going to excel beyond what we are currently seeing.

When I returned home, Corey helped me do a little cooking. She is getting really good at cracking eggs with one hand. I also decided to let her try to chop tomatoes. I cut the tomatoes into slices and then gave Corey the knife. (I suddenly felt all of you get very nervous) No worries, she did a great job! Although the chopping motion was as if she was using a meat clever, she aimed and hit the target. What I found fascinating was after she gave half a dozen good chopping motions she used the knife to push the tomato to the side of the cutting board to start on the next grouping. That was a natural response to what she would normally do when working in the kitchen!

Corey and I always had a deal; she cooked, I cleaned. Well, technically she didn’t cook so she got to empty the dishwasher. We are utilizing whatever we can in the house to help Corey practice and develop control of her motions, thought process as well as help her build her strength in standing. She started out in her chair sorting the silverware. She had to pick each piece, reach across her body to the drawer and place the pieces appropriately in the drawer. She also stood at the dishwasher to try to lift the coffee cups from the top shelf of the dishwasher and reach up to the cabinet to place on the cup shelf. This was a much harder task but she managed to lift the cup from the dishwasher to the counter top. She has limited range of motion in her shoulders but that’s okay…for the first time, it was another successful experiment.

I’m going to close tonight with Bad news, Good news. The ladies at Candy for All Occasions created buckets with the help of Herr’s (the Potato Chip Company) it’s a fundraising idea called “Change for Corey”. The buckets are placed in local shops and the community has been outstanding in supporting this fundraiser by sharing their spare change after a purchase. All the change is cashed in and deposited into Corey’s account to help us pay the medical bills not covered by Blue Cross and Medicaid. The Candy store was recently robbed, not once but twice. In addition to the damage to this amazing historic store, Sue’s personal and professional loss, the vandals also took Corey’s bucket and bracelet money. We are upset for Sue but Sue was upset for Corey. In fact, she contacted the local paper to expose this senseless violation! We are hoping that who ever perpetrated this theft will be caught.

Now for the good news; even though Corey’s social security number and birth date were stolen for identity theft as well as the buckets and bracelets, tonight we had a good surprise. Have you heard the saying Christmas in July? Well, we experienced it in August. When I got home there was an anonymous delivery waiting for me at the front door. 36 rolls of paper towels, 6 cans of Clorox wipes, a package of plastic spoons and cups (we use these for Corey’s medications), a bottle of Tide and a package of Jolly Rangers! It was a gift from a Secret Santa. To whoever delivered these items, thank you so much! These little everyday disposables are necessities. You have no idea how much we appreciate your generosity!

To everyone in our community that continues to support Corey, thank you never seems to express how blessed we are to have your friendship. She is working so hard to “come back” and knowing Corey when she does; she will be there to “give back” too!

Thank you again for your love, support and friendship! xoxo