When this began, I said I would chronicle Jacquelynn’s progress, either positive or negative, on the ReCoDe treatment protocol. Well, these last couple of days I have seen a few very positive things worth mentioning.
I make a point of bringing these things to Jacquelynn’s attention when I observe them. It brings new light and raises her vibe when improvements are pointed out to her, as it reinforces her already positive feelings. It’s worth noting that almost every day she stops to tell me directly that she simply feels better, and I believe that’s every bit as important as any other metric. It shows me that her heart and mind are focused on her recovery, and that is essential to getting this done.
I have mentioned here before that I am essentially responsible for all of her hygiene now. Aside from brushing her teeth (which I do prepare and supervise), I handle or at least help with all of her personal care rituals. After she went for a walk with the neighbor and her new dog (never miss an opportunity to dog!) Charlie, Jacquelynn came home and wanted to wash her hands. I led her to the bathroom, ready to supervise and guide the process. I make a habit of allowing her the room to do for herself and only assist or take over when necessary.
This afternoon, it was never necessary. All I did was dispense the soap, watch her deliberately and thoroughly scrub her hands, and help her to dry. Now, no more than five days ago, I had to intervene in this same activity to ensure that she did more than just take a little soap, clumsily dab her hands together a few times, and begin to dry them with no rinsing at all. Today, it was just like watching anyone else with some limited mobility carefully washing their hands. It truly was a big moment for me, and after I shared it, for her as well. If this proves to be more than an aberration, then it will go down as a paradigm-shifting event. It indicates an elevated awareness of self and consequences as well as a significantly improved ability to relate actions to results.
Perhaps not so dramatic (I have a low threshold for drama these days) but also of note is a marginally improved dexterity with her flatware. Tonight’s bowl of soup* wasn’t without its challenges, but she didn’t need my help at all until she wanted a bit of bread (paleo and grain free, of course) to sop up the dregs. Jacquelynn did get a bit angry at herself for a moment when she spilled a bit out of her spoon onto the bib apron she wears for meals, but she’s always been pretty unforgiving where self is concerned. She’s gaining increased independence on several fronts, and that can ONLY be a good thing. She doesn’t see these gains initially, but when I point them out to her, I enjoy watching her concentrate and realize the truth. It’s almost as moving watching her work to consider and realize as it is to see the gains themselves, because just the act of deliberate thinking and consideration is getting easier and more frequent.
We still have very far to go, of course, but each day is more and more cause for confidence and excitement for our course.
*Pacific Organic makes a tremendous line of soups. Do yourself a favor, though: buy them at Kroger for almost a buck-and-a-half less than Whole Foods or Fresh Thyme.