It’s hard to believe that we’ve only been at Bryn Mawr for 10 days! In this short amount of time, Corey has made more progress.
Her speech therapist is very impressed with her eating! Corey’s casts have added 10lbs to her petite frame but she’s actually lost almost 3lbs since we’ve been here. It’s not because she’s not eating either. For breakfast she either dines on French toast or a cheese omelet with toast and jam. She always has fruit as a side. Lunch and Dinner is usually some sort of Chicken, Hamburger or Pasta with vegetables. She never misses dessert; ice cream, pudding or cake is sampled nightly. Corey eats small bite size pieces and usually the volume would equate to a ½ cup to 1 cup portion size. We place the proper portion on the fork or spoon and she feeds herself. It typically takes her about an hour to eat a meal.
Corey’s conversational skills are also improving. She is now speaking in full sentences. She continues to initiate questions appropriate to her surroundings and activities.
Rob, OT, worked with Corey this weekend. The last time Rob saw Corey she could only raise her right thumb. I remember how he would encourage her as he tried to get her to respond to his commands. When he saw her this weekend and had an opportunity to work with her, he was amazed. He made a point to come into our room later in the day just to see her again. He looked at me and said, “You never gave up”! Then he pointed his finger at Corey and said, “More importantly, YOU never gave up”! He gave Corey a big hug. As he left he shook his head in awe, quietly stating; “It’s a flippin’ miracle”.
We are back at Bryn Mawr for that very reason. Over the last 3-4 months Corey’s left side “woke up”. Her hand began to open, her left toes began to wiggle and her left leg began bend and move. When Jen and Gillian, our school and insurance PT’s, walked with Corey they began to see her initiate the movement needed to carry the left leg through to take a step. Her record was walking with their assistance for 30 feet. A week ago Monday, she walked 54 feet for the first time. Jen and Gillian tirelessly worked with Corey on a daily basis to prepare her for what we believe will be the next stage of her recovery.
Corey wears cast shoes over her casts. They have a rubber sole with canvas that wraps around the cast itself. She must wear these during her transfers and her walks. She has had a great deal of post surgical pain but we are noticing an improvement in her stamina and pain tolerance as the week progresses. Each day she is capable of a little more. I wish Jen and Gillian were with us today…Corey walked 88 feet with Natalie! The length of the gym here is 40 feet. Corey walked 38’ from the matte to the front door of the gym. She sat for a few minutes to rest and stretch out her legs then rolled back to start and walked not only to the door but out through the door to hall. We are officially on our way to the front door! I can’t wait to her casts to come off. She’ll feel so light she’ll want to run.
We had unexpected visitors tonight. Her girlfriends Ainne and Leah popped in on their way home from the Phillies game. Corey loved her visit with them. There was lots of laughter and story telling. When they left she was very sad; she wanted to go home with them.
Our time at Bryn Mawr is much different now than it was on our first tour. A year ago we didn’t want to leave. The unknown of what we were facing was not only overwhelming but terrifying. What if she didn’t progress? What if she didn’t progress fast enough? How were we going to replicate what we had here?
Corey we were so afraid. Sometimes you have no choice. The only thing you can do when you feel like you’re stepping off the end of the cliff is hope you don’t fall too fast and there is a soft landing.
Every day at home there was something that changed. Sometimes it may have only been your expression when you looked at us but it was a change. Other days it was a movement that increased its range of motion or was initiated for the first time. Rob was right but I would add to his sentence; you never gave up trying and we never gave up looking for the changes. That’s been our lifeline.
We are here for just a few weeks to get a job done…strength, stamina and increased growth with walking, talking and eating. I would say our first week was a success! Keep it up honey, we’ll be home before you know it! xoxo