Today was Corey’s first day of school. She is not a sophomore in college but a 2nd year super senior in High School.
We are very fortunate to be receiving PT/OT and Cognitive/Educational services from our school district. For those of you that are unaware, Corey’s accident was one month into her senior year of High School. Since she did not graduate, she is eligible for many different services through her 21st year. Between the district and Insurance, this is how we’ve been able to ensure Corey receives the same quantity of services she would have been receiving as an inpatient at the acute care rehabilitation hospital.
Normally a patient receives 18 hours of rehabilitation services weekly as an inpatient at an acute care facility. Once the patient improves and/or regains functional movement they move to a sub-acute facility where they will receive up to 6 hours of rehabilitation per week. If a patient moves home, if they have insurance coverage for home therapy, if they continue to show measureable improvement, they typically receive 3-4 hours of therapy per week (the hours stated are from insurance coverage only).
Corey’s TBI was diagnosed as severe (low level function). My argument with the rehab hospital and insurance was a patient at the low level can not improve with 3-6 hours of therapy per week. Along with the natural course of healing, they must receive a minimum of 15-18 hours a week to regain functional improvement. As you know, she was admitted 10/22/10 and we were discharged on 6/1/11 with the label that she had functionally plateaud.
We have not relented in the last year to prove our hypothesis. You have been reading the documented proof of her incremental progress. This is the evidence we are taking to the State and to Washington to fight for funding for ALL TBI patients (especially low level patients) to continue to receive the acute level of rehabilitation post hospital stay.
Today’s additional documentation;
Our school team did not see Corey from May 8th through June 12th. They had a few weeks through June and early July before the extended school year coverage ended for summer break. During that time, Corey was readmitted to the acute care facility receiving the maximum rehab hours. We continued with 9 hours 3 days per week in Out Patient.
Two days per week we have district services. We were introduced to a new team member, Beth. She will be working with Corey on Language education, memory, etc. Christa will continue to incorporate Math with our cooking therapy, Brittany is our OT and Jen is our PT. The ladies were thrilled to be back. Corey was very happy to see them as well and couldn’t wait to show off her “new moves” since their summer break.
Brittany and Jen had adjacent sessions. Jen was thrilled to see Corey’s walking. In fact it was too nice to stay inside. The ladies walked from the matte in the living room, through the front hall, into the kitchen, down the ramp to the family room, out to the back deck and down the outside ramp to sit under the shade tree. Brittany hadn’t seen Corey walk in person and was amazed. Corey also showed Brittany how well she is moving her left arm. In fact, we all witnessed another first. Corey is beginning to lift her arm raising her elbow. She can straighten her forearm and wave her hand. Today, for the first time she retracted her forearm moving her hand towards her face and was able to touch her nose without leaning her face forward to cheat!
Beth also witnessed a first. We played tangrams (matching shapes/colors to a picture). Corey reached with her left arm to retrieve a shape from my hand, strategically moved her arm to the area the shape matched, opened her hand to drop the piece (much like the claw in an arcade game) and correctly placed the shaped piece on point with the right hand.
Corey there is a saying; you only get one chance to make a first impression.
I remember listening to a motivational speaker, Dan Gottlieb, 6 months into your recovery. He, too, is in a wheelchair after an accident. He commented that when a stranger looks at him, they see his wheelchair, not the man that sits in it. I think of that statement almost everyday. You are often misjudged in the same way. There is so much within you that is waiting to burst out. “You’re in there” ~ you know it and the team knows it. Your determination and hard work to regain your strength and abilities will prove it to the rest of the world! There may be some temporary boundaries but there are no limits once you break through them. Keep “showing off” honey, you are making lasting impressions! xoxo