Friday, 20 December 2013

Rejuvenating and re-inventing

Another year ends.
These days I keep asking the question: How can one turn a catastrophic ordeal to positive advantage? Despair, hopelessness, fear and abject loneliness is not far away, even if one can mask them with friends. Mental toughness in our inner world comes from rejuvenating, renewing the mind and re-inventing oneself. How can grief be good? I remind myself that there may be better and nobler enterprises in the future ahead. And focusing on a new outlook with ideals that kept hopes alive before. Sure, creatures of comfort and habits hark back to fond memories with ones we missed. Makes us human. Rather than rake up the sadness move on and not before discarding past plans, dreams, comfort-zones that have became irrelevant since the disaster. Sometimes starting with a blank new page may be a positive thing. Miranda is already doing it - learning to stand, swallow, look into people's eyes and receive facial cues. Ironically, between us she was the spark of life. Life's surprises. To only wish for the pleasant ones is to bury our heads in the sand. Have to dig deep inside - a journey lies ahead. Live on.
                                            "Straighten up and fly right!"  - Nat King Cole (1943)

8 pm: Yesterday she looked into my eyes, eyes large as marbles.


Monday Dec 23 9 am: She looked well today, sparing me from becoming odious to the tedious routine of cleaning and exercising.

Christmas Eve 4 pm: She must have also felt the cheers from so many visitors - eyes focused when we look at them. Have a Blessed Christmas.

Christmas Day 9 am: Last night she started uttering gibberish, but only for a while. Speech mountain - pray conquer it.
Boxing Day 10 am: As she looks today. (Permission to post this not clear but it looks better that past photos not posted)
"My faith in you seems gone like a deflating airbag, for all my longing"
"Alone from my friends and companion, who will again endear herself with me like before?"(Ps 38: 6, 9-11 adapted)
"For He knows the secrets of the heart and flesh" (Ps 44: 21)
New Year Eve 8 pm:  Must have caught a cough from me. Where has the year gone? If she wakes up tomorrow she'll not remember as Sleeping Beauty or even Rip V Winkle, with half a brain.

Monday 6 Jan 8 am: Still fighting chest cough problems. More vocal sighs.

Friday 10 Jan 9 am: Eyes still locked left in coma, unable to respond. Still coughing 2 weeks now.

Wednesday 15 Jan 4 pm: Cough almost gone so is tone under medication. Now I avoid crowds and bringing home infection. She's also more vocal but not communicating.

Wednesday 22 Jan 9 pm: Yesterday she was clearly groaning in frustration - not gibberish. Miranda is not the kind of person to complain. But it was heart-rending to respond to her. Sleep is probably the best thing for her (and me).

Sunday 26 Jan noon: Maid off and alone with her, have to creatively stimulate her consciousness. Like dripping juice off a mandarin orange - her delight during Chinese New Year.

Tuesday 4 Feb 1 pm: Able to turn head right instead of locked left. Looking ahead. But still not aware of space or recognize her friends or family.

Monday 10 Feb 4 pm: She deserves better care than what we have been giving. Because we've forgotten to talk to her enough, having been more awake lately. And to clear chest fluids constantly by turning. There is this new concept of care-giving - the "humanitude" approach. But cannot expect too much of hired hands.

Thursday 13 Feb 11 am: More responsive in facial if visitors talk to her and encouraging head turning. Must continue with voice stimulation, although her limbs and vocal response do not seem to be progressing.

