Home sweet Home.
Taking this vacation was vital to our “recovery education”. My sister and I agreed that our preparations were 90% of the trip but the last 10% of actually going through the process was the key to making our next trip even better.
For instance, the flight home was much more difficult than the flight out for several reasons. The plane was larger; the crowded waiting area and the boarding process heightened her stranger anxiety. We required 3 seats together so Corey could elevate her legs and lie down to rest during the 5 hour flight. In addition to adjoining seats, the location of the seats had to be within 2 rows of the lavatory. We learned on the flight out that the on-board wheelchair is only used to transport Corey on and off the plane. It does not stay on-board during the flight. Corey is learning to walk however she needs maximum assistance. She and I can fit in the lavatory but walking up an aisle with turbulence was a balancing act we weren’t ready to attempt! The airline was very accommodating and found us 3 seats in the last aisle. Although Corey could stretch out she did not sleep and the air pressure + turbulence created a migraine headache.
At one point, Corey sat upright as if she were getting up. Alarmed, I asked “what are you doing”? In a matter of fact tone she stated, “I’m leaving”. Now confused I pressed her further, “where do you think you’re going”? Mildly annoyed at the question she responded, “I’m done with this seat”. Jamie and I looked at each other and laughed out loud, “um, honey, if you leave now you’ll need a parachute”, with that Jamie lifted the window shade and showed Corey the clouds. Corey began to laugh with us.
She was sitting quietly for most of the ride occasionally asking questions and interjecting her thoughts.
C – “I’m a little sad to be leaving” she said.
M – “I know me too”.
C – “It will be nice to sleep in my bed”
M – “I agree”
After a long pause she looked at me and asked, “Where have I been”?
I couldn’t contain myself…sometimes you just have to laugh at short term memory loss!
Jamie went home but we were lucky to have a night nurse last night so we all could sleep after a long day’s journey. Today was a slow, quiet, adjust to being home kind of day. The “To Do” list included unpacking, grocery shopping and preparing for the week ahead.
As I repacked Corey’s backpack and prepared her bag for Bryn Mawr I was a little tired and dreading the “back to reality” Monday morning feeling. Our daily routine is very difficult but getting back into it after a break is always more difficult. I replayed a conversation I had with Loretta, last nights nurse. She loves coming back to see Corey especially if there’s been several weeks/months between her visits.
This morning we talked about Corey’s progress. In Arizona, the kids, Jamie and I noticed that Corey’s short term memory seems to be getting longer at times. Her cognitive clarity appears to be progressing to a solid Stage 6 on the Rancho scale. Loretta agreed. She reported that Corey woke up and told her she was in Arizona with Papa and went swimming with the kids. I was shocked; primarily because on the plane ride home she stated she didn’t remember where she was and asked me, “Did I have a good time”?
Loretta told us her grandmother used to say memories are your minds photographs. When you look at one you might not remember the name of the person in the picture but you’ll usually remember the event and emotions related to it. We talked about Corey working hard at recognizing all her pictures. She confidently stated, “Don’t you worry, you will remember everything Corey because you have perseverance”. “You wouldn’t be where you are today without perseverance”.
Loretta’s next statement was my inspiration for the day; “Without trials in your life, you could never build the character you need, to be the person you need to be for someone else”. “You inspire people Corey”. “It takes strength and character to persevere”. “You inspire me to push through my Monday’s”!
Perspective + Perseverance = a good Monday morning.
Happy Monday, xoxo