Hi Everyone,

I haven’t written in a few days and it feels as if I’ve missed a month! I begin each daily post questioning what will I write? Some days it’s difficult to find the words and other days it’s difficult to edit because there is so much to share. Today is one of those over flow days. Here it goes…

Corey’s mouth remains an issue she must learn to tolerate. The thrush appears to be healing yet the burning sensation continues. We were warned by the neurologist and the ENT specialist that if this were the end result, it would lead us to accept that it is not a clinical issue but a neurological condition that can not be “fixed”. We can only hope that it will disappear as suddenly as it appeared a few months ago. Until then, we are doing our best to help Corey cope with the physical pain it causes as well as the production of saliva that is generated as an additional result.

Corey does find comfort in her newest taste test…Hagen Daz Vanilla ice cream! As long as we give the smallest sampling and she keeps her chin to her chest, she can swallow and does not aspirate. She still likes vanilla pudding but the ice cream was this weekend’s hit!

Corey is moving her left arm a little more each day. We are beginning to notice that she is initiating the extension of her arm to help lift her right sleeve as she washes her hands, lean on her left side on the exercise matte and lift her arm to hold the mixing bowl when we cook. They aren’t large motions but this is how her right side began. Subtle independent movements that progressed into full fluid motions.

Her core strength is developing beautifully. We don’t walk away from Corey but while she is sitting on the edge of the matte, the therapists and I are not holding her afraid that she’ll tip in one direction or another. We are also beginning to feel the muscles in her left leg engage as we ask her to push through her leg extensions. She has not exceeded her standing frame record however she is making significant strides standing with the walker, taking one step with the right foot, shifting her weight from right to left and initiating the knee bend to move her left leg. Her left side is still dependent on us for movement and stability but it’s showing signs of coming back!

We had a fun time with our family. The trip up to NY wore her out Friday night and Saturday but by Saturday night she was typical Corey and rallied to party. My sister Louise and her husband John hosted the Christmas party. My father and his wife, my brother from London and my sisters (from everywhere) and my niece and nephew’s families came for our mini-reunion. Two of my best friends from HS joined us as well! Dinner was for 26. Louise is an amazing cook and hostess! The little kids were running around, there was lots of food and laughter. Corey was relaxed and smiled the entire night. My brother Frank hadn’t seen Corey in person in a year, normally we skype. He could not believe how great she looked and how content and happy she was. The next big reunion is Kerri’s wedding in March…Louise will not be responsible for hosting that one…that will be Tom and Marjy. Needless to say, our family loves to throw a party!!

The ride home Sunday was traffic free. Corey was home, unpacked, showered and in bed just in time to go to The Rinx for her fundraiser. (We attended via Skype). Corey didn’t make the mega-tron but she was broadcasted live through the big screen TV’s in the lobby so she could see the activity and all the participants attending the 2nd annual Skate for Corey could see her. It was as good as being there. Thank you again to our NY Hockey family for hosting this fundraiser. Next year we hope to attend in person and who knows…Corey could be driving the Zamboni.

Corey cooked an outstanding dinner tonight. Rosemary Mushroom Chicken with egg noodles and string bean almandine. She is feeling very independent now that I found adaptive kitchen tools for her. We now have a one-handed cutting board, a corner slicer board, a fruit board, several one handed knives and a one handed spatula. (Check out the photo gallery) The cutting board allows her to raise and release the red lever to lock the mixing bowl, bread, meat or whatever we are using at the time in place for her to prepare, mix and/or cut the ingredients. The bent handle knives and spatula are much more comfortable for her. The pendulum knife allows her to cut coarse foods like a butcher knife but the rocking motion is easier for her to manipulate. The fruit dish is very exciting. It’s pictured on the bottom left of the photograph. Corey peeled an orange tonight. You place the fruit on the center support which stabilized the piece so she can remove the skin/peel. She then rotates the fruit to complete the job. The curved dish catches the juices and discarded peels. What a difference. If nothing else the adaptive tools give Corey the independence she was used to and helps to regain her confidence in her ability to pursue her dream of going to culinary school. Tomorrow we drop off 10 dinners to our local church.

Tomorrow is an important day aside from Corey’s culinary dish. We are going to Wills Eye Hospital to meet with a neuro-ophthalmologist. Keep your fingers crossed that we will find some answers to our questions that will continue to advance Corey’s recovery.