I thought we’d have enough time for Corey to post tonights entry but she was too busy cooking for tonights Pot Luck Dinner at Bryn Mawr.
Every year the week before Thanksgiving, the staff of the out-patient day treatment host a pot luck dinner for current patients as well as the alumni. We met a very nice family. Katie was 15 when she had her accident in 2003. Katie uses a motorized wheelchair. Although she continues to cope with daily struggles, she also continues to show improvements both physically and cognitively.
Corey chose to make our friend Maureen’s Weight Watcher 1 Point Chili recipe for dinner. She prepared the entire dinner without my help (except for standing at the sink and stove). Corey purchased a mandoline slicer with her graduation money to help her ability to cut & dice vegetables. She can hold the vegetables with one hand and move the grater with the other. Tonight she challenged herself; she moved the grater with her left hand! All her hard work paid off, there were no left overs.
However, there were left overs of dessert. We suggested giving them to the nurses on the various wings of the hospital. Several families agreed and we all took assorted treats and headed in separate directions of the hospital. Corey and I went to the new orthopedic wing. To our surprise, we were reunited with 4 of Corey’s night nurses from her earliest days as an inpatient. These ladies hadn’t seen Corey since June of 2011. They first remarked at how long and beautiful her hair was (she was shaved when we first arrived and her hair grew in to ear length by the time we left). When Corey said “Thank You” for the compliment, I thought Nurse Mary would fall over. “You’re Talking?” Corey laughed, “I talk all the time”. Mary couldn’t wait to see more. Corey obliged by moving her arms, fingers and legs. Mary looked at Corey and said, “See! Neuroplasticity. No one knows what the brain can do or how long it will take but you are proof that Neuroplasticity is more then a concept for the severely injured. It does happen.”
On the ride home I couldn’t help but think about the staff of the Brain Injury Unit at Bryn Mawr. They witness the lowest of the lows as well as the miracles, but they also rarely get to see their patients after discharge. Tonight was very special, not only because Corey cooked a dinner to share but she also had an opportunity to say, “thank you for taking care of me even though I don’t remember it”. Mary assured her, “Seeing you tonight is the best part of my job”!
For those of you interested in trying Maureen’s recipe its not only healthy, it is the perfect comfort food for these long cold days/nights. Bon Appetite, xoxo