Corey definitely wants to eat! She not only woke up and asked her night nurse for water, she also asked for Pasta. Diane will be working with Corey this week and next to build up her tolerance for swallowing. She has to be able to swallow up to 1 teaspoon of liquid with varied consistencies before she can effectively pass a swallow study. Diane has every confidence that Corey will be capable of achieving this. Today she worked for almost 30 minutes tasting her thickened apple juice, chewed and swallowed without any issue. Tonight, she reached for my water glass, drank a sip and swallowed without chocking…that was a first! This is a very big step forward for her progress.
Today’s PT went very well. In fact, it was the best session we’ve seen in over a week. We are beginning to notice that when Corey reacts to the tone in her body, it manifests itself with pain in her mouth. Yesterday’s reaction was so intense we had to quit her session early. Today Corey was in pain but when we asked her what she wanted to do, she pointed to the walker and wanted to work through it…so we did! She not only stood, she worked on shifting her weight side to side, she practiced bending and straightening her knees and she took a step forward and back with her right foot shifting her weight to her left side in order to accomplish the motion.
Corey continues to practice her trunk control with sitting exercises on the matte. Normally we add kicking a ball to practice her balancing. Today we added a new dimension to the activity by creating our own version of Volleyball. We had a great time. Corey sits on the matte, I sit across from her on the floor. I toss a beach ball up in the air in varied directions. Corey has to track the ball, reach for it and spike it back to me all while balancing and maintaining her sitting posture. Sounds easy? It’s a lot harder than you think and she nailed it! Once again, I am amazed at Corey’s ability to push through her pain to work her best. She is a true athlete!
One of the scenes from the Gabby Gifford story that struck me was her inability to recall the word Light and her difficulty stringing words together to formulate a sentence. However, when she sang the childhood song “This little Light of Mine” she not only recalled the word Light and the lyrics that compose the song; she also sang the entire verse in complete sentences. The reporter stated that Music activates both sides of the brain. Corey’s injury was a global injury affecting each hemisphere of the brain. Gabby’s injury was on the left side only. When Melody Gardot called us she suggested that we start singing with Corey (which we did a little over a month ago) and she shared that Music therapy was instrumental in her relearning to speak after 2 years of being non-verbal.
I pulled out the Disney theme song tapes (primarily because I know the lyrics…unlike her song list on the IPod). Corey is mouthing the lyrics for all the songs. What I find fascinating is she is now recognizing and moving her “disco finger” to any music she hears, a cell phone ring, a commercial and the theme songs to all the sitcoms. Melody was correct; Music will be the key to unlock Corey’s voice!
Okay Corey-girl, we will try anything and when it works you know what that means…we are going to rock on…Happy Dreams honey, I love you xoxo