Hi Everyone,

I’m sure that Corey will be glad tomorrow is Monday so she’ll have her “normal” nurses caring for her! I have such admiration for nurses and medical residents. How do they pull the shifts they do on a fulltime basis? Unfortunately we had limited coverage this weekend but we managed to get through. I’m happy to report that Corey is still healthy despite the fact that nurse mom is a freshman!

We had a pretty good weekend. We make sure that we work out at least twice a day on Saturday’s and Sunday’s to keep Corey flexible. I am amazed at how much she’s trying to talk. She is starting to initiate questions too! On two separate occasions, Corey wrote leading questions to ask about JohnPaul and Caitlin. It’s the first I’ve seen her interact this way.

We had to call Uncle Tom the Great to inform him that Corey not only called to me while I was in the kitchen but had a special request. She said, “I’m hungry”. I asked her what she’d like to eat but couldn’t understand her sentence. I asked her to write it on her white board. She wrote, “I want a Hotdog”. Those of you who don’t know Corey well, she was a dedicated vegetarian for six years prior to the accident. Uncle Tom nicknamed her “Meat” and would torment her every time they got together asking her if she’d like a Hotdog. There is even a video from Thanksgiving 2009 where she and her cousin Tommy had a contest. Who could eat a piece of bread lathered with peanut butter the fastest only taking a drink of water to wash it down. If Corey lost, she had to eat ½ a cold hotdog. If Tommy lost, he had to eat a dog biscuit. The winner…let’s just say that Corey earned her right to be a vegetarian and Tommy had a “ruff” time swallowing his defeat! I didn’t puree a hotdog but Corey did enjoy ice cream; Mint Chocolate Chip, Cookies and Cream, and Cookie Dough. She also ate Cream of Potato Soup.

When Corey and I are exercising, she can get very frustrated that her body is not responding the way she’d like it to. Coach Mom jumps in to remind her of all that she’s accomplished. It’s difficult for Corey to accept or understand because she does not remember the accident, hospital or rehab stay. Her memory in the afternoon often doesn’t recall what she did in the morning. Long term memories are 70% accurate pre-2009. The only tool I can utilize to help her through her frustration is gratitude. Frankly, this is one of my coping mechanisms as well.

It’s impossible to be sincerely positive about the future if we’re not positive for what is in our lives today. Looking for reasons to be grateful keeps the negative thoughts out of our heads. For instance; by 9am this morning our day was in full swing. Throughout the night, Corey needs to be re-positioned every two hours. Come morning medications are given at 6am, we assist with Corey’s personal care, bed linens are changed, we do range of motion exercises with her arms and legs as a warm up, she’s transferred from the bed to the wheelchair to the living room and we begin exercising for an hour. Between 10 and 11:30 we sort and do more laundry as well as some cooking, take care of the dishes and restock supplies in the kitchen, bathroom and nurses station. By 11:30 Corey’s wiped out and needs to go back to bed for a few hours.

We could look at this weekend with a negative focus; exhausted, frustrated, resentful or angry. Or we can look at the weekend with a positive grateful focus which shows just how blessed we are. For instance; I sat next to Corey as she slept and looked at the walls of her room admiring the paint color. All I could think of is the number of friends in the community that created this beautiful space. She sleeps in an appropriate hospital bed, uses ramps, uses a bathroom perfectly suited for her current needs, exercises on a matte, gains strength in her legs using a standing frame, builds core strength using assorted exercise balls, she uses an over bed table as a desk and culinary counter to continue working towards achieving her dream. The therapists and teachers that come into our home are an integral piece to that dream becoming a reality.

Corey our friends and community have created this for you. Your attitude and actions are utilizing these gifts to achieve your daily accomplishments. Your success starts with a positive focus and gratitude is a major component of that. Gratitude will always help you to see the positive in every situation. Every day I look at you, your smile, your daily accomplishments, the environment and the people that help sustain it and I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. When you look for reasons to be grateful, you will definitely find them! xoxo