Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Home is in sight!
On April 30th, my husband and I will make our final trip to visit Jennie in Atlanta...then pack her up and get the heck outta dodge! The Shepherd Center has been a fabulous place that has allowed Jennie to progress so far. With that being said, we miss her and my mom like crazy and are all so tired of our lives being upside-down. Jennie is continuing to improve on her speech but is getting frustrated by her inability to put her thoughts into words. She is working on saying her name, responding to greetings, and saying her age. She is able to recognize written words. One exercise she worked on while I was there this past weekend was to identify the names of the months written on cards. The months were mixed around out of order and she could identify each month by pointing to it when she heard it spoken. I am unsure how well she is able to read full sentences at this point, but she is able to distinguish words on cards when asked. She can repeat the word after she hears it, but is unable to say the word on the cards by just reading it on her own. One neat thing that we discovered is that she can sing along and remembers lyrics to songs that she knew prior to her accident because the memory of lyrics to music is stored in the right side of your brain. She can remember nursery rhymes, the ABC song, and many songs on the radio. In preparing for Jennie's return, I went to a local rehabilitation center last week to take a tour and meet the therapist in charge. I was very impressed and am excited about Jennie continuing her journey with the group of therapists they have there. One of the speech therapists looked familiar to me and turned out that she evaluated Jennie while she was still in the hospital, about 30 days post-accident. I remember back to the moment of her coming in to see if Jennie would respond to her in any way. It was a very heart-wrenching moment for me and this therapist when Jennie wasn't able to respond to her. She was soo very excited to hear of Jennie's progress and they are all ready to work with her when she returns home. A very exciting moment that happened this past week was when Jennie was able to throw her arm brace for her left arm in the trash! Her bone has finally fused back together with about a 10 degree curve. She has a decent range of motion...not quite able to reach her left hand to her left shoulder but overall, can use both arms well. The doctor said that surgery is a possibility but not something he would recommend because it wouldn't guarantee any more range of motion than what she currently has. The first week home in May will be a very busy week for Jennie. She will have an evaluation for speech, physical, and occupational therapies starting the first Monday back. She will also go back to the neurosurgeon team to discuss restoring the portion of her skull that was removed. Her bone has been stored at the hospital in deep freeze since being removed and may be able to be used once again. In some cases, the bone may deteriorate when outside of the body and if this is the case, they will call in a plastic surgeon to create an artificial one to use. Either way, this will be a fairly easy procedure and shouldn't require a long stay in the hospital. Thinking about her undergoing this surgery has caused me to think back about how amazing a neurosurgeon she has. Dr. Melin thought so quickly, considering the circumstances, to have removed this portion of her skull to allow her brain room to swell. I cannot imagine the stress his job entails but am so grateful for his expertise which aided in saving Jennie's life. On that note, I am going to sign-out for now...thank you for following along and continuing to pray for our family!