Hi Everyone,

Corey has been pretty sick! Yesterday the stomach bug bit hard and she was physically sick for the better part of the day. This morning she was up by 4am and looked like she was going to have a bad day. She fell back asleep by 7am for about an hour and half. It was just enough for her to rally for therapy.

Diane arrived by 9:30 and Corey pushed to work through her full session. Diane was happy to hear about Corey’s singing in the shower and will incorporate what she calls Melodic Intonations as part of their speech sessions to see if that will help Corey release her voice. Diane commented that Corey has surprised her. She mentioned that the day she met Corey she thought that she had good potential to recover her speech but never expected her to be progressing at the rate she is. This is significant coming from a therapist that has been a specialist in her field for 25+ years. Diane is very impressed with Corey’s response time to questions as well as her lip movement for word formation. She is confident that it is a matter of time before Corey’s voice comes back to hear the words she’s trying to speak.

Until I begin my continuous family leave, I have been working from home as often as I can. In doing so, I’m participating in all of Corey’s therapy. I am already seeing the importance of this by brainstorming with the team of therapists. The therapists work individually so we discuss what all the team members are working on as well as what Corey and I do in the evening. My decision to take this leave was validated twice today. Diane, Christa, our school math teacher, and I were talking about new observations we had over the weekend. In both conversations we began to brainstorm about new techniques we could use with Corey to advance the sessions. Diane commented that when you are working with a person that has a traumatic brain injury; it’s not like working with any other “typical” patient. You have to think out of the box, try new techniques and alternative ideas because you never know how the brain will reconnect and rewire itself to regain what came naturally prior to the injury. This creative, collaborative approach is what will continue to allow Corey to advance in her recovery.

This afternoon’s Math session is a perfect example of this. Brittany, school OT, and Christa arrived together for a collaborative session today. Christa offered Corey three choices for today’s lesson. Corey could prioritize her choices by number. 1. Read from her college book ‘The Professional Chef’, 2. Work with a clock on time, 3. Make a no-bake cheesecake. Corey actually chose the above in that order. Corey also chose the chapters ‘How to Network’ and ‘Becoming a Good Manager’ over ‘Organic Cooking’. This girl never wasted any time, she’s always took the approach of ‘Let’s get to the important stuff’ for every subject she was interested in! Truthfully, her vision was to open a little restaurant called, ‘Dede’s table’ after my mother and use some of her recipes in her menu.

The Clock lesson was interesting to observe. Corey had success with the presentation of time in analog form but had difficulty with recognizing time using a traditional clock. Today was the first time Christa used this tool. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Corey loved the cooking portion of today’s lesson. After the dishes were finished Corey was exhausted from her entire day. As Corey rested Christa and I chatted about our observations using the written recipe verses printing out larger print recipes and/or using picture recipes. We discussed Corey’s vision, her short term memory and the reality of what she may have to do in the future to compensate for what may or may not reconnect. For instance; if Corey can’t read a traditional recipe, she may need it dictated as an augmentative auditory tool. It would be similar to a person with dyslexia listening to a book on tape verses reading it themselves. We decided that next lesson; we’ll place all the ingredients as well as the measuring spoons and cups on the counter. We’ll read the recipe aloud. Brittany can assist Corey with the functional movements to manipulate the process and it will allow us to observe her ability to follow direction, assess short term memory as well as observe her understanding of the session. It is amazing for me to witness and participate with this team. I am moving from Parent Pre-Med to Rehab 101.

Corey you did a great job today. I especially loved your session with PT. You not only showed off the increased movement of your left toes by curling and spreading your toes, you also used them to wave to Gillian! We laughed out loud! It is also exciting to watch your eagerness to work and learn from this team.

Facebook has a new feature of showing what you posted on this day a year ago. Caitlin’s status was; Caitlin Beattie has the strongest sister. A year ago tonight, the ICU team prepared you for your first brain surgery. We had no promises that you would make it through. JohnPaul, Caitlin, Dad and I walked along side of your gurney to the doors of the OR. We each kissed you and essentially said our good-byes hoping you’d come back to us. Since that night, you continue to fight your way back everyday. Caitlin’s status was true last year and it’s still true TODAY! Your strength is amazing Corey, xoxo