We have quite a bit to tell tonight.
Yesterday was a busy day. I had a morning of appeals, (that was the most difficult part of our day), then we headed to Bryn Mawr for an appointment with a pain management specialist. Dr. F evaluated Corey for possible botox injections for her left arm and her left leg from the knee down including her foot.
It is not uncommon for a TBI survivor to display increased tone from time to time post injury. Her left arm contracts as she walks and when sitting in a relaxed position. If the elbow stays bent indefinitely the muscles are shortened causing her difficulty when she tries extending the arm to a straight position. The good news, we can get her arm to a straight position when we “work it out” so it’s not “locked”. Unfortunately, it contracts almost immediately back to the bent position. If we didn’t exercise her everyday, it could lock in the contracted position. Fortunately, we’re pre-empting that possibility and not at that point yet.
Botox to the front of the shoulder and under the arm pit will help release that “hold”. He does not want to shoot behind her shoulder in fear that it would weaken the muscles and she wouldn’t continue to raise her arm.
Corey’s left foot is a serious concern as well. Her foot is dropping again, her toes curl when she walks and it appears the calf muscles are tightening causing her to drag her left toe rather then lift her leg to take a step forward. Again, this is common. The brain is sending signals to override the muscles. Why? It’s part of the healing process. Connections are being made in so many areas its not surprising the brain overrides other gains to compensate for the new strides. Botox will help her release her heel, toes and we hope, improve the flow of her gate when walking.
Speaking of strides…we are taking “Retail Therapy” to a new level!
Corey is making great strides walking about the house with her platform walker. She is continuing to practice walking with her forearm cane but that is physically harder on my body, as she needs my assistance. Today in Corey’s PT session, Natalie wanted to try using a traditional walker. The traditional style requires the arms to be lowered from waist height to thigh height. It is our hope to move Corey from a platform walker to a traditional walker to using two forearm canes and then walking independently. The traditional walker is still premature, but Natalie came up with another idea….a Grocery Cart!
Corey stood upright behind a grocery cart and with me guiding the front (for speed control) and Natalie guiding her hip and left leg, Corey walked pushing the grocery cart down the halls of Bryn Mawr!
We have a new homework assignment…this is where the retail therapy comes in…Corey already makes our weekly grocery list and helps me shop. Now she will not only be choosing the items, she will be pushing the cart to select them! Natalie also suggests we try an excursion to Target (the wider aisles may be easier to maneuver then the grocery store). One thing is for sure…if we go to Target, I’m leaving my wallet in the car! Corey actually chimed in to say, “That’s okay Mom, the grocery store is more fun for a Chef anyway”.
If any of our local friends need anything at the Giant, Corey’s your girl…she’ll be happy to pick up whatever is on your list and she’ll even clip your coupons and probably whip up the dinner for you too! Come to think of it…this could be her new business…Chef Corey; shop, chop and serve…(we might have to work on the tag line) xoxo