Marla’s level of awareness continues to increase steadily. At the same
time, she is also now prone to “flooding” – an overload caused by excessive
environmental stimuli or emotional reaction to her frustrations when she cannot
communicate. She cries often. This is very difficult for her, and for us to see her
sadness, but be unable to console her.
On the exciting side, she has been fitted with a smaller wheel chair that
allows her to use her legs to walk herself to her therapies. She enjoys
the freedom of being able to move herself and choose where she
wants to go (as long as it is in the general direction of her therapy
classes). She also has been fitted with the next smaller size of
tracheostomy tube, so we are anxious for her to pass her last
swallowing test with thin liquids so that it can be removed. Marla
also enjoyed a visit from her and Rob’s golden retriever, Woody,
this past weekend. He passed all of his health inspections with
the vet and with Craig’s therapeutic recreation department which
supervises animal visits, so Woody is “certified” to visit Marla any
time. Woody makes an excellent therapy dog. He gave Marla
kisses (licked her hand) and was excited to see her, but gentle.
He also proved popular with other Craig residents, and visited
with several other patients, who appreciated his love.
Marla also continues to speak. At times her speech is very
slurred and nearly impossible to understand. At other times,
it is clear. Monday morning, when Peggy, Marla’s occupational
therapist, greeted her with a “Good Morning!” Marla replied,
“Hi, honey!” So she continues to surprise us and give us a
smile. Again, thank you to everyone who continues to support
Marla, and to all those who have left messages of love and
encouragement. We are blessed by all of you.