It has been quite a month of not updating this website. Sorry to keep you all out of the loop. It has been a time for me to get back on with my own life. If you are interested in the daily medical updates, her mother, Diane, keeps the family blog helpholligethome.blogspot.com frequently updated while she waits patiently in the hospital room.
Now on to the good news.
As we know with brain injuries, these things take time. Constant updates would be quite boring but over the long span of things, the progress is amazing.
The last couple weeks have been showing great leaps.
It started with her sipping liquid with a spoon. The first thing that someone fed her was a sip of Framboise, one of her most favored liquids.
Then a few days later she was slurping up some applesauce.
This is a great thing because each time I go I remind her that if she can start swallowing and eating, she can get the tracheotomy out.
One less string attached to the hospital should improve her mental environment.
Previously, her right arm had been extremely tight and curled to her body. This trauma position has been something the visitors have been trying to work on, relaxing her arm. In the past few weeks this arm has been much more relaxed. Her left arm has been feeling her right arm, as if she is aware that it is misbehaving. This left arm also explores your hands and her traech tube. It shows her awareness is sharpening.
As I get more used to visiting Hollis in the state she is in, I have learned a few things on how to talk to her even better than before. I felt in the first few months that when I went to see her I just tried to pour out all of my energy to her, coaxing her through a dark tunnel into the light. This always resulted in the feeling of incredible gravity after the visit. It took quite a while to get back to normal. Well, a couple of weeks ago we had a multiple person craniosacral therapy session, and one of the therapists talked to me about it later. She advised me not to give her too much. She said that I should maintain a normal relationship and see if I can reach her through the subconscious. It is along the same lines of not babying her. Talk to her like you would last year. If you know her, you know how headstrong she is and that baby talk pisses her off. I really tried not to talk to her that way, but there was a certain patronizing tone, a tone of hope. I went in later in the week and sat by her side in her chair, peeking my head under her droopy head and told her everything about what is going on outside her window. Her head doesn't really stay up on her own for very long, but her eyes will look at you and she will respond to your stories. She communicates when she understands a story and it makes her remember. This visit she was smiling and clearing her mouth. Swallowing her saliva. This is a great sign. I feel like she is close to forming words.
One of my visits, I grabbed an In Touch Magazine and sat in her bed and read out loud to her. She was checking out all the pictures and kept her attention the whole time. I think she really liked it. I brought in the cover of the Guardian that The Derailleurs were featured. She started crying. She is there. Our job is to keep her updated on the outside world.
Speaking of outside world, her mother's plans for her is to take her to Tennessee when she is able to have homecare. There is a debate now on what to do with the stuff in her storage unit. Her mother would like to have a big garage sale and her close friends would like to chain themselves to the storage unit. It is heating up. This is the official opening of the forum on this topic. Talk amongst yourselves and send a representative with your argument.
In conclusion, bring intellectually stimulating media, conversations of the outside world, and talk to her as if she can respond to you, like you were hanging out. Get over your sadness and despair because yours couldn't possibly match her own.