< End of post>  Next: Surviving

Monday, 14 October 2013

The Fight

The will to live. Ever more so needed in illness and aging. Our parents' deteriorating will to live eventually led to their demise. Francis Shaeffer with his Christian values of Eternity said in effect fighting Death to the end is the celebration of life. Any doctor can tell you it is indispensable to complete healing. You can see it in Miranda's eyeballs. Sometimes they will flit side to side as if the brain is trying to calibrate itself. Other times you can hear her uttering softly. But for now she does not engage anyone facially. You cannot tell what makes her comfortable as part of her will to live. I just found out that a mere change of pampers can reduce her catatonic fit. Our doctor friends says she will be vegetative for life. Do I just take this prognosis and give up on her? Sometimes I just feel like I'm wasting all my effort and time. Might as well let her die in September 2011. The reason why she is still with us today was not to close the door on God. Only time will tell - whether she will increase her awareness to a meaningful stage. True, in the face of acute pain or debilitation logic becomes irrelevant. Must encourage her to go forward. Same for all of us - to find the light in the tunnel for ourselves, no matter what. Die climbing!

5 pm: I behave so childishly - to gain her attention. But failed to have her focus.

Saturday 20 Oct 8 pm: I can still remember those late nights when she, hunched over the laptop, ipod over her ears, singing hymns off-key to herself. So I made sure she still has the ipod joy on her at night.

Thursday 31 Oct 9 pm: Discouraged into silence. But I am encouraged by her acceptance.

Tuesday 5 Nov 8 pm: Head turning more to the right and looking straight, but eyes not focused. She still has no awareness of surroundings.

Sunday 10 Nov 5 pm: Today it seems she can recognize my voice - about time because for two years I've been talking to her.

Tuesday 19 Nov 1 pm: Defeated today. She gets those fits of tone stiffness that does not allow her eyes to relax and focus. Have to watch her progress carefully.

Monday 25 Nov 9 am: There's a constant frown on her face for over two years now. Must massage them off her face.

Tuesday 3 Dec 5 pm: So these days I tried to excite her into making a sound - any sound. But none of the utterance are meaningful. Wakefulness is now longer - but that is not the same as consciousness.

Friday 6 Dec 10 am: Another of those distressed moments when she cries in pain but I do not know where to look. You mothers out there somehow know where when your babies cry. I don't have such instincts. Maybe stomach infection.

Wednesday 11 Dec 3 pm: So it was. All 3 in the house had the runs. Cross infection from the air. But now shes better, minus the left brain.

Tuesday 17 Dec 11 am: Survived a week of battling many fronts. She must fight off any infection from mosquito bites and I must recover a bout of gout. Her eyes continue to focus left.

<End of post> Next: Rejuvenating and Re-inventing

Sunday, 1 September 2013

On thin ice


Staying well alive. This has become even more imperative these days. Someone said that if you damage your right leg make sure your left remains working. Because one slip from the wounded knee during physio would hurt both Miranda and myself. I once fell off the chair half-asleep, causing her to bump her head on the wall. Each day the challenge is not so much having her improve but going through the grind without mishap. The days seem endless. Its been exactly two years.
Of course the faster she improves the better. The task is to decide what to move forward. Anybody can just leave the daily routine, and everything else to the maid - she is more than satisfied not to do more than the easy things. It takes courage to break new ground - making her swallow reliably than just live on the feeding tube, or stand on both legs well enough to reduce the constant support she needs. Every week I ask myself, "What more can she do than what she can now, or what shall we try next?  Improve cognition? Or memory, or arm flexure, speech, whatever." It is easy to sink to oblivion and let life fossilize or fade away. I know Miranda will not have it. And then there are daily voices tormenting me to ask for a miracle...

8 pm: When I said her mother passed away peacefully on Friday there was no visible response. After those years listening to what she said of her mother I felt like she was right there with me at the wake. Strange.

Thursday 5 Sep 1 pm: Today I still cannot imagine - a live wire gone cold. But knowing she appreciates good food I tried feeding her a tasty soup for coke. And she's really gained weight when I made her stand on the scale. Standing exercise must have increased the bone-weight. I'm glad my legs are not weaker.

Wednesday 11 Sep noon: She looked so normal this morning, except for her deformed left brain.

Sunday 15 Sep 10 am: Her legs are stronger, being made to stand half hour daily - the minimum that a normal person should. Now to the arms and hands, hitherto little progress there.

