[DWJ] Dorian

Ian W. Riddell iwriddell at gmail.com
Wed Oct 7 02:55:19 EDT 2015


Hallie,

Thanks so much for these updates and for staying connected. 

peace and love
widdy



Sent from my iPad

> On Oct 6, 2015, at 9:44 AM, Hallie O'Donovan <hallieod at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> A small *progress* report, for those who don't belong to the FB group.
> (Apologies to those who do, as I believe Patrick and Dorian's parents have
> been updating there, and this won't be anything new.)
> 
> I started going in to the hospital once a week around the end of April, and
> for several months there'd be no real change in her condition between
> visits. She did make small improvements even then, but her progress was
> slow and late in starting, and that wasn't giving the doctors much reason
> to be very hopeful about her long-term recovery. As well as that, there was
> this sort of 'deadline' of two years hanging over her; the family was told
> that any improvement she was going to make would be within the two years,
> and after that, nothing could really be expected.
> 
> Around the beginning of August, she started to be quite noticeably more
> alert - and if buses got more apparent interest than family or friends, it
> was still good. After that, there was a real change in the rate of
> improvement, with Dorian showing purposeful movements, like rubbing her
> nose, or pushing hair out of her face, which were all completely new.
> Patrick said that the occupational therapists were noticing these
> improvements too. Their stand-by was tickling her face with a feather, and
> that started getting repeated hand-swats: DO NOT WANT. She'll take things
> and hand them back to you, push blankets off and even hold your hand down
> on the bed if you keep doing the thing she wants you not to do. (That's
> Patrick. I usually back down. And, yes, those hospital tissues were *much*
> too scratchy. I brought soft ones!) The occupational therapist told Patrick
> that typically the things she disliked would be responded to more quickly
> than those she liked. No better woman for that! Patrick says he'll be the
> happiest husband in Ireland when his wife tells him to F**K off in words,
> rather than just disgusted expression.
> 
> I was quite excited the week before last when she dabbed her fingers into
> the lotion I had in my hand and spread some on her other hand. There's so
> much hope in the responses to things that irritate her, but this might have
> been even more encouraging, as she was doing something that wasn't a
> reaction *against*. You wouldn't say that she's following the story when
> you read to her, but it is really obvious now that she's aware of changes
> in tone - or snorts of derision, as may be the case. (To Say Nothing of the
> Dog. Ned had said how perfectly quiet and relaxing the Victorian era would
> be for his recuperation, with its sweet, submissive women. I snorted. She
> looked at me intently.)
> 
> Not only is the rehab consultant very happy with her improvement, but even
> more positively, he's backed away from the two-years-as-recovery-endpoint
> stance. That's huge, because every time you were joyful about a big leap in
> recovery, you couldn't help but worry that that time was getting ever
> closer. Had the doctor known Dorian *before* the accident, he might have
> understood that she'd take her own sweet time about recovering if she felt
> like it.
> 
> There's still a long road ahead of her, but it's so wonderful now that you
> can see her being firmly ON that road. All her family are amazing, and I'm
> sure everyone will have good thoughts for them as well.
> 
> Hallie
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