I don’t want to brag but…COREY WAS INCREDIBLE!! I must apologize…we were so nervous about the presentation, we forgot to video tape it. Hopefully this summary will help you feel as though you were there.
We opened with the video posted a few days ago from Freedom Video. What an amazing introduction of who Corey was and is today! The video documents her progress and inspires hope. The days not captured on film were also filled with confusion, doubt, worry, frustration and fear.
We shared the clinical facts that began our journey. We were in a dark place our first year. The only way out was to find the keys that would unlock the opportunities to move past the trauma and find our new life. Everyone’s keys are different.
We dedicated the first year to research brain injury, understand what services were available, create coping strategies as well as developing support systems. Our focus was on medication, therapies, doctors, home health agencies, designing/living in our renovated space that constantly evolved as Corey’s needs changed. We touched on how we learned to navigate the healthcare system including Insurance, Appeals and bills (this could have been it’s own session!)
Our 2nd year we regained confidence! Our therapists trained us on the fundamentals and mechanics but we needed to research, study, adapt and supplement their exercises to accommodate Corey’s personal interests to keep her motivated day after day.
Music, Art, Cooking, Laundry and Dishwasher therapy; Living Room Olympics and our favorite Retail Therapy (this does not need a professional, 12 Step Program or a credit card) Now that Corey can read and is more fluent with her use of the Ipad, we give her a virtual budget, she chooses a site (Old Navy), selects a style (sundresses), selects her size and clicks her choice to place in her “cart”. If she has a $25.00 budget, finds an item valued at $21.75, she has to figure out the match to receive her virtual change. Corey interrupted me raising her hand, repeating Mom, Mom, Mom…as I turned to acknowledge her, she announced “$3.25″…the audience loved it!
Corey’s physical recovery has been improving at a much different pace then her Cognitive and emotional recovery. We shared that most low level patients move through their emotional transition stages as an inpatient. Corey moved into this stage at home. You all know the challenges we face daily with her severe short term memory loss, stranger anxiety and inability to communicate her emotions.
We shared the birth of her multiple personalities (future psycho-therapy will be needed to counteract this approach but we’ll deal with that at a later date)
The audience loved the concept of Corey’s evil twin and “sister’s” Forgetful Fran, Nervous Nellie, Negative Nancy, Impatient Patty and Worrying Wanda. Each time Corey uses one of these titles to share her emotions she becomes Confident Corey…our favorite.
The last lessons shared was how we learned to Advocate for Corey.
Corey closed our Talk with her prepared speech. She has been reading her flashcards repeatedly and seamlessly delivered her message. She not only received a Standing Ovation, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room!
The attendee’s flocked to greet her, congratulate her and thank her for inspiring them. She was so cute. She graciously received everyone and thanked them but would turn to us and ask “what did I do”?
Corey you have taught all of us that TBI truly means To Be Inspired!
You’re amazing, xoxo