Lots to post tonight!
First of all, the nurses shared with us that Corey seemed very relaxed and more responsive today. When they found out about the party in her room, they told us it’s directly connected to her enjoying her family time with her sister listening to stories and laughter. She has a similar response when JohnPaul comes to visit. Guess Caitlin and JohnPaul might have to move home (temporarily of course…)
We received the team report for this week. The team is noticing visible behavioral reactions with different therapists. Corey is starting to recognize her main therapists. Their voices and touch. She responds with relaxed hands and body tone. (Tone referring to muscle flexibility and/or contraction) If a new therapist fills in, they notice her tone increase as if to say, ‘who are you’? She tenses, clenches her hands; her heart rate goes up, as does her blood pressure. This is a good sign. She’s getting used to her surroundings. She relaxes with familiar people yet recognizes when there’s a change.
OT and PT work very closely using the same techniques. They both are still focusing on sensory stimulation along with tone. She has responded with a “startle” response to loud auditory stimulus on both sides (new) withdraws from ice gloves on both sides of her face (new) and continues to withdraw to the pain stimulus for all her extremities (same). Her eyes have been open 50-75% of the sessions.
Sarah, her OT therapist, reported that she was “excited” with Corey’s progress this week.
It’s always good when a therapist uses the word excited!
We’ve written that Corey favors her glance to her right side. She has shown some focus and tracking to midline (center). She will lose focus on the object, but now her eyes appear to be scanning to regain the object. The time it takes to move to midline and regain the focus has decreased. This means she’s finding and focusing a bit quicker! That’s good!
Tonight there was another new change. Corey held her focus and moved her right arm up, pointing her finger to her trach and neck collar. She did this repeatedly! Each time we explained what the trach and collar were, why she had them and that it is temporary. We assured her she’s healing and everyone is so proud of her! Along with raising her hand and pointing, she was moving her mouth as if she wanted to ask the questions. We encouraged her to ask and at one point she opened her mouth ever so slightly! She refuses to open her mouth except to yawn (just ask the nurses trying to brush her teeth)
We share the little things we see each day. I know that these posts are hopeful and optimistic with a touch of what is Corey’s current reality. Truthfully, with tonight’s hand motion, pointing and maintaining eye contact for over an hour, we actually felt a rush of excitement for the first time in over a month! It appeared to be purposeful!
She’s going to be waggin’ that finger and telling us all off soon enough!
Sweet dreams Corey Girl! We are so proud of you, xoxo