Hi Everyone,

We’ve had a rough couple of days. Corey has not been feeling well in addition to a few more temper tantrums. She’s been nauseous, physically sick as well as tired which we hope is due to the increase in seizure medications and not a bug that seems to be floating around the community.

Although she hasn’t quite been herself, she continues to work well with the therapists. Yesterday Jen created a first in PT. She and Corey were working on the matte. Corey rolled to her stomach and Jen positioned her to lean upright on her elbows without the wedge. Corey managed to hold the position for 3 minutes! Today, Gillian and Corey worked on her knee stands. Corey did not physically hold the posture as well as she did the other day but for the first time ever (that I’ve witnessed) Corey communicated how she was feeling and at one point repositioned herself to a more comfortable position. This may not seem significant, but in actuality it is. Corey is expressing her discomfort as well as actively participating in her sessions.

With the help of Dave from Brain Steps; Brittany, OT, found a “large key” keyboard. Corey is having fun working with it. It’s our hope that she will begin to make the familiar connections of typing that will result in better communication. Brittany tries many different activities with Corey. She explained to Corey that she works with varied ages in the district, including a group of pre-school students. She wanted to experiment with homemade play dough. Before she tried the lesson plan with the pre-school students, she asked Corey to work on a recipe to make a sample batch so they could work out the kinks. They had a blast making Ginger-Cinnamon Play Dough…PS-it makes your hands smell good too!

Corey before the nurse left today I ran to do some errands. I met some people that knew you and were asking for you. In the course of conversation, they also shared the latest update on the person that was in the other car the night of your accident. Unfortunately the news they shared was about continued reckless behavior and it ignited feelings of anger, rage, resentment and pain. The messengers had no idea that I was internalizing their information with such emotion. My response was to share the accomplishments you’ve made in the last year.

I cried on the way home and the conversation haunted me for several hours until we watched one of your favorite shows; Extreme Home Makeover. The father in the show was in the wheelchair. He was born with Polio and was rescued from an accident as a child by the Air Force. In his adult life, he won a Gold medal in the Paralympics. Indebted to his rescuers he also works with disabled veterans with their adjustment in coping with their acquired disabilities. There was a line in the show that stated; this man has several “disabilities” but he has dedicated his life to encourage others to live their lives to the best of their “ability”. Focus on what you can do and share those abilities with others.

Just out of curiosity I wanted to know how Disability was defined.
1. Lack of adequate power, strength, or physical or mental ability; incapacity.
2. A physical or mental handicap, especially one that prevents a person from living a full, normal life or from holding a gainful job.
3. Anything that disables or puts one at a disadvantage

Corey I want you to know that I understand your temper tantrums. I know the feelings that build inside of you. I’m as angry as you are honey but allowing the pain of the feelings to consume us is not going to help us heal. We can’t deny or dismiss what we’re feeling; but we need to focus on the possibilities, not the disabilities. Someone once said to me;

~ You can’t see anything in the dark. But the room comes into focus as soon as you open the blinds on a window and let the light come in.

There are days we can’t find the match to light the candle. There are days the batteries run out in the flashlight. Then there are other days that the lights flicker and you’re afraid the power will go out completely but it doesn’t. These metaphors might seem trite but they are poignant. We can’t let the anger stop us from our growth. We can look back but we can’t stare.

Now consider the Synonyms for ABILITY
1. Capability; proficiency, expertness, dexterity. 2. ABILITY, FACULTY, TALENT DENOTES qualifications or powers. ABILITY IS a general word for power, native or acquired, enabling one to do things well. FACULTY DENOTES a natural ability for a particular kind of action: TALENT is often used to mean a native ability or aptitude in a special field

You are rediscovering your capabilities. You are developing your Faculties and Talents. There will be certain actions that will show how proficient you are and there will be others that will demand a newly acquired approach that you may have to compensate for some of the limitations you have to cope with. You are the living example that holding onto determination, patience and perseverance will enable you to do things well. The “dis” ability will not prevent you from living a full life unless you choose that for yourself. I have never known you to allow yourself to be put at a disadvantage and I’m sure you’re not about to begin now! We are looking straight ahead kiddo…there’s no turning back. xoxo