Corey had a good weekend. We believe her headache was the result of sleep deprivation and dehydration. Although she continues to be very tired, she is sleeping better and has not complained of another headache since we’ve returned home from the ER.
We kept it quiet this weekend. We didn’t push our usual home program other than her range of motion exercises. Since Corey started to communicate, she’s initiated several “firsts” that have propelled her to the next steps in her recovery. She was asking to eat before she passed her swallow studies. She was telling us she could walk before her left leg actually woke up. Now she is asking to go to her room…upstairs.
The catalyst to this request is her continued disorientation with her surroundings. She asked me today, “How did I get here”? I pressed her to define what she meant. “How did I get here with you and all these people I don’t know”? I call it an awakening. Dr. Murphy and Dr. Long are working with us on strategies to help her as she tries to merge her long term/short term memory with her current reality.
Whatever Corey is working through I try to put myself in her world physically, emotionally and intellectually hoping to empathize. Obviously I cannot begin to grasp the magnitude of what she is truly living; however, there is a minor example that can relate.
We’ve lived in our home for 21 years. The renovation converted the pantry/laundry room into Corey’s new bathroom. As we cook dinner, I instinctually go to the “pantry” to find ingredients…except now that space is occupied by the shower and stack washer/dryer. It’s been a year and yet I walk towards that room several times a week. I can’t imagine what it must be like to “wake up” and everything I knew, including the people I was closest to, has physically changed or moved away, parts of my home are familiar and yet nothing seems the same and there is no sense of continuity in my environment or people I interact with day to day.
So we find ourselves at a new threshold. This week I will be discussing a new plan. How do we get Corey back into her bedroom? Her room has not changed. She decorated the walls with a collage of photographs. She loved being surrounded with friends and family. Her shelves are decorated with childhood memorabilia. She and her friends started painting one corner with original artwork and the blue tape is still on the ceiling…it will remain there until they finish their mural. Her room is inviting. It has an energy of warmth, joy and life.
My thought; if Corey can sleep in her bedroom each night it might help to ease her into the external changes she faces daily. I’m hoping it will comfort and inspire her to keep moving forward. She would still spend her days on the first floor; however, the change could help the house “feel” like the home she knew.
We will have to make a few adjustments to accomplish this and Corey still has some physical training to do with her walking as well as her ability to climb a step but I think it’s possible. The good news; my girlfriend’s family has generously offered us a chair lift used by their mother so Corey won’t have to climb a staircase. We could keep a small nurse’s station in her bathroom and the hospital bed in the family room for naps during the day but move the rest of her bedroom furniture back to her room. The family room would then be the family room again.
Like everything else on this path, we won’t know if we don’t try. Every experience whether it’s successful or not teaches us how to do it better. When things are going well, we are so thankful. When days are difficult and we struggle, we gratefully accept what is and then look for ways to improve it! On to the next plan…xoxo