Our presentation went very well. In fact, we almost filled the main patient Dining Room.
We opened with Corey’s Recovery Timeline Video which is very moving as you know. Many of the staff had not seen photographs of Corey prior to her accident. Photographs are very powerful and add a new dimension to the ‘person’ they’ve come to know over the years.
We summarized the initial learning curve of the 1st year at home. How do we adjust and become acclimated to a challenge when we have no training or life experience to guide our decisions? We were in a dark place. The only way out was to find the key then the lock. For us it was learning all we could about Brain Injury, understand what services were available to help us help Corey and create coping strategies as well as a support system.
The keys included understanding and managing medications, therapy, home health agencies, Insurance, bills, appeals and how to navigate the system, as well as work and balance a personal life (we’re still working on the last piece)
Everyone’s keys are different. Once we identified our keys, we unlocked the door and moved past the trauma to begin living our lives.
Our 2nd year became our reality. This “long road” is much longer then we could have ever comprehended. Once we understood Corey’s clinical needs we had to creatively adapt and develop new strategic approaches that would enhance her formal therapy services. Our therapists trained us on the fundamentals and the mechanics but that wouldn’t be enough to keep Corey interested and motivated for long. We researched, studied, adapted and supplemented their exercises to accommodate Corey’s personal interests. We also came to realize that every daily activity is a form of therapy.
As you know, we have always treated Corey as if it were October 1st, 2010 not October 2nd, the day of her accident. We don’t know what her abilities are, what she remembers or what she can achieve so we ask her to do everything and anything. If she struggles with a task, that task becomes the baseline for what we need to work on. Every movement and daily task became a tool to use to discover what we will work towards.
We incorporated Music, Art, Cooking, Sorting Laundry, Living Room Olympics (assorted competitive games on the gym matte), Equine and Water Therapy and our personal favorite ~ Retail Therapy (she is a Fashionista!)
We also discussed our greatest challenge; the emotional and behavioral component to her recovery. The audience found humor in the story of our drive to Bryn Mawr. Corey’s short term memory causes great anxiety. As her anxiety rose, she did not take comfort in the usual mantra of where we were going. She launched her shoe from the back seat of the van hitting me in the head to get my attention as she screamed her objection in continuing our journey. That morning was the birth of Corey’s multiple personalities. Forgetful Fran, Nervous Nellie, Crazy Corrine, Impatient Patty, Negative Nancy, Worrying Wanda all helped to give Corey a voice to recognize and identify the emotion she couldn’t verbalize relieving her pent up anxiety and unveiling Confident Corey. (We’ll deal with the Psychiatric ramifications of this approach another day).
Corey has now advanced in her communication skills through journaling. In fact she wrote and read a speech that closed our presentation. We are attaching the link for you but have also attached her speech in case you can not “hear” her properly.
Now Corey would like to add a note to all of you;
Hi everyone its corey and sure I threw a shoe at mom but that wasn’t corey that was crazy Corrine. So now Corey Beattie is starting her 3rd year and is more like confident corey. I am confident because any problem that is thrown my way I find it easier to manage by simply talking about it.
I hope that after reading this you were inspired to look deep inside yourself, always stay positive and never give up or in! xoxo
Corey Beattie Closing Speech
Thank you everyone for coming
Even if you don’t have anyone to come for
It’s important to us no matter what your reason
I have been working really hard to get to this point
It’s been a little bit scary to get better
Believe it or not I still have a little bit to go
My goal is to be a Chef get married and have kids run around
Some day I hope to travel in France
My motto is never give up and never give in
We hope you learned TBI means To Be Inspired