We had a great weekend. Caitlin, Corey, our nurse and I headed for Long Island on Friday. It was a very difficult drive up in the rain and traffic. It took us 4 hours to get from our home to Exit 8 on the Jersey Turnpike. For those of you out of town, this should take an hour and a half. It’s difficult for Corey to not only drive in the car but also sit in her wheelchair for an extended period of time. As you can imagine, I was not only worried about the traffic and rain, but Corey’s comfort as well.
Fortunately, part of my continuous research of TBI also includes blogs and websites of other survivors. Often the survivor’s family members will comment on their interpretation of certain situations. A common thread for many is travel including their preparation and solutions to challenging glitches in their itineraries. One of the most important pieces of information I’ve learned is coping with traffic. The best piece of advice from more than one family is to pull off the road, check into a hotel, allow the patient to rest and then continue their journey. It’s easier on the patient and the family. In our case, this advice proved invaluable! Our GPS found a hotel minutes from the exit, we checked in and Corey took a much needed rest in bed for several hours. After our break the traffic dissipated and she tolerated the balance of the journey as if it were a local jaunt.
I wish you all could see how happy Corey is when she spends time with family. It energizes her and I believe pushes her to want to do more. We had an interesting new experience; Corey typically showers in a ‘shower bed’ at home. Papa’s house doesn’t have a bathroom that is handicapped accessible on the first floor. We needed to wash Corey’s hair. I thought about her ability to stand. We brought her into the kitchen, asked her to stand at the sink and bend at the waste to wash her hair in the kitchen sink (just like we did when she was little). She did an amazing job standing and bending but the most impressive movement included reaching for the sink with her LEFT arm and opening her Left hand to grasp the edge of the sink…ANOTHER FIRST!
Corey looked adorable in her sundress and her signature pearl’s for Kerri and Brendan’s wedding shower! (Check out the gallery for the new pictures). Whenever we try a new activity, we take our cue from Corey as to how long we’ll stay. She was having a blast! In fact, by mid evening it was obvious she was getting tired yet she said she didn’t want to leave. I finally had to pull the “mom card” and tell her it was time to go despite her insistence that she could still hang. Miss Party Pant’s didn’t want to miss a minute of the ‘after party’ either!
Today’s travel was much better than Friday’s and Corey handled the ride well. Once we arrived home, we got her into bed and she fell fast asleep! There’s no place like home and your own bed.
Corey I’m so proud of you. You continue to surprise me and I’m delighted with each discovery. Don’t be sad that our visit is over. More family and friends will be arriving this Saturday night for Caitlin’s Comedy night. It will be your first community appearance one year to the day of the accident. I am very excited to celebrate your first year of achievements with friends, family and laughter…all three are truly the best medicine! Xoxo