Hi Everyone,

It has been a long busy weekend. Our nursing has been inconsistent which explains my inability to update our posts. Today’s update is worth waiting for as Corey continues to work towards more milestones.

As you know, we purchased a standing frame for Corey. It looks like a chair on wheels with a desk tablet. Corey has been slowly building her tolerance and endurance in the frame. She hasn’t used her leg muscles for an extended period of time for over 15 months. The standing frame helps develop her leg/hip muscles to help support her weight in order to stand independently and literally take steps to continue moving forward.

We have gradually changed Corey’s standing schedule from 3-4 times a week to once a day for at least 10 minutes. We are now working towards standing 3 times a day for 10 minutes each time. This weekend Corey stood once a day for 11 minutes Friday and 13.5 minutes Saturday. Sunday’s trials didn’t go well and today she could only tolerate 6 minutes. An athlete will tell you that patience and perseverance are the keys to developing endurance …she’ll get there.

We are beginning to see the physical benefits from her hard work. This weekend for the first time, Corey not only fully waved her left toes; she lifted her left leg raising her heel off the mattress a ½ inch! In addition to that, when we sat her in her wheelchair we removed the supportive foot plates and asked Corey to kick her left foot forward. Instantly she proved she could kick the right foot. We laughed but assured her we know how strong she is with her right side; show us what she can do with her left. After a long pause to concentrate, we saw a small movement. Her foot definitely moved forward from the thigh and hip muscle. If you go back through the archives, we were celebrating the right foot’s forward movement in December and January of last year. It’s amazing to watch what she’s accomplished not only in the last year but in the last two weeks. She is gaining muscle strength and control…now for both sides!

It is so much fun not only watching Corey’s achievements but listening to her change as well. My sister Diane came to visit this weekend. She hasn’t seen Corey in over a month. When Diane walked in to greet Corey, she asked ‘what you up to’? Corey (in the middle of playing Fruit Ninja) turned to Diane and said, ‘Hangin’ out’ and then resumed chopping. Diane was completely taken aback.

Sometimes Corey doesn’t want to speak and writes and her white board. Corey has begun to space out her letters as she writes which is also an improvement from when she’d write the letters one on top of the other (which made it a little tricky to read). I thought you all would like to know I am now re-enrolled in a teen language course; texting 101. It appears that Corey is remembering her cell phone vocabulary. She was calling out and I couldn’t understand what she was trying to express. I asked her what she was making the noise for; she wrote IDK…I questioned aloud; “IDK”? Completely stunned I asked her, “Are you texting now”? She giggled. (For you non-texter’s it means I don’t know) This kid keeps me on my toes!

Honey you are so funny and I’m very proud of you. Every day, little by little, step by step (sometimes inch by inch) you are working to get stronger. Through it all you maintain an amazing attitude and sense of humor. I was reading an article on how a long distance runner trains their body. It mentioned that the athlete refers to endurance as “the wall”. It’s the agonizing period, fairly early in the race, when the body just doesn’t want to keep going. Experienced competitors know that once they get through “the wall”, things get much easier and they can just keep going and going. In fact, the next milestone is referred to as the “runner’s high” ~ and absolute euphoria that lies on the other side of “the wall”.

I know that we are at the wall. Recovery and therapy (mentally and physically) day in and day out is difficult. Most times the frustrations associated with your recalling your speech, memory, eating and walking are intense. Not to mention learning how to take care of your personal needs independently. Some days it seems as if they will never come back. It’s the EVERY DAY that can initiate cause to give up. When you’re met head on by just how hard Every Day can be that’s when it’s NOT the time to give up. You remind me of this daily. There are some days I don’t know where you reach inside your self to pull the strength and will to make yourself get through the wall, but you do. With your discipline you will soon be over the wall. You will reach your euphoria of eating, speaking, walking, cooking and living independently! And on the really tough days remember ~ Keep pushing because it sure beats quitting and having to start all over again! xoxo