Corey was very tired today…could still be jet lag. She barely made it through her session with Kate from 11-12. (When her eyes start to droop we call it 5 o’clock eyes). Nothing a nap and lunch couldn’t cure. Then it was back to PT.
During our session with Natalie, a therapist came in to ask our permission for a touring family to watch Corey work on the Lokomat. Of course we agreed. We met a father in his mid 60’s and a brother and sister in their 30’s. Their daughter/sister, 36, was recently in an accident. She is currently at University of Pennsylvania Hospital. They had been touring sub acute facilities (the brother called glorified nursing homes) and rehab hospitals; they are from southern Delaware. I don’t know the extent of the young woman’s injuries but the tears that spontaneously appeared in her families’ eyes told her story.
Her father introduced himself but stood back towards the door. Her brother sat beside me and politely asked about Corey. Her sister stood, arms crossed, watching from a distance. I recognized the body language.
I shared the clinical details resulting from Corey’s accident but chose to focus on what it was like for us to live on the Maple unit at the beginning of her recovery. I shared what Corey couldn’t do when we arrived; highlighting some key treatments she had as an inpatient, our moving home, our work at home culminating to her progressing back to Bryn Mawr for outpatient therapy. All 3 listened intently as they stared at Corey. Each of them crying as they listened to words they weren’t sure would apply to their family.
The dad slowly moved closer, sat beside me and asked, “How are you doing”? I simply stated, “There are some really hard days”. “Try to keep positive and talk to your daughter as if it is the day before her accident because she’s in there and can hear you.” “At the end of the day, that’s when you get to go to your room and cry”. He wiped his tears and reached for my hand; he understood. He stood up and moved closer to get a better angle of Corey walking on the Lokomat. She turned to look at him and smiled which was contagious for him. He looked at her but I knew he saw his own “little girl”, wondering if he would in fact “see” her on this machine one day.
They politely thanked us as they began to leave to continue their tour. I extended my hand to say goodbye when the Dad reached in for a bear hug. I whispered to him, “I know how hard today is for you. Two years ago it was hard for me to imagine that we would be in this room but we are”.
There’s a trite saying that when one door closes, another opens. I used to tease that if I couldn’t find the new door, I would find the window, pick the lock and remove the screen! That confident statement has been put to the test on a daily basis for sometime now.
Corey sometimes it’s hard to have Faith and Believe that things will get better when your reality presents obstacles that seem impossible to overcome. Sometime’s you have to rely on other people to Believe for you so you can just get through the next threshold…then one day you catch yourself genuinely “feeling it”. It reaffirms why we can never give up and never give in…because one day, despite where we started, we find our selves in a much better “room”.
Thank you for helping me find my way, xoxo