Today Corey and I had separate agenda’s.
Corey worked with Jen and Brittany. Jen was surprised and pleased to walk with Corey using the walker. They walked from the matte in the living room into the foyer, down the center hall to the kitchen and completed a lap around the island back to her seat at the kitchen table; quite an improvement from our singular lap around the island on Sunday.
Brittany noticed the laptop on the kitchen table. Corey uses her email when I’m out the same way she would text me. The adaptive keyboard sits in front of her with the laptop about 12-18” away from her. Corey was having difficulty seeing the screen so the girls disconnected the keyboard and moved the laptop closer to Corey. Out of curiosity, they asked Corey if she could see the laptop keyboard. She accurately identified each key. They questioned further as to whether she remembered how to move the cursor with the touch-pad mouse. Corey not only manipulated the cursor, she found the SEND button and launched the letter they were working on. Brittany was shocked, stating that she was headed home to change all of Corey’s OT/Cognitive goals. Every day there is something new!
The letter she was writing arrived in my inbox. I had an appointment at the Philadelphia VA with a Neuro-Psychologist that specializes in Traumatic Brain Injury. Dr. B was anxious to hear about Corey’s injury, inpatient care as well as her sub-acute care. She was shocked we brought Corey home instead of placing her in a sub-acute facility given the level of her injury.
Our scheduled one hour meeting was extended to two hours as one question led to another about her recovery and our rehab efforts at home. Dr. B was amazed at Corey’s recovery, “she is A-typical which is fascinating and rare”. She further explained that typically a patient who initially registers as unresponsive rarely progresses to a functional level. It is also fascinating that although Corey is functioning and progressing, her current behavior/cognitive abilities are still considered within the stage of minimally conscious as she is not aware of her accident or sense of day, time or current events.
Our conversation progressed with Dr. B sharing new resources with me but she was surprised and excited that we have already met and/or have been working with several of the key Brain Injury specialists in the field. She agrees with our recovery mission that the acute level of rehabilitative care is directly related to Corey’s advanced progress and she believes Corey will continue to make gains if we can keep her engaged as she continues to have severe behavioral issues.
We discussed some alternative therapies and strategies to “switch it up” a bit. She feels Corey’s adverse reactions could be boredom. We can still strive for the therapy goals but achieve them with more creative techniques including something as simple as a change in the ‘office’ environment.
Our conversation closed with her support and encouragement to continue our advocacy of Legislative awareness to financially support education, research, specialist training as well as extended length of stay for inpatient/outpatient care and long term rehabilitation. She will be assisting our effort with further introductions to specialists we have not yet met including organizations currently working with Legislative committees. I am very excited to have the opportunity to develop these new relationships.
A-TYPICAL ~ abnormal, exceptional, exceeding, extraordinaire, extraordinary, odd, phenomenal, rare, uncommon, uncustomary, unique, unusual
Anyone that knows Corey knows these words have described her from the moment she was born…yes, even the word odd and abnormal! 😉
Corey has always challenged the norm. From a young age she could quickly assess a situation and find the direct approach that eliminated multiple steps expediting the end result. I remember explaining how I would approach a chore I asked her to complete. She defiantly stated, ‘Mom, there’s more than one way to do something’. At the time, I almost clocked her, but then realized she was right! She is certainly A-Typical and today I couldn’t be more grateful!
Time to put on our creative cap and find the crayons that are outside our therapy box ~ we’ve got more work to do!! xoxo