Saturday 21 Sep 10 am: Eye contact - need more of it to revive her cognition. Visitors should try too.

Thursday 26 Sep 10 am: When her cognition returns, ever so little, so will her emotions. It will be a challenge. Yesterday when she looked at me I thought she cried. I too.

Friday 4 Oct 5 pm:  There's nothing more to do except to wait. Its the brain - all the other organs seem normal. Exercise keeps them in shape.

Thursday 11 Oct 10 am: Limbs catatonic - the positive view is her brain is trying to wake up to the motor sensors. The bad is that her brain is now unable to control her body. Her sleep cycle is also reversed.

< End of Post >   Next:The Fight

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Memory

Memories can hurt. Just ask anyone who has recently lost a loved one. Every relic of the past are reminders - not mere objects. I live with it everyday - golf clubs, shoes on the rack, wardrobe, knick-knacks, books, toothbrush etc - everything she had serves as memorabilia. Every journey I take, such as the usual supermarket, the homes of in-laws or annual trips remind me of past events. But now we are dealing with Miranda's memory. Our memories define us. From birth everything we learned formed our basic cognitional skills. Then as we grow our personalities were built on it - what we retain and what we learned to forget. Her brain is damaged. Does she have a basis for recognizing faces and making simple conversations? She has yet to regain meaningful use of her limbs. What is her sense of space and time? Her eyes does not track in a meaningful way when we talk to her. Most of all, she does not convey what she wants or need or give feed-backs in any way. Everyday as I minister to her needs I get a blank wall. Nobody knows what is most comfortable for her - except when she shows anguish in her coughs and heavy breathing then we know that she needed help. In short, how do you give proper care to a coma patient? I don't know how. And I'm supposed to have given her care for 20 months now. All this time she was not the Miranda I knew - she was a non-person so to speak. Yet sometimes when I look right into her eye, I get the feeling  that she knows me.

 "O Lord turn and have mercy...change the natural order of things by your miraculous healing power, just as You did as recorded in Your Book"
"Memory is the slender thread of our civilization" - Oliver Stone 2013

11am: Eyes continue to look restful although only 3 hours' sleep. Has been putting on weight - feed reduced.

Tuesday 18 Jun 7am: Today her eyes neither seem to want to connect nor respond to me. Must encourage her will to live on. A difficult week of stiff tonal muscles and heavy breathing. Been a challenge to exercise or even to bathe her. But later in the evening her look improved, even turning to her right and tone normal again.

Friday 21 Jun 3pm: Even as Singaporeans retreat to their air-con burrows in this haze she's still coughing indoors. But at least she's coughing (and sleeping).

June 22 8.15 am: The only time you can look at our precious Sun, the Red Star, with the naked eye at PSI 179. It was 10% smaller than that at the same time the next day with PSI reading 79

Monday 24 Jun 3 pm: So the medical review today resulted in shunt adjustment to reduce flow because of the sunken skull. She is classified "vegetative" due to thalamic damage in her mid-brain. Pray that the thalamus will heal in time (the neurosurgeon thinks it is usually permanent damage but concede that slow eventual healing is possible but a miracle) so that she will begin to respond to stimuli of sound and touch. Only then will meaningful rehab can start.

Saturday Jun 29 8 am: I don't care what the doctor said - for me Miranda is responding in a very slight emotional way, through her eyes, for now. And she will improve, God will heal, albeit very slowly.
Haze on the sun same time on 30 Jun psi 31

Wednesday 3 Jul 2 pm: She is still not able to direct her eyes to external stimuli. But I can sense emotion through her eyes when looking directly at them.

Sunday 7 Jul 9 am: She was catatonic despite the bacclofen, Today's physio was hard, but she stood well on the exercise.

Thursday 11 Jul 8 am: Her eyes seem to move in and out of focus, as if the brain's on some neuro-leptic drug.

Sunday 14 Jul 8 am: Another hard physio session of stiffness, despite having bacclofen an hour earlier. I'm tired. Either increase to therapeutic dosage and risk drowsiness or abandon it altogether.

