21-Therapy, therapy, therapy!
As the warm Fall days turned cooler and we approached November, I made sure that Brianne was outside at every possible moment, 'soaking up the sun'. There is such a healing power in the sun! I love when natural sunlight immerses our skin to produce Vitamin D.
When I am in the sun I feel so much happier and calm. The sun was certainly magical for Brianne since she hadn't been in the sunlight for a month. I love the incredible powers it has for overall health, amongst other things it: improves brain function, helps protect your muscles, fights against inflammation, can help uplift our moods (it certainly does that for me), lowers high blood pressure, and soooo much more. To me, it was as an essential part of Brianne's therapy in addition to what the Dr's were doing.
Brianne's days were filled with all kinds of therapies, most of the time it was trying to recreate the learned memory of movement, as the therapist moved her body. We knew how important this was in keeping her limber so her muscles wouldn't atrophy because she still couldn't even move her head off the pillow, or really move much of anything else for that matter. The most she could do at this moment was move a couple fingers on her own. That was until they began to gave her a medication that is used to give you extra energy and focus.
Once they started her on this medication, her legs began moving. One day when I walked in, her legs were propped up, and then she started moving them back and forth a bit. We were so excited. What an amazing improvement! With all things good, especially when it comes to medication, there are usually always the dreaded side effects. This same medicine that helped her focus and move, was also keeping her awake much of the night. We found out later that some people use this when they have a big public speaking event and need extra focus and energy but if you get too much it makes you anxious and unable to sleep well.
As always, Grandma Bartlett and I started to keep a good eye out for things that seemed a bit off. We noticed after a few days of being on the medicine, that she was moving her legs back and forth like it was involuntary or that she was anxious and couldn't stop. I asked the nurses if she had been sleeping and they thought she had. We decided that wasn't good enough, because didn't seem to be positive. So Grandma Bartlett decided to take the first night and I took the next night and we stayed with her... sure enough she was up much of the night!
The Dr. and I had a very nice 'heart to heart' to determine how far to take her down on the medication, thinking that maybe she was getting more than she should based on her current weight. The Dr. didn't think it was necessary to take her down on the medication but I was insistent. After such a long time in hospitals, much on a liquid diet, Brianne was pretty thin. Not being able to eat for herself for the past month and a half can do that. She normally weighed, around 115 lbs, but at this point she was hovering closer to 90 lbs and as I thought about it more, she definitely wouldn't need the same amount of medication as someone who was 150 or even 200 lbs, but they give everyone the same amount to start out.
We couldn't be more thrilled to finally see some movement happening!!!