Monday, 21 January 2013

Update - January 21st, 2013

2013 got off to a great start, as Allison and Bob were able to take their first holiday together in about 1 ½ years! They spent 8 days in Antigua in early January and liked it a lot. Circumstances permitting they will go back to Antigua for a longer period next winter. Allison has had a raft of medical appointments since their return. Dr. Peters, the plastic surgeon who operated with Dr. Lesiuk to do the second cranioplasty on December 7th, says that the incision is healing very nicely and Allison will go back to see him in six months. Dr. Lesiuk’s impression after meeting with Allison this past week is that she is continuing to improve. Allison says that she has good days and bad days, which Dr. Lesiuk says is completely normal for someone recovering from a brain injury. Dr. Lesiuk is arranging an angiogram in the next while, as since the May 28th operation there haven’t been any pictures of what the aneurysm site now looks like. Dr. Lesiuk says this is because the four titanium clips used to block off the aneurysm are so large that they cast a shadow which prevents capturing an image of the area with any test other than an angiogram.

Allison and Bob also had a meeting at the Aphasia Centre of Ottawa last week, and Allison is interested in going to weekly sessions there once her overall health permits her attendance. Allison’s outpatient speech therapy sessions at the Rehab Centre have ended, and she has a new private speech therapist (Evelyn Tan) coming to the house twice a week beginning on January 23rd. Allison also continues to have twice weekly music therapy sessions with Cheryl Jones, which she enjoys a lot. At times there are issues as to whether the music element of the therapy meets Allison’s rigorous standards; however, with the benefit of Cheryl’s advice and guidance sometimes Allison is able to be convinced, at least for a period, that it is the process of doing music therapy, and its hoped-for by-product of stimulating neurological pathways, that is the more important for present purposes. That said, Allison continues to also play the piano regularly, and also to enjoy musical visits from a number of friends.

Allison’s most recent Rehab Centre speech therapist recommended that Allison commence occupational therapy, as her communication skills are now strong enough to benefit from it. However, we are being told that because of limited resources Allison would receive very little OT as an outpatient, and we’ve also been told that receiving much OT through the public health care / Community Care Access Centre is also unlikely. The upshot of this is that we have recently been in touch with a private occupational therapist who we will likely end up also engaging.

On the physical front, Allison is herself noticing that she is getting stronger, and she resumes twice weekly sessions with a personal fitness trainer at the YMCA this week. Unfortunately the crappy weather here makes Allison going outside for walks very often fairly problematic.

A long-time friend Nick Newton, who has been in the news in Ottawa recently on account of his own health battle, and his longstanding philanthropic efforts, is organizing an event from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday February 10th in Ottawa. One half of the proceeds of the event is being donated to Allison’s trust fund, and the other half is going to the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa – which is hosting the event. In case anyone is interested in attending please RSVP to Nick at