This past weekend was the 4th annual Laughter is the Best Medicine. Year 1, Corey was in her tilt wheelchair. Year 2, she walked in holding onto me. Year 3, she walked in with her double arm platform walker (I walked behind her – just in case). This year, Corey walked in with her forearm cane, her left hand holding mine for balance not support. It’s amazing to watch her physical progress. What a comparison; and just since August 2nd, Corey walked down the aisle as a bridesmaid with two groomsmen holding her upright and steady. November 8th, she walked down the aisle for the comedy show with a cane and my hand to guide her. She’s not 100% balanced and not quite ready to walk on her own but its only been a week since she’s been walking with her cane full-time. By the new year she might be ready to take off!
I’m pretty sure if Caitlin needs a supplemental income, stand-up comedy could pay the extra bills! She expanded on her ‘middle child’ routine, brought back character Ida Zimmerman from Brooklyn NY, introduced us to new characters; Marge from Gooseberry Falls Minnesota and Cindy Schnoobner a High School freshman in love with Taylor Swift. It was another evening of laughter, but that’s not surprising if you’ve spent more then a few minutes with her (or her multiple personalities)
The Brain Injury Conference was on Saturday as well. My co-presenter and I spoke to a small audience of Caregivers, survivors and a few professional clinicians. Our topic was inspired by my mother’s motto, ‘It’s not the challenge you face but how you face the challenge’. Madeline is a Neuro Behavioral Psychologist from Moss Rehab. She has an excellent grasp on translating neuro-anatomy in layman’s terms. I presented the Caregivers day to day challenges. Our focus was to help bridge how the injury affected our loved one with practical strategies and techniques to help aide their recovery as we find coping skills for ourselves in order to grow, heal and recover together. I’m sure you will understand my hesitation to critique the presentation as I’m always very critical of myself, but my sister Diane was in attendance and said it was very good…(personally I think she’s a little biased)
Today we headed back to Bryn Mawr. Natalie retested Corey for her monthly numbers. Keep in mind we have watched a steady decline in Corey’s speed, stamina, balance and strength as she progressed with the medication changes. The timed 40′ walk was first. She had 3 trials that improved with each run – 28.68 to 22.04 (lowest number wins). Her sit/stands and timed long distance walk also improved. To give you a sense of her achievement; last 40′ walk scored 48 – 53 seconds. (lowest to highest does not win)
At the end of today’s PT, Natalie congratulated Corey and told us “we’re back to business as usual”…Corey’s scores are where they were in early September before the medication changes.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence Corey’s progress is accelerating in November. We have so much to be thankful for! xoxo