Wednesday 17 Jul 8 pm: Despair at her not being able to turn to my attention, yet when I feed her a spoonful of coke I could see satisfaction in her eyes. Her throat must be really dry as she's not able to close her mouth during sleep. Just found out the reason for all those chest congestion - poor oral hygiene. Now I've become a strict oral hygienist.

Monday 22 Jul 9 pm: Continued to turn more to the right. Good - waiting for eyes to focus right side. Her tone getting rather stiff despite medication. Want to believe that maybe her brain is trying to recover. After doing physio on her I might need one myself!

Sunday 27 Jul 5 pm: Still waiting for her eye to focus on her right side. Proper brushing to teeth have led to less phlegm and throat congestion. I didn't know that for over a year now.

Friday 2 Aug 10 am: I like to report that she can stand supported for up to 25 minutes if she slept the night before. But nothing about her memory returning.

Sunday 11 Aug 11 am: Just to be sure that people don't optimistically mistake that Miranda is standing up on her own, I've been carrying her on her toes for the last 3 weeks. Sometimes she collapse and I with her. I now appreciate what the neurosurgeon said that she is still vegetative and will remain "unless a miracle happens". I wish not to say this again by ending the blog here.

Sunday 18 Aug 10 am: Continuing to make her stand should improve her motor memory, despite my wounded knee. Then when all seemed lost comes a silver lining - I could feel her toes move. But that was yesterday.

Sunday 25 Aug 7am: Happy Birthday! Still no sign of memory to recognize her well-wishers. May God continue to heal - progressively, no matter how slow it seems. And farewell NUS.

<End of  post - next: On thin ice>

Monday, 1 April 2013

Speech Mountain Re-visited

"When we get to heaven you'll be without your eyes and I without my mouth", she once mused about our respective faults. But ever since her stroke I long for her sharp tongue to return, even to say the simplest of things. Speech has got little progress - the latest is her tendency to sigh and exclaim or utter incoherently. Her hearing seems excellent, even accentuated by her lack of communication. But when we speak her eyes seem to show focus and the question is whether she understands but could not answer, or not understand as well as uncommunicative. It is not clear whether her damaged memory has affected her ability to associate words with meaning, or damaged her vocal controls or both. Right now, there is not even a channel for yes-no communication. So probably her hearing vocabulary is non-functional. Anybody's guess, because her non-volitional limbs are also not indicative of her desires nor understanding. Only her eyes blink. Yes, we've tried using it as a Y-N channel, but inconsistent. Hearing vocabulary is non-existent?

Thursday 4 Apr 8pm:  Last few days she appeared sad, so often I've to put on a brave face to cheer her. She's cheer-able.

Monday 8 Apr 10am: By looking at her eyes it seems she still cannot recognize her friends or other family. She will not turn her head to your voice and the only way she focus is when you look straight at her line of vision. Some way to go before she comes out of coma completely.

Thursday 11 Apr 1pm: Fatigue - thats what I'm fighting these days. But she sleeps most of the time.

Monday 15 Apr 11am: Is she coming back ever? I kept asking myself this question. Doctor friends don't think so - unless they are miracle believers. Meanwhile Miranda in her most comfortable state looks like a baby, unaware of whats around her.

Thursday 18 Apr 9pm: A small improvement - shes now looking straight and focus straight. Still making those unintelligible utterance softly.

Wednesday 24 Apr 11am: She looks normal. Especially after a good night's sleep. But her cognition is not coming back. Only for now I hope. There's also a slight infection.

Sunday 28 Apr 8am: Have not been able to make any new entries on this blog on her progress. Only significant new developments will be noted from now.

