Thursday, 4 October 2012

Update - October 4, 2012

Allison has had another good week, going home for a couple of hours for dinner on a daily basis, and also going home for the weekend.

She and Bob traveled on the weekend to Lac Xavier near Tremblant to stay overnight with friends. This was Allison’s first trip anywhere since the spring, and she said she “adored it.” Her only complaint was that she wanted to sleep in the car, but the fall foliage was so spectacular that she couldn’t keep her eyes closed! The route was a familiar one, and Allison showed good improvement in her long term memory, suggesting they take a back road shortcut, pointing out where they had taken a wrong turn before, and asking whether they would have to walk down the long hill to the cottage.  Allison’s short term memory, on the other hand, has room for improvement.

Apart from memory, Allison’s main difficulty is with speech, although we are noticing continuous improvements.  Allison’s speech-language pathologist at ABI tells us that Allison has made “quite a marked improvement” in her ability to comprehend single words and to find the right words, when given semantic cues (such as carrier phrases) or phonemic cues (such as “um” for “umbrella”).   She says that although Allison is “much improved” on this front, she “fatigues quickly”, and then has a tendency to perseverate on a word she has used previously. Mary adds that this is “quite normal” for someone with the type of head injury that Allison has, and for the level she is at now.  She also says that Allison is “highly motivated” (this is a surprise) and that she managed to convey to her that she wants to work with a music therapist.  Her speech therapist advises that she thinks this is a “great idea” and she has offered to collaborate in any way.

Allison is aware that there was a benefit concert for her, to which a great many people contributed and gave their support. She’s been a little chagrined at times about people making such efforts on her behalf, but when she reads cards and letters from supporters explaining why they are helping, she is very rightly pleased.