Hi Everyone,

A friend of mine recently suggested “approach spontaneous events, good or bad, as though you had asked for them.” Challenges, adversity and life changing events are unplanned. We can’t choose how or when such things will happen but we can choose to learn from them when they do. Today’s lessons were a bit easier then yesterday’s.

I am so thankful for our new day nurse, Denise. How this woman hasn’t turned on her heels to run is beyond me?! She began with 2 days, increased to 3 and is now picking up an every other 4th day. She loves Corey and is very open and willing to learn what living with TBI is truly like. Beyond her professional abilities, she’s patient (she has 4 children of her own) she’s soft spoken but can be firm during a tantrum and she has a relaxed demeanor.

Corey’s memory of her is fleeting. In fact, there are moments every day when the ladies are sitting across the table from each other (independently working in silence) when Denise will pose a question to engage Corey. Corey looks up and has no idea who Denise is or where she came from…intro to Corrine! Denise is learning how to bring Corey back. Fortunately, Corrine only popped up twice and they were able to work through her fear. The continuity and frequency in Denise’s schedule is key for Corey’s memory loss and is allowing me time to get some of my work done.

Memory loss is extremely complicated. Corey doesn’t remember Denise but today she remembered her Aqua therapist and called him by name, even though she only sees him once every 4-6 weeks! The medical community refers to the brain as the last frontier. Maybe someday, someone will figure out how to make sense of all this. In the meantime, we continue on with the goal of full recovery as our focus.

Corey and I had a very productive swim session. We warm up for 20 minutes, work on balance for 10-15 minutes, then walk laps for 20 minutes. Her leg exercises are much more fluid and as we work on balance, if she begins to fall off center, she is moving her feet to catch herself (which sometimes has her hopping on one foot to try to stay standing). It all counts!

As you all know another goal of Corey’s is to go to culinary college and become a Chef. How does a Chef begin to learn their trade? Practice!

Corey asked if she could make dinner tonight. She planned the menu and the shopping list. After lunch we headed to the grocery store. She picked, bagged, weighed and ticketed all our produce. She identified the pricing, chose our poultry, reached for all the items on the dry goods shelves and when we returned home helped unload the groceries from the bags.

Together we prepared tonight’s dinner. She washed and I cut the produce. She stood at the stove and sautéed the vegetables in the Wok as she also managed browning the ground turkey on the opposite burner. She stood at the stove for 20 minutes (with Denise holding her hips). Dinner was delicious. I’m very proud of our ‘little Chef’, xoxo

Cooking with Corey – Turkey Stir Fry with Rice
(Corey created this dish with a seasoning twist that surprised me…trust the Chef, she knows!)

Prep time – 20 minutes
Cook time – 20 minutes

1 cup snap peas
1 cup string beans, chopped in 1″ sections
1 cup baby carrots, coarsely chopped
2 cups mushrooms chopped
1 large zucchini
1 medium sweet onion, sliced for thin layers
16oz lean ground turkey
Minute Rice
Olive oil
1/8 teaspoon fennel
3 tablespoons STIR FRY Teriyaki Sauce
salt/pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat olive oil and fennel. As the oil bubbles, add ground meat to brown. Stir frequently, add dash of ground pepper and salt

In a large Wok, heat olive oil. Add string beans, snap peas and carrots; they take the longest to cook. When they begin to get tender, add onions, mushrooms, zucchini and 3 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce.

Prepare Minute Rice. Marry the vegetables and browned turkey.

Place 1/2 cup of rice on your plate, top with 1 cup of turkey vegetable mixture. salt/pepper to taste.

Serves 6-8
290 calories/serving.

Bon appetite