Hi Everyone,

It’s my birthday. My gift is Corey being accepted back into Bryn Mawr’s Day Treatment program.

Corey started this week. That being said, the insurance world hasn’t changed. She was approved for 8 visits. Sadly, last weeks evaluations counted for 2 visits! She is scheduled two days a week until the 29th of this month; IF she shows functional improvement or we can show medical necessity, she could get more visits for January.

Corey’s throat muscles have weakened. This is a neurological affect from the fall. Her speech is still slightly slurred and she is working on swallowing with a speech therapist. We’ve had a few instances of choking and a few scares with beverages “going down the wrong pipe”. I didn’t realize my first alert training would come in handy until I had to perform the Heimlich at the dinner table twice! I only have ONE RULE in my house since Corey came home June of 2011…NO CHOKING! Obviously my hairdresser will be staying in business coloring the recent greys as Corey disregards this mandate.

Corey’s left arm and hand has lost significant function. The mere weight of her arm is too much for her to lift. Anne, OT, is encouraging; “it’s only been a month”. We are not working on strengthening the muscles, just working out the tone and stiffness at this point. Anne did find some bones in her wrist that are “crunchy”. This could be part of her wrist pain even though she didn’t fracture her wrist when she fell.

Walking has been a challenge. Corey’s left leg is a little stronger than it was immediately after the fall but it still buckles and her knee gives out randomly. She’s very weak. Natalie is working with Corey on balance and standing. We talked today about going back to her old brace to limit the movement in her ankle which may help her knee stabilize as she steps through her gait.

Emotionally Corey is handling this set back fairly well. Although, yesterday we were exercising in our home gym and she was not talking to me or looking at me. After about 40 minutes of Corey silently and obviously begrudgingly working with me I asked, “Hey! what’s going on? You won’t talk to me or look at me”?
Corey’s face was stern; teeth and jaw clenched. With attitude she said,”PENNY”!
M-Penny? What do you mean penny?
C-I’m Pissed Off Penny!
M-(laughing out loud) did you just create a new alter ego?
C-YES! I’m pissed off I have to do this!
M-well, nice to meet you Penny…give me 5 more
Another birthday gift – it wasn’t Corinne!

There’s a saying that goes something like “it’s not how many times you’ve been knocked down but how quickly you get back up”. Easy to understand. Easy to say, yet in the midst of the setback it is near impossible to imagine “quickly” getting back up or enthusiastically moving forward. The setback feels like a knock-out! How do we roll to our side, lift ourselves on to all fours, push up to our knees, grasp onto those ropes and find the strength to stand and keep swinging?

It’s been devastating to feel and see the majority of this years progress lost with one miss-step. Setbacks can bring with it a powerful negative momentum that is difficult to overcome. It hurts when you have a setback. It’s no fun. The work is now doubled to make up for lost ground.

Setbacks can be a powerful teacher. It stirs the early emotions from the crisis stage we carefully tucked away to stay focused on getting us to the present. Now that they have resurfaced, the trick is not becoming consumed by them. They are the one two punch we never saw coming.

The greatest birthday gift received today – FRIENDS!
It was a very hard day. I have been very sad since the fall. Corey was weaker today and struggled from the moment she woke up to the moment I tucked her back into bed. Normally, I love my birthday but my heart has been heavy until I signed on to facebook and read the text messages on my phone. The outpouring of well wishes, private messages, love and encouragement gave me strength to write this update. I can’t thank you enough for helping me reach out to all of you. I’m not out for the count yet, just a little shaken.

I’ll close with my last gift; words from my mother. When I was troubled I would call her and talk with her for hours. She knew how to listen and when I was finished sharing she’d answer with a simple statement or phrase that always seemed to help steady my direction. Tonight she’d say, “The difficult is easy, the Impossible just takes a little longer”.

Thank you all for turning today into a celebration, xoxo