We are so lucky to be here! This team is amazing!! Caitlin and I have learned so much and we are already seeing a few small changes in Corey’s posture and her left arm/hand beginning to loosen some of its tone/contracture.
Tram is the personal therapist assigned to Corey as well as trainer to Caitlin and I. The following 4 exercises were completed during the morning and afternoon sessions.
Exercise session #1 – Viber Percussion
This machine reminds me of an electric shoe polisher/buffer…for those of you who don’t remember shoe buffers; it’s a large round bristle brush. Tram ‘buffed’ Corey’s left upper arm, elbow and forearm. The spinning bristles stimulate nerve endings which send a message to the brain that helps the arm move. (Technically called igniting neuro-plasticity)
After the percusser, Tram taught Caitlin and I how to execute complex movements for Corey’s left side. I held Corey’s left foot and Caitlin held Corey’s left arm. Together, we move Corey’s foot and arm in the shape of the infinity sign. As Corey loosens up with the swing of the movement, Caitlin (keeping Corey’s elbow straight) rotates Corey’s wrist, palm up and palm down, with the motion of the design. We do this 3x for 30 seconds, wait 20 seconds and begin again. This exercise will help Corey kick her leg straight as she takes steps forward instead of her current pattern. Currently when she takes a step her leg swings out away from her body as she moves the leg forward.
Exercise #2 – SPINNING!
The Carrick Brain Center has a large machine that looks like a NASA simulator. Corey could not step up into the spin machine so we used the hoyer lift attached to a ceiling trac. Wrapped in a sling (or her papoose as Caitlin called it) the hoyer lifted her out of her chair, across the room and down into the spin chair. Dr. Ross began with a slow, horizontal spin. Corey stairs at a stationary dot as the chair spun to her left. Spinning in this chair, shifts the vestibular pressure from her right side to her left side. When Corey stands, her posture is crocked. Her right hip sticks out to the right and her shoulders tilt left. Her head tilts left as well. Once the vestibular pressure is stabilized and balanced, Corey’s head and spine will align.
(we received permission to video all Corey’s exercises and the spinning machine. We will try to post a clip tomorrow)
Exercise session #3…No No’s
Tram sits directly across from Corey. Posture is key to this exercise. Corey looks at the bridge of Tram’s nose and does not move her eyes. Tram puts her thumbs on Corey’s cheeks just in front of her ears, her four fingers wrapped to the back of Corey’s neck. As Corey fixates on her target, Tram moves Corey’s head in slow movements as if she’s shaking her head side to side saying NO NO…hence the name. This exercise was followed with an OBK app on Dr. Ross’s phone. It is similar to the blue screen/yellow line exercise from yesterday. When they work with this exercise, it is retraining and strengthening the eye muscles.
Exercise session #4…Electric Stim
Using an instrument that looked a little like a cattle prod, Tram placed the stim on Corey’s tongue and her left temple. Dr. Ross explained the 12 Nerves within the brain stem. The cranial nerve 3, 4 & 6 affect the eyes and nerve 12 affects the tongue. Electric Stim (properly placed for this area) targets the lower Brain stem. It will stimulate the neurons to “talk to each other” again. Dr. Ross shared a wonderful video about neuro-plasticity, demonstrating how neurons rebuild and reconnect.
The team will also be looking at Corey’s medications. Dr. Brock is the metabolic specialist. Tomorrow Corey will have blood drawn to check her levels. She gave a urine sample to see which/how her body is absorbing her medications and she had her cheek swabbed to test what medications work with/against her DNA. The results will be back by Friday. If Dr. Brock makes any changes, it will be determined by these results.
At the end of the day Corey wanted to do something “FUN”…so we found a mall. The Galleria in Dallas is HUGE! 3 stories of shops plus the food court is on the lower level overlooking an indoor ice rink…guess this is how Texans beat the heat? Best news, we only got lost twice on the way back to the hotel. We are navigating the old fashioned way, real maps (primarily because the cell phone GPS eats up too much data!) In two days, we are becoming quite the explorers…amazing how a wrong turn teaches us new short cuts!
Day 2 is completed, xoxo