Every night after I help Corey go to bed I sit down to write about our day. There are some days I wonder what I will write because it seems as if everyday is the same; made up of several repetative steps. Within those steps we’re constantly searching for the one small thing that may prove our mantra never give up and never give in.
Recovery from any injury seems to take forever and recovery from a brain injury is twice as long as that! Working on Corey’s recovery reminds me of the cinematic illusion of the passage of time; the main character stands still as the world moves at warp speed around them. We deliberately look at every nuance because each detail is a source of hope that we are not standing still. Today Anne and Natalie shared their personal observations on subtle nuances they have noticed in the last two weeks.
At the beginning of OT, Anne checks in with Corey on how she’s feeling. Corey is beginning to tell Anne she is ‘stiff’ in her arm or shoulder or back. She is not only labeling the source of pain but she is physically pointing to the exact spot as well. Anne inspects the area and has noticed Corey has a muscle that needs to be stretched or massaged and is the source of her tone.
Is this a small thing? No! This is in fact confirmation Corey is becoming aware of her body and is expressing specific discomfort. This is a big thing. A huge psychological advancement.
During PT, Corey and Natalie walked through the gym and out to a very busy lobby area. Normally Corey works in a private room or hallway with her therapists because the noise, talking and hustle & bustle of the patients/therapists in the day treatment center is too overwhelming for her to process. Her anxiety causes panic and a volatile outburst. Today I witnessed what I call ‘the veil” drop. It’s the look of concentration that is processing the anxiety. I asked Corey and Natalie to pause for a minute. I moved closer to Corey and whispered, “do you need a minute”? She took a deep breath and she buried her head in my shoulder. We were quiet for a minute, then she stood upright again and began to walk forward. The transition of managing her anxiety is another milestone. She displayed appropriate self control – a sign of reconnection and healing within the Frontal Lobe.
When discussing Thanksgiving, Corey told the ladies, “we normally go to New York but this year we’re staying home and my brother, his wife and my sister will be home”. She remembered our holiday plans…a week early!
Why do I look for the small things? It is a perspective I remember learning when I attended a motivational sales seminar. The presenter opened with a question for all of us.
“What can you do to be successful”? The answer – Everything. Everything you do affects the level of success you achieve at anything you do.
Corey you are relearning how to handle Everything and its not easy. Every step, every reach, every stand, every conversation, every direction you are asked to follow and every decision you make is a detail you must manage. You ask me why I make such a fuss over the small things you do. Guess why honey? Every big thing is made up of lots of small things. Your dream of going to culinary college and becoming a Chef will be realized because of the way you handle Everything everyday. You might be moving a little slower then the world that’s spinning around you but you’re still moving forward and I’m so proud of you, xoxo