Walking Everywhere

Taylor is starting to really change quickly these days. Around the house, she started to walk with the walker, then to and from the car, then everywhere. At therapy on Monday, it was decided that her walker just gets in the way since her legs are more coordinated than her arms, so we got rid of the walker and now just hold her hand as she walks. Yesterday, she met her friend Scarlet at a shoe store to buy a pair of slip on shoes (checkered Vans because they are easy to see.) We left the house with no wheelchair or walker and just walked around shopping and eating ice cream without all of the equipment (except Dad). Today, she said she had sore hips and shins, so we used the wheelchair a bit to give her legs a rest, but for sure her wheelchair days are numbered.

Her vision is getting better and she is learning to do more with it. We got her a set of alphabet flashcards. On the first go, she couldn’t recognize a single letter. After a week of going through the cards once or twice a day, she can now recognize 21 of 26 letters. Some of her techniques are fascinating. She can recognize “Z” and “N” because they are the only letters with pronounced diagonal lines. When shown a letter “S” she guessed “O”. I asked how she could confuse “S” for an “O” and she said she just sees a curve. It is really hard to understand what she “sees” and she can’t describe it when asked.

Her hands are becoming more coordinated as well. Today, she showed me that she could connect her thumb with each of her fingers on her right hand. This has been something we have been practicing from way back when she first gained consciousness and couldn’t control her hands at all. Her left arm is also starting to get used more as her implanted defibrillator (ICD) wound is now mostly healed, and she is less guarded about using that arm.

Similarly, her cognition is improving as well. When not working on physical exercises, we work on thinking exercises, such as naming items in a category or unscrambling jumbled sentences. Her performance in these tasks gets steadily better. I know this is happening because it is getting harder to make her laugh at my jokes. When she gets to the point of never cracking a smile, I will know she is totally recovered.

8 thoughts on “Walking Everywhere

  1. More fantastic progress Taylor!! It is so wonderful to hear of all these different exercises and how well you’re doing with them! Absolutely fantastic!!! :)

  2. Hi Inge,

    Thanks so much for sending me the link to Taylor’s page. After all these months, it is nice to see her and hear about how far she has progressed since we first began communicating. I look forward to meeting Taylor in person at the Walk For Brain Injury event at Santa Anita Park on Sept. 13th and it will be a wonderful site to see Taylor make the first survivor’s victory lap.

  3. AWESOME!! We are so happy to hear of your amazing progress.

    GOOD BLESS YOU!! (good is your source and you are PERFECT AND WELL

    Love from Lydia and Jack

  4. Wow, what awesome progress! It’s wonderful to hear about your progress.

  5. That is flat out amazing. Walking with just a hand hold. Taylor – you continue to inspire us back here in Boston. Way to go and keep up the great work!!!

  6. Taylor, et al., This is amazing and exciting! We are thinking about you and very happy to hear you are doing so well.

  7. John, there’s a book you recommended to me — actually, more than 10 years ago, you asked me to buy it to read to Taylor and Nathan — that may be helpful as you work with Taylor to rebuild her cognitive skills: The Memory Book by Harry Lorayne.

  8. Wow, Taylor – you just keep rockin’! Keep up the good work! I am happy to hear about your continued progess. I hope you are enjoying being home now.