Dearest loved ones and friends everywhere!
Let me say that, as we travel this summer, the scope of praying friends is growing and we can’t thank you all enough! Let me also say that we finally had rain yesterday (it started in the night Wednesday!) as we departed from wonderful folks in New Era, Michigan to head for the Lansing area. Other than that, the heat wave still persists!!!
But that’s not what this update is all about. It’s time to let you know that I believe God has given Kris a great opportunity at CORE (Center Of Rehabilitation Excellence, I think that’s it!), and great things have already happened.
The first care meeting was held this past Tuesday, and several of us were able to be there via tele-conferencing, including Kris’s husband, Russell, and her Air Force liaison, Darla. The conference lasted about 45 minutes and Kris was able to be there following a great walk with her OT therapist. (They are walking her three times a day! Fantastic!)
The best summation of all that was discussed is that, while it is very early in her program stay, she has already shown improvement with keeping her head up straighter (one of the goals). She has had her vision tested to discover she has lost vision capability in her left eye from the far left to about mid range. The right eye is very good. There were more technical explanations for this, but it likely is remaining damage resulting from the accident plus vision demands on her right eye due to her head pulled left for so long. A simple pair of reading glasses was all that was necessary however, which Diana made sure she had while she was still there with Kris. The photo of Kris in her “star-studded purple glasses” is attached!
Continued strengthening of her right arm as well as greater use of both arms and hands is another goal. I asked if they might set up an email for Kris, which they did in no time, and are now working with her on the computer twice a day. I’m not sure about giving out her email address just yet, but I will let you know. In any case, the other great addition is Skyping, which they set up during the first week she was there. There is an attached photo of Kris on her computer waving back at me on our laptop in front of the RV. (George snapped that last evening right after we set up here in Lansing, Michigan.) As you can probably see, Kris was really tired from a very full day of therapy, but she always manages to smile and wave and laugh at Dad’s funny stories!!! (He’s my comic relief!)
Diana snapped the photo of Kris in her new bed, in her new surroundings, and it shows her desk with family photos, etc. To the right of that photo is a large closet and bathroom, and opposite the bed and desk are two large dressers (one high one with her TV). She has already been able to go and have her hair cut, she goes to church, she’s been to their gym (in a different building), and Diana was able to take her shopping when she was there. The idea there at CORE is to dedicate one person 16-hours a day, 7-days a week to be with the patient, and that person goes with the patient everywhere. The CORE van takes patients to wherever they must go, which includes shopping, appointments, the salon: anything that a person would normally have to attend to in a daily setting. It’s to give them back a routine as close to normal life activities as possible, and is a huge encouragement for folks to TRY!!!
CORE is Kris’s best bet for recovering as far as she can during her one-year stay there. Obviously, speech plays a huge part as well, and the computer will surely be the instrument of choice to communicate until her voice returns. Her posture is improving, her range of motion is improving (arms and trunk movement), her upper back and shoulder strength and straightness are improving as well.
With constant care, with the ability to be busy and working toward the goals, and having that visual connection with family: Kris has the best chance now, I believe with all my heart. That’s what she has needed and it gives me great peace since we must be away. She is being cared for!!! They have great and constant communication there and they don’t mind a bit when “Mom calls” to listen and do their best accommodate. Little things mean so much!
Keep the prayers coming! Never give up! Good things are ahead! God is so good! Thank you so much!
Carol and George
[Again, I apologize for no pictures. Laptop is not cooperating.]