Hi Everyone,

We are in a new phase of recovery in our house. Corey’s short term memory appears to be getting worse and her impulsivity is increasing. She is trying to cope with her frustration and it’s often manifested in reactions of anger. Her separation anxiety is increasing as well. Our nurses try their best to distract Corey and redirect her attention away from me but often she is inconsolable until she physically sees me or calls me on the phone. I have faced the same challenges with her. Yesterday, she did not recognize me for two hours. She refused to believe I was Mom and insisted I go get her “real” mom. I don’t often panic but her disorientation truly shook my confidence in her recovery.

Today our challenge was to redirect during PT with Jen. Corey refused to “work out”. She didn’t want to do matte work, use the standing frame or walk. I was upstairs in my office. She heard me and insisted she go upstairs. I overheard her tantrum and quickly joined Jen and our nurse. Once Corey gets defiant, redirecting her is tricky. I agreed that I didn’t want to work anymore today either. “What do you say we play a game instead”? We decided on Soccer with the beach ball. She moved from her wheelchair to the matte and kicked the beach ball with her right foot. She loves watching me dive for the ball as she kicks it across the living room. The game was going so well that we placed the ball in front of her left foot and she repeatedly kicked it!

It gets better…

It’s very important that Corey stand everyday for weight baring exercise. Jen added a new dimension to our game. “How about we stand up, without the walker (just you and me) and you kick the ball to your mom”? Corey was very excited and cooperated. This exercise allowed her to place her weight on her left side in order to lift and kick the ball with her right foot. Another first; I blocked 6 shots!

After a short break it was onto a game of “sit and reach Volleyball”. Corey sits on the edge of the matte. I toss the ball to Corey who in turn has to hit the ball as I move to her right and left. She is not only working eye hand coordination but reaching across her torso as well as above her head. This exercise also develops her core strength.

The rest of the night was quiet until she fell asleep watching one of our favorites, Ratatouille. I’m not sure how long we’ll both sleep; the nurses have been calling me through the night to console Corey.

We are planning a quiet weekend, looking forward to one fun event on Sunday. Avondale Presbyterian Church will be hosting their 4th annual Handbell Concert. It benefits several charities. This year in addition to the Avon Grove Bridge, Oxford Neighborhood Services and an Orphanage in Kenya, they have also chosen to help fund Corey’s Culinary Therapy. Corey continues to donate dinners to the local church families that need Meals on Wheels. The Church would like to contribute to the supplies needed to make those meal donations. Last week Corey donated 10 Feta stuffed Chicken breasts. I think it was my favorite dinner so far. She stuffed the Chicken breasts with a Feta, cream cheese and tomato mixture seasoned with basil. We seared the breasts then baked them for 30 minutes. She served it with a tri-colored string bean mix. The best part of this weeks dinner ~ Corey not only prepared the dish, she was able to eat it! She enjoyed ½ a breast and the beans!

If you live locally and would like to join us; Concert begins at 4pm.
Avondale Presbyterian Church – Great hall
420 Pennsylvania Avenue, Avondale, PA
Admission is a non-perishable food item or monetary donation to benefit the 4 charities.

I am going to sign off for the weekend hoping to relax and rest. Thank you all for your continued support during this trying time. Your notes give us strength and encouragement when our daily fatigue seems to be getting the best of us!

Have a restful weekend, xoxo