Hi Everyone,

We had our first full day at Bryn Mawr’s gym today. Corey handled the commute fairly well. Our new team of coaches are Kate for Speech, Jeanine for OT and Ted for PT.

ST began at 10am. Kate will be working not only on Corey’s speech but memory, cognitive skills and swallowing as well. Corey was successful with a few comprehension exercises and for the first time drank milk from a cup without aspirating! She’s officially progressing from thins on a spoon to thins in a cup.

OT had two split sessions. In her first morning session, Jeanine finished assessing Corey’s left arm. The tone (stiffness) in her upper arm and shoulder impedes some of her movement. The good news is with some warm up exercises Corey’s showing some isolated independent movement including motion from her shoulder.

Excited at the potential from session #1, Jeanine introduced an arm skate in the afternoon session. An arm skate looks like a mini skate board for your arm. It has a flat surface for your forearm, raised grip for your hand and four casters on the bottom of the board. Corey places her arm on the molded board. Her arm is secured with Velcro. Any movement from the board is directed by Corey. Jeanine was pleasantly surprised by Corey’s ability to move the board across a table from left to right and front to back. Corey was all smiles and excited to know she was the controlling the motion and speed. I was teasing her that she looked ready for a dust rag…the living room is first!

Bryn Mawr arranged for Corey to have 2hrs between the morning and afternoon sessions. It is supposed to include time for lunch and a rest period. They found us a private treatment room with an exercise matte, wedge to support her upper body (she can not lay flat to sleep), pillows, sheet and blanket. Corey took a solid hour/half nap! The commute and morning sessions pushed her. I am so thankful she rested for the afternoon.

PT closed the day from 3-4pm. Corey hasn’t had a “good” workout since last Monday with Natalie. I can transfer her and range her but we do not walk together the same way she can walk with the therapists (I’m in Parent Pre-Med not PT school…yet). Ted was pleasantly surprised by Corey’s ability to step through with her left foot; however she needs a lot of work on her upper torso. She is not quite strong enough to hold her self upright without leaning back or too far forward with just one therapist.

I am hoping to video tape some of the sessions as we continue to document her progress. Stay tuned…

I know you all worry when we miss a post but we are still working through staffing issues with our homecare agencies. When I don’t post, it’s usually because I’m either on duty or have a moment to catch a few hours sleep and chose not to write. So far two agencies are NOT better than one. My sister Diane and my nephew Andrew visited this weekend. I’m grateful Diane was here. She was a huge help splitting the night shifts with me and Caitlin; I managed to get 4 hours of sleep each night! Tonight however, our new nurse was a “no show”…good thing I’m rested.

Writing each night is my therapy. These pages help me process our day, release grief, share joy and celebrate Corey’s progress. It is a coping tool that helps me and Corey. She loves when I read the notes you post. When read aloud, she gets excited and comments, “I’m doing so well, they are happy for me”. Then she’ll add, “I’m so happy…go me”!

You all give us the strength to keep going each day. Thank you for your continued support, love and friendship. Knowing you’re “out there” is more comforting than we can tell you, xoxo