I keep thinking about the meaning of Christmas; celebrating the birth of Christ. Then I think of Corey. She is working on her rebirth everyday. It may sound odd, ‘rebirth’, but in many ways that’s what we experience. Her accident stripped her of everything she knew. Corey has had to relearn everything we taught her as an infant and toddler yet deep within has the knowledge, vocabulary and experiences of a young adult.
I am amazed at how far she’s come given the odds that were initially placed on her recovery. Physically she has achieved the ability to freely move one arm and both legs, she is now standing independently for 2 minutes, she can walk with assistance and can almost stand from a sitting position. We are still working on her strength to roll over on her side and sit up when she is laying on her back.
Cognitively, she continues to improve in many areas. She can speak, participate in conversations and hasn’t lost her sense of humor. She can recognize letters, write and type. Corey never liked math but can add numbers faster now then ever before (we tease she has the super power of Rain Man). She is still working on recognizing money as well as multiplication, subtraction and division. She does not have a sense of time. She does not know the year, month, day, week or time of day; these, as well as many other skills, we continue to work on.
Emotionally and Behaviorally we peel the onion every day. Overall, Corey is very happy and continues to develop learning how to appropriately express her fear, anger, depression and anxiety.
As I’ve mentioned before, Corey’s short term memory is our greatest daily struggle. It affects her disposition and controls her responses. We are researching and trying multiple strategies to trigger connections. Some of the tools we use to stimulate her memory are calendars, clocks, UNO cards, recipes, puzzles and an assortment of Apps on the Ipad to name a few.
Today Corey utilized one of our tools; Reminder Cards. Rather then answering the same question 100 times, I write the answer to her repetitive question on a 4×6 index card. When Corey asks her question, I counter with “where can you find the answer to your question?” – the reminder card. This morning she asked me for a pen and paper. She wanted to write the answer her self.
C – Where are we going today mom?
M – Today we are going to exercise with Natalie and then we are going to get last minute stocking stuffers for xmas
C – picking up the pen, she writes;
note to self
exercise with natalie
shopping for stocking stuffers
I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at her card. ‘Note to self’…we definitely need to title a chapter in her book after this one!
Corey continued to ask her question, forgetting her reminder card existed but I believe the real answer here is we are doing the best we can in the stage we’re in today. The TBI world uses the term ‘New Normal’, I prefer rebirth. It inspires thoughts of revival, regeneration, rejuvenation, renewal, reinvention…and recovery! xoxo