Corey had two new visitors today. Lori will be Corey’s temporary substitute teacher. Today’s visit centered on the ladies getting to know one another. Corey surprised me multiple times as she answered Lori’s questions. For instance, when asked if she had any siblings, Corey instantly got excited, said yes and stated they were older. She told Lori her siblings names and when asked how old they were she was pretty close…she wrote JohnPaul 25 (he’ll be 24) and Caitlin was way off…92! Then she laughed! I gave a verbal queue that JohnPaul will be 24 this month and Caitlin is two years younger. How old is she? She wrote 22. Caitlin shouldn’t be too offended; she was completely off on her own age also.
What surprised me was her correctly answering where they went to college and what their majors were. She also remembered where she wants to go to college and that she wants to cook. These are the details that continue to surprise me. There is no predictability or consistency to Corey’s memory. Lori asked what Corey would like to accomplish during their sessions together. She wrote, “I want to learn”. The research states that the mind is an amazing wonder. This is confirmed for us daily.
Our second visitor was a friend of Caitlin’s that is one of my many adopted children. Ricky has been friends with our family for almost 8 years. When I would travel for work, he’d stay at the house and chauffer Corey. Although she is friends with his younger sister, she is truly more like his sister! They were very close and tonight’s visit was the first since the ICU.
The nurse and I were in Corey’s room when the doorbell rang. She was beginning to transfer from her chair to her bed. I ran to get the door. When Corey heard Ricky’s voice she was very excited. The nurse called to us to come into Corey’s room because when she heard Ricky’s voice, she refused to sit down on her bed. We quickly entered the room. Corey was so excited to see Ricky she reached out for a hug. She started talking to him, answering and asking questions. We have not seen this response from her except with family. Of course Ricky reminded us that it was because he IS family. We had a great evening catching up on his college/acting updates as well as all that Corey has been working on.
The last 15 months have been consumed with every effort to heal Corey’s body and mind. What is most commonly overlooked is the spirit. The spirit is the essence of what makes someone who they are. For Corey, her interpersonal connections with her friends have always given her an energy that fed her spirit; it surrounds her, made her glow. As her friends came to visit, especially in the early days, they would reminisce about Corey. Some of the memories were of being at parties. If it wasn’t as fun as they thought it would be, Corey would show up and the energy changed in the room. As they recalled the memory, a smile would cross their face and then the stories and laughter would follow. When Corey’s friends come to visit, it is the most valuable of all her medications and therapies. She is rejuvenated each time she reconnects with her friends.
Corey you are working hard on what is necessary to help heal your body and your mind. You are living through the current challenge of your life and you’re facing it with the same stubborn determination that you have relied on in the past. Your ability to heal and overcome what seems impossible truly amazes me. I am so grateful for your progress. What I treasure the most is your spirit. We can’t begin to say that we understand how hard every day is for you but the consistent effort to display your happiness, confidence and joy teaches us that a challenge does not have to destroy your spirit, energy or passion for life. I’m so proud of you! xoxo