Sunday 5 May 9am: Could Miranda have been saved from this? That is the question I kept asking myself in the doldrums of her recovery. Could the aneurysm be triggered or associated with her onset of Parkinsons? If only she had an angiogram instead of cat-scan in 2009 review of her motor condition. We could have then seen the bulge and the demon would have been caught in a simple hourly radiography-intervention procedure. Despite the potential life-threatening angiogram, her family being neurologically predisposed (her father's stroke, her advancing dementic mother, etc) and the high pressure job - couldn't it have caught the attention of some luminary medical friend? I hear in Japan angiograms are routine procedures of senior citizens. But here I am watching water rushing under the bridge, holding the can.
Post note: There is a possibility that Miranda does not have Parkinson's at all, as the drug prescribed then (2009) did not have significant improvement on her motor response. Golf improved it. As it turned out the aneurysm dramatically showed itself while playing golf.

Wednesday 8 May 6pm: Surrounded by family and long lost friends last 2 days think I detected a smile. Friday 10 May: Cough and some infection. Visits avoid for now.

 Friday 17 May 10am: Still on antibiotics for her UTI. Mysterious leg rash disappeared.

Wednesday 22 May 8pm: So now the UTI has subsided, but the cough persists for almost 2 weeks now. Hoping the chest irritation is not serious. She has to learn the excise the phlegm and avoid any pneumonia which has grave consequences for bed-bound patients.

Saturday 25 May 4am: "Don't worry - just keep going and I'll meet you on the other side". Miranda used to talk about a father encouraging his young son on his first solo swim for a full lap. It must be daunting to brave the interminable cold water, thrashing all might for the other end of the pool to come into view. But then there was the smiling Father. If she had known that she will not be conscious again before succumbing to the stroke I'm sure she'll exchange those same words with me.

Thursday 30 May 10am: Just when I was giving up ever hearing any word from her she started uttering something. But her cognition is still weak and it is unclear whether she has any vocal memory.

Saturday 1 Jun 8am: She seemed to be able to sense urgency in conversation, like when I mentioned visiting my father. Hoping her awareness of the environment increases.

Friday 7 Jun 4pm: Making a slight progress of vocal utterance - usually a sigh or frustration or discomfort.

Sunday 9 Jun noon: So when I told her that father passed away last week she just looked straight at me unmoved. That is very unlike her, she is a most filial person to family members. At night her vocal cries continued. She's been fighting a chest congestion and fits. Back to Kepra medication.

Wednesday 12 Jun 10am: The anti-fits drug is making her sleepy most of the day. Still struggling with chest congestion. At 2pm there was blood due to trauma from the nasal-gastro feeding tube. It may or may not be the cause of all the phlegm and congestion from the throat and chest.

Friday 14 Jun noon: Her cough was reduced and hence she was able to sleep last night. Must watch for such infection. This morning was able to utter some sound and roll her eyes. Her verbal progress still slow - her neural recovery must precede it.

<End of post>  Next  - Memory

Friday, 22 February 2013

Thankfulness

What is there to be thankful for?
It has been one and a half years and it could even be seven, ten or what. Someone more than a companion - my best hope for a better life - gone. Since her stroke life is one of emotional privation. I wasn't even aware that I was fighting some form of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).  Memories of better times and thoughts of the foreboding future haunt everyday. Continuing with this thinking will miss a vital point - I must complete this journey. A positive mind will make it lighter, despite the realities.
First, this blog is something to be thankful for. Kept me sane. It cheered me to know even people from far away read for prayer or concern. All who care for Miranda makes me thankful. The myriad acts of kindness that I otherwise would not have. Her profound and catastrophic illness seemed like suddenly, something switched her off . But for me it has been sort of a rebirth.  Visitors - many strangers before, endue me with much encouragement, strength in ways I've never seen nor ever will in a spartan lifestyle. Their very presence than words are cause for thankfulness. Then there are the unseen blessings - many remember Miranda in their daily prayers. The struggle for her well-being is titanic because of all those lives she touched. Acts of concern and gifts of books, food and what else ended up with me. Thinking of it prods me on. Miranda helped too. Her thriftiness in savings enable me to cope financially, although she might have planned to eventually give it all away. She left me credit cards. Even her kindness to buy an insurance to oblige a friend came back to help, although she was already adequately covered at work during that time. Finally the dogs make me thankful - whenever they see me their tails wag unconditionally. Imagine for someone else who's not Miranda, with none of these blessings how much heavier is it to carry the bed-bound sick for what's left of life. Grim.

