Thursday, May 14, 2009


Today was Allison's family meeting at Sojourner's.

Things went quite well, once again everyone is happy with her hard work and determination. Jon is now approved to transport her by himself. They also are allowing overnight passes (one night per weekend). Jon will be picking Allison up after her therapies tomorrow and is taking her home to spend the night together for the first time in 11 weeks. They are both thrilled to get some real time together, and Jon is trying to plan a date night with different activities.

All of her therapists are happy with her progress. She is always pushing herself to get better, taking on new challenges and telling them to make things harder if she thinks they are too easy. They still have things they will be working on with her and will be giving her a list of what she needs work on yet. Her Psychologist went over her neruo-psych test results from 2 weeks ago that I mentioned in a previous entry. He said that even that testing from 2 weeks ago has since been outdated, since she is doing so well and improving rapidly. He said she has shown 'remarkable improvement given her injury', but cautions that she is not there yet. There still needs to be more healing for her to return to her regular life. She has some deficiencies in certain areas, including divided attention, alternating attention, memory, and some hands-on tasks like hand-eye coordination. In all areas, however, she is still showing great improvements. Everyone is real encouraged. Some areas where she is testing really well at are her verbal skills, like her use of vocabulary and her comprehension and judgement.

One thing we and especially Jon has noticed is her somewhat flat affect. Jon described it best once when he said that before the accident that if he were to paint Allison it would be an active painting with jagged edges and bright colors. Now, he would be using more neutral and gray tones - almost subdued. Her Psychologist said that this is due to her brain injury and that it will fade with time as she continues to improve. Granted, Allison is definitely herself and generally happy and determined, just not as vibrant as before at times. I'm talking about this as if Allie is a zombie or something and she definitely is not. Its hard to describe, but its great to see her in a setting with family and friends where she can laugh and tell stories and truly be herself. One example Jon gave to illustrate what I mean is when they took her swimsuit shopping last week for her pool therapy. Before the accident, she would have wanted to try on every suit her size and in every possible color before she made her choice. This time, she tried on two and then asked Jon to choose. Jon joked that he could deal with that -- it sure would make shopping for jeans easier.

Given all this, they want Allison to stay at Sojourner's for another 30 day block. They will continue to work on improving what needs improvements. They want to push her stimulation and try to get her in more high activity and high stress situations. She has a meeting with her Orthopedic surgeon that worked on her pelvis, foot, and arm, Dr. Endres, on May 27 and expect more of her weight restrictions lifted so they can start more physical therapy as well. We have a family meeting on June 18 to discuss again how she is doing. Allison didn't really like the decision to stay another full 30 day block, but her being able to spend more time at home will help, and if she can get through these hardships now for the better chance at having a full recovery, I think she will be able to look back and know it was the right decision.

Jon is still doing well, getting more and more independent. He's in a lot of pain in his foot and it swells up pretty big when he's walking on it, but the therapists say that he should keep pushing it so it will strengthen and heal. He's got one tendon that flops back and forth over his ankle bone when he bends his foot which isn't good and will need to be looked at - I think that's primarily what gives him pain. He says that it feels like he's walking on a bad sprain, but he's getting through it ok. He's practially given up on the wheelchair and is only using his cane -- so much for being on crutches for 6 months.

His elbow is healing as well, although he's describing a new pain in it that feels hot, like its burning. When he bends it now its making some really funky and loud grinding/popping noises. However, he was able to have his elbow bent the farthest it has been yesterday, all the way to 135 degrees which is almost full range on the bending. This was done with his therapist putting all her weight into it and him nearly passing out from the pain so its not there yet, but it is improving. His regular everyday range of motion is not nearly that far and I know they are working on his extension as well.

I'm going to be out of town for a week and a half so I won't be having any updates in that time. Take care all.

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