Here’s a quick update on Autumn:
“Autumn is very busy here at Craig! Her days are filled with Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, visits with her neurologist, visits with her neuropsychiatrist, nurses, and behavioral assistants. She is up and dressed around 0830 and is headed for some therapy at 0900. She does have scheduled rest breaks throughout the day to give her brain some recovery after the therapy.
Yesterday she had some great progress in her therapy sessions! Speech therapy made her a planner and for now it just has a what happened page and a where am I page. The font is big enough so if she lifts her right eyelid, she can read it. In her OT session she did some manual dexterity drills, and it looks like her left side is stronger than her right side… for the moment. She spent 45 minutes walking around and outside the hospital with her PT and us. She was exhausted at the end of that one!
She recognizes Scott and myself daily, so I think that is no longer an issue. I’ve seen that she can give the illusion of making us think that she is cognizant of the conversation around her, but some days she is just giving appropriate generic answers… if that makes sense. She is still what they call aphasic, which means that she has lost some of the ability to express herself and/or understand language. She is also still in the ‘Post Traumatic Amnesia’ period, meaning any new information that comes into her doesn’t really stick. She has moments, like yesterday, where she was able to tell the nurse what hospital she was in and where that hospital is (Englewood, CO). Well, about 15 minutes later, her neuropsychologist came in to chat and she couldn’t remember the city. She finally said, “I don’t know, let’s just go with Sheepsburg.”
As she tires, she seems to lose any gains she made that day. Last night, before I left, I spent my last hour with her just redirecting and reorienting her. She was agitated because she couldn’t find her “stuff” (phone, purse, etc.). I told her her phone was shattered in the accident and it was at home. She said, “I know, I know, the accident, but where is it? I want to make a call and figure some things out.” We went through every drawer, shelf, and closet looking for her stuff, that I kept reminding her was at home. I let her use my phone to call her phone and leave a voicemail. She was agitated, and kept wanting to see Elijah. Finally then, I explained a little about the accident and how God had rescued the two of them from death, and that we believe He has a plan for them. I told her that two of her nurses told us they didn’t think she would make it. She said, “They didn’t think I would make it? Wow…but I did make it.” We then prayed for her and Elijah and she seemed to settle down after that. My heart hurt as she told me, “It’s just so hard when I want to figure things out, but I can’t fully think.”
She saw the retina specialist on Monday and she will be going in for surgery on her left eye today around 1:00. She is nervous about this, so please pray the surgery would go well and she would remain calm. There is blood in that eye that is clouding her vision, so they will remove that. Her vision has worsened in that eye, most likely due to the old blood from the hemorrhage. They don’t want to repair her eyelid on the right eye just yet. Her vision is much better in that eye, but the nerve may have been affected and it is very difficult to lift her eyelid in order to use that eye. I have noticed that she is trying to lift it more the last few days, so it may be healing. Another step in this long journey!
I was thinking again about Psalm 121 and in my apologetics study Bible, the commentary says,
“121:1-2 The psalmist was contemplating (I raise my eyes) the dangerous journey (toward the mountains) and was concerned for his safety (Where will my help come from?). Alternatively, he thought of the mountains as sites for the worship of pagan deities, who were no help to anyone. He supplied his own answer: The One who made all things, including the hills, was his Protector.” (The Apologetics Study Bible HCSB)
What a beautiful parallel as we look at this long (mountainous) journey ahead of us and sometimes wonder who will be there with us. What a comfort to know that we are never alone! With the Lord as our protector and you as the body of Christ, we will continue to press forward in what He has called us to!”
–Cinnamon, Autumn’s mom