8am: Her head is turned forwards than locked sideways, but her eyes look blank ahead. Something is changing inside her brain? Pray that it is positive.

Tuesday 26 Feb 8pm: She responds to stroking on her left forehead by closing her eyes in pleasure. But I still cannot say she understands what I say.

Friday 1 Mar 8pm: Exactly a year and half - time Marches on. She's prone to look straight at me as if pleading a request. But no words and I could only walk away baffled.

Monday 4 Mar 10am: So I wheeled her around the house yesterday, hoping it will bring memories of her entire design, tiles and all. Maybe she will - in time.

Friday 8 Mar 2pm: I tried to cheer her by saying funny things and I could detect the faint trace of a smile. It is not my imagination, I hope.

Monday 11 Mar 2pm: I tried not to let her sunken skull intimidate me into desolation. She can look, even focus but no memory whatsoever of  people around her. She's not even attempting to talk nor move her limbs but she is in otherwise good health.

Friday 15 Mar 4pm: "You know, I've got zillions of things to do," she said with her usual high-energy voice. I was exceedingly glad hearing her voice again, and thinking she must have fully recovered. Then I woke up.

Tuesday 19 Mar 3pm: "You know, it'll be good if you can go play golf with me than letting me go alone everyday," I would say to her often before I leave. Then I would detect a faint smile from her face. But my doctor friends say that she's probably not following our conversations.

Friday 22 Mar 8pm: There is definitely some progress on cognition. When I rose from her bed I noticed her eyes tracked me briefly. And there was that smile again. I know her well enough to notice it. But I hope I'm not deluding myself the next time around. But thank God.

Tuesday 26 Mar 10am: She woke up with an exclamation, her voice slurring for quite a while. We might have to re-visit her speech mountain soon.

Friday 29 Mar 5pm: Her legs continue to strengthen despite still not able to swallow smoothly. She shows her pleasure getting to rest on the bed after the daily 3 hours from the wheel chair. At least that emotion is returning. 

video
                        Man's Credits: The Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus (They sing well)
                         2009: The ladies' ensemble, Nathaniel Christian orphanage, Rumania

<End of Post>  Next: Speech Mountain revisited

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Endurance

If hope is on one side of a coin endurance must be on the other.  Everyone must make his or her own journey through life, even alone. No matter how arduous or demanding sticking to the end is a known mark of character. No one knows for sure what is the end and Miranda must sail thru the doldrums that she's facing at her journey now - neither better nor worse. It is also our journey - for those of us who knew her enough to continue seeing thru her illness. Sometimes heart-breaking, if you know her former self. As for me she is still wife, although our marriage is all but gone. I still make one-way conversations with her daily. Hard part is not getting any feedback. But then steadfastness to continue living must be shared - the healthy or the happy owe it to the less fortunate. This post is not just about Miranda - it is also about us. In the end to be found standing, still. Despite our vicissitudes.

New Year's Day Noon: The maid's off today, so I have her all to myself. She looked cheerful, despite having only slept 4 hours. Maybe its the holiday spirit.

Friday 4 Jan 10am: Nothing to report except she's chugging along. Starting to strengthen her legs standing (with help). Pray that she can begin to say something meaningful from those sighs and utterances.

Monday 7 Jan 10am: One of the dangers bed-bound patients must watch is chest congestion and infection. She's having congestion lately and am thankful that she's learning to cough strongly. Even sneeze - but that's probably due to dog dander on my clothes. She's also due for her 6-monthly review.  When will she learn to swallow normally is my utmost concern. She's doing it but not fast enough for a meal and rid of the dreaded feeding tube which causes all those throat irritations.

