Susan O'Brien's Journal
Written Jan 5, 2010 6:59pmSusan is coming home! She will move back home on Sunday to begin again her life so abruptly put on hold these past three months. Daniel will be living with her and between Daniel, myself, Cindy, Jim and friends she will have someone there with her 24/7 until she reaclimates and settles into whatever life she decides to create for herself. She will continue to have therapy, hopefully 5 days a week for cognitive rehab for her memory. But in general she is tracking really well in present time and able to do all the things we have to do to sustain our home life. No doubt she will want to begin again to allow those creative impulses within her to flow freely into expression. She won't be able to drive for awhile, but we all hope that that will eventually be possible for her.
Her short term memory is still very compromised but it is definitely showing progress and will hopefully continue to return. She does not have any memory of what has happened except what she has been told. And even that is hard for her to hold on to. It is just not a reality for her. She never registered any of it in her memory.
We would love any help you can offer in this transition time. She will need rides every day up to Whidbey General Hospital for therapy, rides to the store or for errands and if any one would like to spend time at her house with her during the day please call me and we can put you on the calendar. 360 661 3767.
This is so exciting and so wonderful that she is coming home and that she has come so far with her recovery. You will all be amazed when you see her. Socializing is still very tiring for her brain and she seems to be good for an hour or two. But remember she is still very much in recovery. The work of the brain cutting new pathways is exhausting work.
Much love to you all, Carol
Written Dec 26, 2009 8:41pmSusan came home for Christmas! Daniel picked her up Christmas morning for her first adventure out into the world. She arrived at her house, got out of the car and with a big smile on her face and that mischievous twinkle in her eye said, "I'm out of jail!" We all had a good laugh. She was so elated to be home again. The familiarity of her home and her land seem to nourish her and reawaken a part of her that has been quietly awaiting her return. All day, into the night and today she seemed so normal, conversed normally as long as you stayed in the present with her. She seemed so capable of doing all the normal rituals of everyday life ; cooking, building the fire, drawing her bath, making coffee, cleaning up the kitchen. Her short term memory seems to be coming back bit by bit. I have no doubt at all that she will be able to come home and eventually live a life on her own again in time. How much of her short term memory will come back is still an unknown. But certainly enough to live on her own again eventually.
She still doesn't have any memory of her time in the hospital and very likely never will. And talking to her about it seems abit disorienting. She listens to the story of what happened with curiosity and wonders why nobody ever told her she had an aneurysm. She may not be remembering what she did yesterday very often but it's getting closer.
There is still much of her functional memory that needs to figure out how to work again. She is currently getting occupational therapy and cognitive therapy 6 days a week, 2 hours a day at the nursing facility in Mt Vernon. And Susan is well aware that her memory still needs work and is very willing to continue working with her therapists there. The reason she is in Mt Vernon is because there were only 2 facilities within 50 miles of Clinton who agreed to take Susan (one in Mt Vernon and one in South Seattle). None of the Whidbey Island Nursing homes would take her.
A few of Susan's friends visited her Christmas day and today. It was a delight for all to see her back home and doing so well. She's back up in Mt Vernon tonight so I hope you all will visit whenever you have a chance.
Written Dec 20, 2009 1:17pmFrom Lynn Mizono:
Marilyn Strong and I had a delightful visit with Susan and Daniel this past week. She seemed very content, light and flowy. Because she is more in her right brain, her sense of time and space is unrestricted. She seems to be in a place that I am always striving to be in. Being with her made me more conscious of what being totally in the moment really feels like. It was also a good reminder to me of how our energies are not confined to our own individual bodies. Our spirits really do flow freely through and into each other-we are all interconnected. I found it all so fascinating to be there with her experiencing her going in and out of some another dimension while trying to squeeze through there with her. It made me wonder why we perceive the world in which we normally reside to be the only reality that has merit. One of my favorite moments was when Daniel gently reminded Susan that he had to came back from Ireland after being there for just a week and a half because she had the aneurysm. Looking a tad guilty, Susan said, "Why if I had known that you were there, I would not have had the aneurysm!" While I know that the memory issue is not very conducive to functioning in the physical world, for me, Susan's condition actually represents a whole new way of being that we as a species are moving toward. It doesn't surprise me that she is ahead of her time! From previous reports in her journal, I do see that her left brain is gaining strength and am confident that she will soon be back to "normal" (whatever that may mean).
Please note that Susan was very concerned about thanking everyone who contributed to her benefit and sent in donations on her behalf.