More Progress for ‘I.’

It’s some time since I reported on I.’s progress, which continues, if slowly.

She was moved from hospital to a fairly new nursing home where the staff are experienced in brain damage and very caring. It is quieter than the hospital and at first I found I. was often asleep when I visited, perhaps because of excellent work by the physios in the mornings tiring her out. I found that Saturday afternoon worked better.

I.’s left arm and hand work well, with a strong grip. One day she rolled my shirt sleeve up, perhaps because all the staff wear short sleeves for reasons of hygiene. She seems to see and hear well with at least some understanding. She quite often seems just on the verge of talking but most of what comes out is a sort of humming rather than vocalization. She sometimes gives a beautiful smile.

Recently the occupational therapists carried out an extended assessment. They suggested ways in which all five senses could be stimulated during routine care.

Up to now a gastric feeding tube has been in use, but today the speech therapist (they also deal with the breathing/eating interface) told me that they had tried foods like banana and some drinks, so far just in therapy rather than routinely until they can be sure it is safe.

While we were celebrating this significant step forward I. began to cry a little, which we took as another positive in that it indicated a clearer realization of how much has been missing over the past year.

I., who was an enthusiastic member of a darts team, was given a darts board and darts (a good size but of safe design – plastic, no points). She managed to place the dart but didn’t try throwing. In any case she would have to get used to using her left hand.

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