Barb has been making lots of progress as she has settled in to her restorative digs at TexasNeuro Rehab. She has continued to take lots of small steps but they really do add up! Every day of the last week has been different and full of continued suprises.
Barb remains in a confusional state, but with moments of lucidity-she is sometimes clear and lucid, sometimes speaking but not making sense, and other times not very responsive. When she is alert, she is speaking a lot more (in both english and french) and responding to questions. She has recognized all of us at one point or another and and called us by name (Nancy mostly 😄) but not consistently. She is improving at recognizing colors and objects and responding appropriately to questions. But she is not yet oriented to time, so isn't aware, for example, of the year or month. She has been doing some simple arithmetic correctly. And she is writing! Speaking and writing are different pathways in the brain so often one might be easier for a TBI patient to negotiate. The best analogy I've heard is that Barb is in the right neighborhood, but is not yet on the right street or knocking on the right door (for example, looking at a picture of eggs, she identified it as an omlette). But these are all phenomenally encouraging signs of high-level cognition when she is alert. Throughout the day she moves along a pretty large spectrum of alert and engaged to tired and resting. But the amount of engagement is increasing daily.
Barb remains on the feeding tube, but her swallow reflex is also improving daily. She has progressed to having some bites of yogurt or pudding or smoothies. The speech therapist is optimistic she'll be eating on her own soon. Physically she is also recovering and moving more. She has good strength in both arms and has been arm wrestling Nosh. The vision specialist is working to evaluate her to improve tracking and field of vision. And we are counting down the days till she can start to bear weight on her legs again.
We are all taking things one day at a time and taking encouragement from the little things.
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