Claire is responding to commands more than she has the past six weeks. Her pattern is still inconsistent and her effort contingent largely on whether she is agitated or not. She is, however, making a concerted effort to comply when we ask her to act. Today, for example, we watched Claire struggle to lower her arm when we told her to do so. Claire raises her right arm straight out in front of her as an agitation symptom and tenses her muscles. It takes its toll on her body and energy reserves. Today during one of her tensed muscle episodes, we told her to lower her arm. We saw her elbow break in as she struggled to lower her hand to her chest. She made multiple attempts with us encouraging her and praising her along the way.
Claire also met with the ophthalmologist again today. The doctor noted that Claire’s vision is more responsive to changes in light than when she last saw Claire. The doctor is confident that Claire can tell the difference between light and dark, however, she could not say to what extent Claire can distinguish images. She also remarked that Claire has come out of her coma much more than when she saw Claire last. Claire’s pupils are more responsive, yet they are still sluggish. There is still little of which we can be confident, but enough to know that Claire’s vision is improving. We hope it continues down that path.
Claire took another walk outside today after her early morning therapy sessions. She enjoyed it. We hadn’t seen her this relaxed on a walk yet. It was reflective of the day. Claire was collected and subdued throughout the day showing agitation in mild waves and on an infrequent basis. We are encouraged by the pattern that she is setting as we continue to wean medications: with each dosage subtraction, Claire is showing fewer withdrawals and reduced agitation.
While the phasing out of specific meds is going well, we are having to increase her Baclofen levels to deal with her muscle rigidity. We discussed this with tonight’s nurse. The nurse sees this pattern occur frequently, however, Claire is not nearly as spastic as other patients. She has seen patients that have no muscle flexibility. While we understand that each recovery story is different, we were encouraged to hear that Claire doesn’t have to battle the extremes of muscle rigidity. We will continue to work with her every day and hope the muscle toning abates as her brain continues to heal.
Claire is making her second visit to the therapy pool tomorrow. The first visit was such a big success and we are excited that she has the chance to go back so soon. She will also be at the pool on Wednesday.
Thank you for following Claire’s story and giving us your support. We look forward to telling Claire about all the prayers and hopes she received. Talk to you tomorrow!