This journal is a means to express our clinical, emotional and spiritual journey through our recovery from this life changing event. I choose the word “our” because we all have been affected. Corey has touched each of our lives; her family, friends and even the strangers that hear her story. The change in her life has altered ours.
The impending discharge date brings with it a host of emotions, thoughts and insecurities.
Emotionally and spiritually, we have never been more challenged. Clinically we’ve been submerged in a world with new vocabulary and a crash course to grasp what takes professionals years to comprehend. The saying goes ‘time heals all wounds’; there is no compass to guide us through that.
So we try to move forward coping with the reality of our new life. There are a million questions that require answers that will ultimately qualify choices and decisions. Do we look at a decision with the next year in mind or do we look at decisions with a mindset of the next five years? Where do we go? Who will take an 18 year old? Who has the rehabilitation regiment that we want to maintain the momentum we’re just beginning to witness? Who has experience with Corey’s type of injury? Or do we utilize the support from our friends, family and community at home? And then the “What If’s” begin…fear and anxiety are heightened with each of those questions.
Thank goodness for the nursing staff at Bryn Mawr. They sat with me and listened to the tennis match of thoughts, worries and concerns. They reminded me that we can wonder, speculate and project all we want, but in the end we have today. It is better to think short term than long term. They asked me to change one letter in my What If…change the “f” to an “s”…and ask What IS? The If’s will kill us…IS keeps us grounded in today.
There’s so much that can change and does change for Corey on a daily basis. Yes, we need to hope. We hope Corey will talk, walk, laugh; ultimately go to college, get married, have her own family and live her life to the best of her ability. The truth is, those hopes are what we’re thinking today. Four months ago we hoped she would survive her first surgery, live through the first week, breath without the ventilator and have the trach removed so she could swallow on her own. Those past hopes have been her present day changes. What IS happening are small signs of her recovery that are building each day towards what we hope she will be in the future. We absolutely can hope, while we focus on What IS!
Corey once again you achieved another milestone during OT. Your head fell, chin to chest, due to weary neck muscles. You raised your head independently three times when asked! That IS an amazing accomplishment from a young woman that survived a broken neck. For the very first time, you sat upright without support from your therapist for almost 5 seconds! That IS from a young woman that survived multiple fractures of the pelvis. You lift, kick and move the leg that had a rod inserted from a fractured femur. That IS strength, perseverance, determination and stamina. It’s easy to question What If, but we need to ask What IS? Happy dreams honey, xoxo