Sick But Going Strong

Cathy has to travel for work next week so Maria is doing what she always does when Cathy leaves town – she’s gotten sick. It’s not bad, just a little chest congestion and a mild fever, but it’s something Cathy can worry about while she’s gone. Because she’s under the weather she of course isn’t performing very well today. Her vision is noticeably worse and she doesn’t really seem to enjoy anything. Understandable.

However recently she has been doing really well. I got the chance to observe the PT working with her last week. She’s the one who walks Maria around by holding her under the arms. I noticed that Maria holds herself much more naturally and looks, well, like a little girl trying to walk. I wish I’d thought to get it on camera to compare it to the other video we have.

The more interesting thing was observing her thought process. At least three times, she brought one foot down so that it blocked the other. When she realized the next step was blocked, she very deliberately pivoted the blocking foot out of the way then took the step. One time when pivoting didn’t work she made an exaggerated sidestep with the blocking foot to get it out of the way. She clearly understands the process and is just coordinating it.

She walks with her eyes rolled up in her head because it takes so much concentration that she can’t walk and see at the same time. As she gets better she’ll be able to coordinate both actions.

One of the latest battles has been getting the state to get Maria an augcom (augmentative communication) device. This is like a big keyboard with pictures of objects that she can use to communicate more easily than sign or speech. The DDD representative has been slow to respond. He’s not blocking the action or anything, he’s just a slow mover. Cathy was talking to someone about it at a DDD meeting and it turned out this person was his boss’s boss’s boss’s boss (I may have left out a couple of boss’s. There are an awful lot of managers in the DDD and it sure seems like…well, whatever the politically correct version of “All chiefs and no Indians” is nowadays.) Anyhow, so this person called the rep’s boss and he called Cathy and the process has been moved along.

Cathy is now gathering the giant stack of paperwork to justify this device and we’ll see what happens.

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