Today was a frustrating day for Corey. She is feeling well but was very angry with herself. Days like today are difficult because only Corey can “fix” them. We can only continue to encourage her and try to remind her of where she was and where she is today.
Speaking of where she was, Diane is back from vacation and Corey’s speech therapy has resumed. We have been working with Corey on her homework in Diane’s absence using whole language workbooks. Today’s session was not only a recap of what we’ve done, it was also re-evaluation testing for insurance. Diane was amazed! Corey has displayed significant progress in not only her word formation but in her ability to strengthen her voice.
Diane gave a short explanation about the pros and cons of testing Speech and Cognitive therapies. It is based on primary learning skills. In other words, how a person learns to read, do math etc. Think of a young child’s learning development. We learn sequentially moving from basic levels towards higher strategic levels of cognitive thinking. The issue that makes her job not only challenging but difficult in testing/reporting to insurance is when an adult has had an acquired injury; such as a TBI, stroke, etc, they have already learned and mastered their fundamentals. It’s recalling which pieces are either missing or out of order that the therapists try to help the patient reclaim in their sessions. Often the therapy session is based not only on reconstructing the mechanics and fundamentals of speech but the constant search for what the patient can and cannot recall from their minds library. We are very lucky to be working with such a skilled therapist. We love learning from Diane!
Corey’s PT session heightened her frustrations. A typical session begins on the matte stretching. Gillian works in pushing Corey’s skill set to increase movement, range and endurance. We continued with the work on her left leg lifting off the matte. Corey was furious that it wasn’t coming fast enough. Ironically, the angrier she became the higher she’d lift her leg off the matte. She was not encouraged by this, it frustrated her more. When asked what was wrong, she wrote “me”. I asked what about you; “legs”. What about your legs; “ew”…that’s her angry word. In her mind she’s ready but her body is not and she’s not happy with the disconnect!
This is exactly why I have been documenting Corey’s progress. Today our nurse, Gillian, Diane, Brittany and Christa all shared stories with Corey of the skills she’s not only developed but strengthened since they met her the first week in July. She did seem to take some comfort in their progress reports.
Cooking always seems to brighten her spirits and today was no exception. Corey made a Chevre Stuffed Chicken with an Apricot Glaze. For those of you “non-foodies”, chevre is an entrée made with goat cheese. (Suddenly I hear my brother Tom in my head commenting not only on the meat selection but cooking with goat cheese?) It was delicious Tom, I swear!
Corey had to use the side of the meat tenderizer mallet flattening the chicken breast to a thin consistency. She seasoned each piece with a pinch of salt/pepper, mixed the goat cheese, ricotta and scallions then spread the mixture on the fillet. She rolled the fillet securing it with a toothpick. I cooked the chicken adding the mixture of chicken broth, apricot spreadable fruit, spicy brown mustard and lemon juice to make the glaze. She is serving tonight’s entrée with French cut string beans. I will upload pictures of her finished product shortly.
Honey everyday I try to put myself in your world. I try to imagine what it is like for you to relearn every aspect of your life. Then I try to imagine what it would feel like to find the energy to motivate myself, push through the frustration and anger; cope with what is speaking so clearly in my mind yet no one else can hear it but me. No one can imagine or truly understand.
We can’t take this away from you, do the work for you or rush the healing. The only thing we can do is walk along side of you as you make your way down this new road of yours. We can listen when you scream out. We can try to make you laugh when we know you need a distraction. We can remind you that each little movement is important because it builds towards everything you have reclaimed up until today.
It’s not a matter of “will you get there”. YOU ARE getting there! Some days it’s hard to wait and those emotions are normal but when you lose your strength remember we are right here beside you, so lean on us. When you lose sight of all you’ve overcome, we will remind you of what you have achieved.
Corey…You are making it happen, today! xoxo