APPROVED!!!!! We’ve got some more time and I’m so grateful.
Corey showed why she deserves to continue with a few new firsts. We’ve been working on her standing independently, rolling to a sitting position in bed as well as dressing and undressing. Today, we set up 2 chairs. One faced a wall and the second was placed on the right of the first chair, facing left. The purpose of the exercise was to simulate the steps Corey takes to get out of bed and transfer to the bedside commode.

Corey began seated in the chair facing the wall (the start position after she rolls over and sits up in bed). She reached across to hold the grab bar, pulled herself to a standing position, stepped forward to gain balance and position, rotated her body turning to the right as she side stepped, then backed up to the chair located to her right but now positioned behind her (representing the commode). She managed this transfer without Anne’s physical assistance. Next test, simulate the reverse to “get back in bed”. The only part that made us nervous was Corey didn’t use her left arm for security or balance on the reverse trial. God forbid she loses her balance, her right side may not be strong enough to maintain the grip she needs to save herself from a fall…but we quickly reminded ourselves it was the very first try and Corey made it look so natural. Her second achievement; balancing and side stepping using the parallel bars in the gym. Side stepping is an exercise that is not as easy as it sounds. Once her balance was established, she released her hand to volley a beach ball tossed from different heights and directions without losing her balance. Her transfer and balance exercises validated our victory.

This past month/half has been one of the longest, toughest months we’ve had in a very long time. It has been so difficult I’ve struggled to write or find the energy to look for our inspiration. Tonight I want to share a personal experience with you which had a profound affect on me as I continue to learn acceptance and find coping strategies to ignite the spark we need to keep fighting.

I don’t typically sleep well (as many of you notice by the time stamp of my entries) but last week I happen to fall asleep and managed 4 straight hours. I woke suddenly, not because I heard Corey calling out, but from a dream. I was in a desert, it was hot, I was hungry, I wasn’t scared but I was very tired. My heart was heavy processing many of the worries I’ve been working on; such as our therapy appeal, finances, nursing approval/coverage, alternative solutions for therapy, research studies, personal pain from my shoulder and emotional fatigue from the day to day demands of caregiving and of life in general.

I was walking aimlessly and felt very alone. I stopped near a large jagged rock and looked up. Sitting silently, looking forward, was Christ. The image in my dream resembled the photo’s I remembered from my childhood. He didn’t look at me or speak to me but I felt His presence. I stood and stared at Him for a long time and thought of the story I was told as a child about His 40 day journey and His temptations during that time. As I stood and looked at Him, I thought about how lost I felt, my worries were my temptations. Each concern taunting me, distracting me and redirecting my ability to focus on the positive.

My dream was so real I couldn’t shake the image pictured in my minds eye. It occurred to me, this wasn’t my first visit to the emotional desert in my dream. Haven’t we all felt like we were wandering without direction more than once in our lives? My next thought was the anonymous poem, “Footsteps in the Sand”. I wonder if the author of that poem walked through the same dream state.

Regardless, my message was to feel less alone, remember everyone wanders through the desert looking for direction and answers, and most importantly, try to recognize the source of my temptations; don’t allow my worries to camouflage or blind my ability to focus on the direction we’re headed, xoxo