Normally we have speech in the morning but today Diane changed our session to the afternoon. Corey enjoyed sleeping in…what normal teenager doesn’t? Diane is actually going to be taking a short vacation but don’t think Corey will be resting; we have homework assignments to complete while Diane is away…she left us 3 workbooks! Diane tested Corey’s swallowing today. She believes Corey is gaining more control and has given us clearance to try minuscule portions of vanilla pudding, vanilla ice cream and canned baby fruit of Corey’s choice each day until she returns. She will schedule another swallow study in two weeks. If Corey passes the study, she can continually graduate to thicker more solid foods.
Corey had a very good PT session. We are now using a balloon for her trunk and balance exercises. Corey must reach and tap the balloon while maintaining her sitting balance. As she leans towards the balloon in varied directions she must extend her arm and trunk then return to a straight upright sitting posture. It’s much harder than it sounds but Corey is doing a great job.
We don’t settle for the easy reach & tap exercises. We now ask Corey to sit with her back straight. We toss the balloon towards her belly and she must lift her right knee to hit the balloon in an upward motion. She not only hit it today, as it floated down she caught it between her legs and she managed to shimmy it to pop it back up and hit it with her knee a second time. We cheered as if we were at the World Cup watching a professional soccer player manipulate her footing to score! It was very impressive.
We decided to make her moves count using the walker to help Corey from the matte to the foyer and then up the front hall towards the kitchen. She did a great job stepping with the right foot. Gillian was most impressed with her ability to bare weight on her right side in order to bend her left knee then lift her left heel so I could pull her foot through to take a step. She then puts weight on her left side to naturally step with her right. It takes two of us to help Corey with this process (with our nurse following behind her with her wheelchair incase she needs to sit). The matte to the foyer is roughly 6-7 feet. The length of the front hall is approximately 8-10 feet. This exercise takes 35-40 minutes; it’s exhausting for Corey but each incremental step to the process is getting smoother because she is getting stronger. Today was her fourth attempt at this distance and Gillian has already seen great improvement. Her strength is improving as a result of her daily PT sessions and her increased time in the standing frame. We have a new record to report…20 minutes and 23 seconds. That’s not a random number, every second counts!
Corey is having fun with her friends this week. We mentioned Selina, Claire and Danielle visiting, we also had the opportunity to skype Kristen and today Ainne and Leah came to visit. The girls had a great time playing Xbox games. Corey is becoming a Ninja Master! (Check out the Gallery)
Corey when you were a baby you had to sit before you could stand. You had to stand before you could walk. You had to walk before you could run. Running could not have been possible until you mastered each of the previous steps. Your progress has been the culmination of a lot of little steps, one after another, day after day. In fact, you could say that each day is a step. We don’t know if this path is going to be long or short but I can tell you that the only way to discover the direction and the outcome is to keep taking the next step for as long as necessary. It might not be a bad idea to keep those shoelaces tied tight, knowing you you’ll be running before we know it! Happy dreams xoxo