Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hollis is doing it!

Hello everyone,
Thanks for continually keeping tabs on our lady Hollis.
As per my last visit, just a week or two after this last post, I see her improving quite nicely.
When I entered the room, she was in her chair and her head was not all droopy. Her head was upright and her eyes looking to the right. Her eyes kept that position the whole time. She will usually move her eyes around for me, looking at me, etc. But she was concentrating. It was like she was in a trance. And that trance was the determination to speak. She would repeat her words over and over again, not satisfied by the poor deliveries. She would try to say a sentence, get a few words into it, and purse her lips with a mmmmm sound. Then try again.
A few of the things I thought she was saying was:
"I want to go home"
"I want my mom"
"Elizmmmm" I really feel like she was mouthing my name but didn't quite understand the "z" sound yet.
She is determined.
I had a few dreams about her in the last few weeks where she was talking and I was surprised and she was like, " Did you think I would forget how to speak?" all sassy like.

This is great. I was talking to an old friend and he has seen many brain injuries. He wanted to clarify that she should definitely be read to but to keep it fairly simple. Not simpleton, just not Tolstoy etc. He said everything is all jumbled up in there and the clearer the material, the easier it is to make a cognitive map.

And now on to the storage thing.

First of all, I would like to apologize because I didn't super proofread the previous post before I posted it. My computer broke, so I am not online all the time, and I felt like I owed you all an update while I was at a computer. I misscommunicated or even created unintentionally this "heating up" of the storage debate.
I feel like it is my intention to relay what is going on with Hollis to her support network and in the process I hurt Diane's feelings. This is the last thing I want to do.
The reason I said there was a debate at all is because there was. I am a middlewoman and I needed to get more input so I knew how to deal with the upset that came when I said I would open up the storage unit at all.
Diane isn't an evil caretaker, wanting to sell off all her belongings. She is the most sturdy and dedicated woman. She is amazing and I have SO much respect for her. She wants to send the important stuff home for Hollis to be around and use when she is able. She also needs to tie up loose ends and cut unnecessary spending.

I posted the wrong wording. I made it look like two sides are fighting, but we are all working together, and sometimes ideals differ. Hollis put me as a person who could get into her storage unit before all this happened. I agree we should keep her things together so she has memory capsules to peruse. I also agree that paying the rent on her storage unit could be unnecessary or burdensome. I have some of her belongingsin my room from before she left because we were sharing a room. I need to put those in her storage unit. In doing so, I will also assess the situation. I will not snoop or toss or sell any of her things. Just see what that room holds.

In conclusion, I don't need anyone to "weigh in" on the debate anymore. It is not a debate, and the consensus among us all is that Hollis' belongings are for her and they are safe.

I apologize to Diane and the rest of you for this unnecessary drama.


  1. Thank you for the clarification--and I'm very glad that it isn't an upset. That's good. And I think it's good that this stuff is being sorted out and taken care of now, so that she and Diane can go home soon. I'm a little confused though--is she still in a coma? But she is active? I don't know much about this type of brain injury, so when you say that she is talking and paying attention, that's possible while being in a coma?

    And, I can't help but to ask--what happened to Harrison?

    Much love to Holli, always.

  2. Oh my god! That sounds so hopeful! My thoughts are still with her, and all of you taking care of her. Thanks for the updates.

  3. I am not sure what the coma scale considers. I don't know if she would be technically in a coma now. I am no expert. She is now rehabilitating a brain injury.

  4. Thank you for the update that Hollis is talking!

  5. Hi: I haven't checked in for a few weeks, and I must say it's gratifying to hear of all the progress Hollis has made. I take a particular interest in her, since I was in a motor vehicle accident over 25 years ago and sustained a left frontal-lobe injury.

    I know firsthand that coming out of a coma is a gray area in and of itself; I have clear memories of being comatose and unable to talk, which was very frustrating. (I had a tracheotomy tube in, which made it impossible to vocalize anyway, but I also had pretty severe dysarthria at the time.) When I was coming out of the coma, they had to put me in restraints so I wouldn't hurt myself; they called me "Houdini" because I was able to get out of the restraints!

    When Hollis is moved to Nashville, I'll have to consider visiting her; it's only about 1000 miles from New York, as opposed to 3000. She's truly amazing and I'm so happy to hear she's come so far.