Thursday 10 Jan 9pm: A week of fighting demons - one of self-doubts and depression and of chest congestion for her. Every physical disability (mine and hers) looms like mountains to climb. Have to dig deep inside.

Sunday 13 Jan 10am: Tried to encourage talk when she opened and closed her mouth at me. But no connection. The words failed. An indomitable spirit must stay afloat despite streams of endless obstacles. Like these days. Have to ride on wings of eagles (Isaiah 40: 31)

Tuesday 15 Jan 2pm: My wings drooped - seized by a sudden pang of nostalgia of long ago memories. This can be triggered by a lack of sleep. But Miranda rested well last night and does have a slight whimpering response to touch, although the eyes show little emotion.

 Then came Isaiah 45:5-10 today - "I am the Lord, there is none else...I the Lord do all things...salvation, righteousness..I created all things..."

Friday 18 Jan 9pm: I continue to interact closely as it is probably her only window to the outside world. Yesterday when I prayed her eyes seemed attentive throughout.

Wednesday 23 Jan 11am: Stable - better than getting worse. Progress painfully slow though. She's uttering more and eyes more engaging, although a sign of being comatose is her inability to track your eyes or hands. Now is the time to mentally interact more with her, unlike 6 months or a year ago, when there were many visitors but she wasn't ready.

Saturday 27 Jan 3pm: These 2 days her nystagmus was garish -  both eyes kept scanning in a wide arch from left to right as if uncontrollable. Maybe it can be a positive sign of the brain trying to wake up, but I'm more positive than my doctors dare to say. Then at 2pm her hand-phone which I inherited since her stroke reminded me of our anniversary dinner, an event she had booked for more than two years ago!

Tuesday 29 Jan 11am: Somehow she doesn't seem to look forward to my morning greetings as before. Her eyes glazed over instead of focusing. Must strengthen her will to live again. Maybe another day.

Friday Feb 1 11am: I hesitated to make this entry but I'm thrilled. Miranda turned her head and looked straight instead of locking left up to now. Thank God her nystagmus is not worse. Hoping that she continues to look straight or more right. If the mid-brain continues to recover it will be a huge step to consciousness. Her arms are still inactive and she needs to swallow better.

Tuesday Feb 5 11am: She continued her standing routine and I noticed she will look right standing. So important to stand as to give spinal feedback to the brain.

Lunar New Year 8pm: I had set up a disappointment for myself for being too optimistic. Her brain is taking its time to recover - she can see straighter but not able to track or turn to attention. But we must persist the more on her physiotherapy - standing on one leg and loosening her tone.  Now is the time to stimulate her brain as much as practicable. With no feedback, there's only that much one can say to her.

Tuesday Feb 12 9pm: Third day of Lunar NY and babies stimulated her most, by her looking at them. But her sleep cycle is off again. Also she still does not respond to cues, "If you can hear me blink your eyes twice" doesn't work. Her hearing is acute (body twitches at every sharp sound in the room), so it must be her understanding.

Valentine's Day 11am: What a busy week of visitors and it must have lifted her spirits. Her eyes continue to focus on them. But she developed a slight cough. Have to watch her lungs and throat.

Saturday Feb 16 3pm: So I stimulate her mind with anything. Sometime ago when Miranda got started well with BTI she was taking classic pop piano lessons. Running thru her class pieces I found this and when she heard it her mind was at peace. ["If We Hold On Together" from "The Land Before Time" (1988) Music by James Horner & Will Jennings Originally performed by Diana Ross
Played on Yamaha P-140]

Tuesday Feb 19 3pm: Little progress of cognition. Even her apparent "pleased to see me" look in the morning getting rarer. Endurance is such a passive thing. I think I've found a better word to replace the title of this post: Steadfastness.

One day this blog title must also be changed - to FallenPillar (restored). When will it be?

< End of Post >  Next - Thankfulness