Wednesday, June 17, 2009


If you haven't noticed yet, this whole brain injury/chronic illness management is two steps forward, three back. My job is to sense when we're moving forward, (because there's no such thing as a BRAIN INJURY CASE MANAGER WHO CAN HELP ME figure this out) and then seize the moment with therapy so that she might be able to regain what she just lost from the three steps back.

The first week of June she was in the hospital with a downturn that had begun in May. When we got out of the hospital, she was still on the way down with vomiting that had not resolved. God revealed that her vomiting was a motility problem. We started on Reglan, and now she is 1,000% better. I cannot tell you how amazing it is to be able to give her a g-tube feeding, and actually be able to finish the thing without holding a bucket under her chin. To finish 3 feedings in a day without her sending it back up is miraculous.

So, it's not even a week after I begin Reglan that I sense that we're on an upswing. Maybe for a week, maybe for a month, maybe for longer--but we're no longer going down, we're going up. So it's time to seize the moment.

Well, I had had Annie on a waiting list for at least a year for Hippotherapy. Here's a link that tells you what it's all about: The evaluation was finally scheduled for last Monday, but because she was in the hospital, I rescheduled for yesterday. So we went. Of course, I left the video camera at home. David came with me to help--which was a good thing, because Annie is now awake, alert and has an attitude.

We arrived at Little Bit Hippotherapy and sat down to go over paperwork. David took Annie out for a stroll because she wasn't interested in paperwork, she wanted out of her wheelchair. After the paperwork was done, we went back into a therapy room. Annie didn't want to lay down, roll over on her tummy, get up on toy horses, or have a helmet put on her head. There was a lot of yelling and screaming. Then we went out into the arena. A therapist picked up a yelling Annie, put her on the horse, (with two therapists on either side holding her legs so that if she had a drop seizure, she wouldn't fall off) and suddenly--NO noise coming from Annie. She is totally mesmerized by this h.u.g.e. Norwegian Fjord horse named "Bjorn."

The first walk around the arena, Annie is silent. The second time around she smiles a little bit. (Where IS my video camera???) The third time around she is giggling. Then they bring her back, put her back in her wheelchair and she resumes yelling.

The therapist there said that she is very weak in her trunk, and the therapy at Little Bit will be a trial, because going around the corners in the arena was a tremendous challenge for her to stay upright.

Of course, now I know what my job is: Do whatever I can to help her regain the strength that she's lost in the last month or two. And your job is to pray that God help me!


Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:5


Gretchen said...

1. Praying!!!
2. I wonder if they take 5'11, 200 lb boys. ;) This falls under the category of, "wish we'd known about it earlier".
3. I'm so t.h.r.i.l.l.e.d. that she's on an upswing, Jean. So much better than an upchuck.

Thank You, Jesus for the reglan, the hippotx, and the grace for the in between times. Thanks also for Jean's mad case management skillz. Love You, for You are good all the time. In Your name. Amen.

aunt rebecca said...

Your job ALSO is to re-organize your dainty little purse so that you carry the video camera right beside your driver's license.


uncle jeff said...

Dr. Jean... now THAT has a ring to it:)

i am praying for you and annie each and every day.

(((of course doing this makes my life seem sooooooooo much easier)))

i love you, sister!

Lord, give my sister and extra special blessing today as she continues to glorify You and rely on You!! Provide for the Sullivan caln and thank You for their witness in this troubled world.


uncle jeff said...

By the way, that Norwegian Fjord horse has a last name, too. Bjorn AGIN... get it??? Bjorn Agin??? ...born again???

ok, i'll stop now.


Sue Powell said...

Okay, I am here doing my job! :) PTL for the upswing!!