Friday, July 9: Update

Claire had her most subdued day to date. She was relaxed. She was alert. She was even. We saw the least amount of volatility today as well. The ups and downs, the mood changes, were much closer together than days previous. We hope this is an indication her brain is close to emerging from coma and she will be able to respond to commands with regularity soon. Setting aside whatever the future has in store, we enjoyed the present today and our time with Claire.

Because Claire is doing so well, we got the go-ahead to lower Claire’s morning Ativan dose again, moving ever closer to removing some of the sedation drugs from her system. The corollary is that we increased her Baclofen to deal with any additional muscle spasticity that could result arise from the lower Ativan dose. It also helps make sure that Claire can continue her therapy without regressing. Finally, we also increased Claire’s Amantadine dose today: Amantadine is the drug that increases Claire’s brain dopamine levels to make her more alert.

Tiffany and I got to reflect on Claire’s progress this morning since my mom was staying with Claire. It’s difficult for us to think about the future without reflecting on the past. On the one hand, we need to be positive for Claire and her recovery prospects: we believe she feeds off our mindset and disposition. On the other, we are still grieving the little girl we miss. Striking the balance is difficult and we are not good at predicting when we will be hit with emotion. We ordered a new car seat for Claire today and Tiffany remarked that she has no problem getting rid of Claire’s old car seat. She reasoned that we couldn’t keep the old one because every time we put Claire in it now, she would be reminded of how Claire always insisted on buckling herself. We don’t know when she will next ask to buckle herself. And that uncertainty weighs heavy.

We needed a break to clear our minds and the opportunity presented itself when Claire’s occupational therapist, Lori, offered to watch Claire tonight so we could get away as a family. We escaped for an hour and a half in the Dallas rain. It was just enough of a respite that we got to laugh and short enough to dissuade opportunities for sad thoughts. When we got back, Claire was sprawled in Lori’s lap, relaxed and awake. Lori often jokes about how much agitation she inspires in Claire: we know it’s all a front and Claire loves Lori. So do we.

Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers. Enjoy the weekend with friends and family!

Gifts to Claire

Hi Folks, this is Emily again. I’m writing because so many of you have asked if there was a way for you to send financial help for Claire’s care and continued recovery. Tyler and Tiffany have been reluctant to accept monetary help, and especially to use this blog as a vehicle by which to accept money. This blog is intended, and will always be used, as a source of emotional therapy for Tyler and Tiffany; as a means of conveying information to all of you; and as a great source of love, prayer and support from our wonderful friends, family and even strangers who have done so much already to sustain us during this unexpected and life-changing event. Some very loving friends have, however, gone ahead and set up a charitable fund for The Martins-Dallas Branch. For this generous act we want especially to thank Jon and Becky Barnes, Gary and Heidi Lindsey, Tommy Tucker and those who have worked behind the scenes for Claire. Their continuing kindness toward us all can never be repaid, and while the words “thank you” are too small, we do sincerely thank you. Therefore, if it would bless you to contribute to Claire’s recovery expenses, you can do so through Tyler and Tiffany’s home church in Dallas, Irving Bible Church (IBC). The specific information follows.

Checks may be written to “Irving Bible Church” with “Claire Martin” referenced in the Memo line. They may then be mailed to:

Irving Bible Church

2435 Kinwest Parkway

Irving, TX 75063

There is not currently a means of giving online, but they are exploring the possibility of it, perhaps through PayPal. I will let you know if there are developments on that front. If you have any further questions, please contact Tommy Tucker at IBC at 972-560-4600. All donations are tax deductible, and IBC sends out quarterly reports as well as one report at the end of the year for your own filing purposes.

Thank you all so very much for everything you have already done for us, whether you have been able to physically be in Dallas or not. Your loving support has meant more than any financial gift ever could. Your continued expressions of love through prayer and good wishes remind us that in the middle of all this darkness we have yet been greatly blessed.