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In my new learning program at Kumon Learning Center I have homework 6
nights a week in both math and reading. Mom corrects my homework which gives
me instant feedback. I feel confident in multiplication tables and I'm
moving ahead onto division. And as weather permits I'm looking forward to
walking and bike riding to the nearby Kumon Center.
On December 13, 2003 I participated in the Acrovision Holiday Show. My
coach Rich, dressed as Santa, displayed video tapes of my 2001 and 2002
performances. The audience cheered and clapped in unison as I demonstrated
my improved routine for 2003.
I felt proud and uplifted hearing the applause from the spectators and other
This Holiday Season will be very special for me. Mom and I will fly to
Pasadena, CA to celebrate my Grandmother's 80th birthday and Christmas. I
enjoy being part of a large family and having the challenge of remembering
faces, names, and stories.
My Christmas wish is for you to know what you want and get more of it!
Delightful December marks the 5 YEAR CELEBRATION OF REGENERATION! I feel so blessed on a regular basis to have all that I have; loving family members, a nice home, fresh healthy food, attractive clothing, and a joyful poodle companion. I enjoy and appreciate the simple/everyday beauty in life; the seasonal changes, strangers that smile at each other, the sunrise of each new day, and the twilight of stars at night. I was listening to KLOV the other day and I heard " Add some heaven to your life..." and I thought to myself 'I have a heavenly heart and head and I'm so happy to be me, a child of God. I know that He designed me as He designed the snowflakes and grains of sand; one of a kind. As I explore and get to know myself better, my self-love and appreciation blossoms.
In my new learning program at Kumon Learning Center I have homework 6 nights a week in both math and reading. Mom corrects my homework which gives me instant feedback. I feel confident in multiplication tables and I'm moving ahead onto division. And as weather permits I'm looking forward to walking and bike riding to the nearby Kumon Center.
On December 13, 2003 I participated in the Acrovision Holiday Show. My coach Rich, dressed as Santa, displayed video tapes of my 2001 and 2002 performances. The audience cheered and clapped in unison as I demonstrated my improved routine for 2003.
I felt proud and uplifted hearing the applause from the spectators and other Acrovision students.
This Holiday Season will be very special for me. Mom and I will fly to Pasadena, CA to celebrate my Grandmother's 80th birthday and Christmas. I enjoy being part of a large family and having the challenge of remembering faces, names, and stories.
My Christmas wish is for you to know what you want and get more of it!
Learning of the seriousness, and with many unknowns, this journey of faith and recovery begins. Slowly confidence comes as Tudor's condition stabilizes. The coma ends, and Tudor's therapies begin. This experience shapes our family's future as we learn that the average recovery time from traumatic brain injury is five to ten years. Knowing the expenses and the long-range demands of recovery, I set out to help with the recovery plan.
Literally hundreds of friends and family members have given support through prayers, notes of concern, and financial assistance. It is a wonderful weaving of faith, action, and modern science that brings us to this point of celebration. Tudor is full of new life, and is continuing everyday to relearn lost education and gain balance and strength. Her life is vital and exciting. I am so proud of her and all she has accomplished in the past five years. I am helping as I can from Paradise Foods, which opened in May 2001. Just like Tudor, it too is now flourishing and is becoming vital and exciting.
We have so much to be thankful for this Christmas as we celebrate the five-year anniversary and miracle of Tudor's new life; and I look forward with great anticipation to many more blessings for Tudor in the years to come.
Martha's five year reflection:
This is the five year milepost on Tudor's marathon to a full recovery! As her #1 caregiver and personal healer, I am proud to say that the finish line is now in site. We still have some big "hills" ahead and although the end is a very small dot on the horizon the skills and structure for a good life are in place and in practice. With virtually all of her learned memory deleted on 12/12/98, her recovery has been a process of layering information over and over again, studying how she learns best, filling the neuropathways with information bit by bit, and then putting that into action until procedures become routine. Then we add more, and on and on it goes. Tudor has healed from severe impairment, to ranges of moderate to mild impairment, to low averages and now to a combination of mild impairment, low average/average IQ. Her recent significant boost in ability came from having 40 hour-long treatments in a hyperbaric chamber. Executive function is so improved that she is all at once excited about her studies and chomping at the bit for more.
Her recovery has of course been a multi-level and multi-dimentional opportunity for me. In the beginning, it was like having a baby at home again. Now with more balance and memory on board, Tudor is smoothing a "magnetic" gait into a graceful walk through gymnastics, ballet, and lots of reminding at home. Her speaking pace is now normal, a little slower or digitalized when reading aloud. She has been taking Polaroid pictures for better recall of faces, and memorizing to/from routes around town for orientation. Social and emotional levels have gone from zero to an older adolescent or young adult. She has an essential purity that is delightful to be around, contagious joy, and a beautiful smile.
I would not have been able to do this work without the structure and model of health that I brought with me from 22 years as a holistic practitioner. My understanding of cellular regeneration in the context of spiritual alignment with the Holy Spirit has made this an incredible journey of Faith through Trust. As you might imagine, I have reached my limits countless times, surrendered, then awakened to the next dimension of patience, compassion, and understanding. The transformational process continues to be the "miracle grow" for both of us. In five years Tudor has never had physical pain, inappropriate emotional distress, or acute illness of any kind. She is healthy and happy as she awakens to her new self.
Also, Tudor has wonderful teachers and mentors who celebrate her inspiring recovery. We have terrific support from our family and friends with daily and weekly calls and e-mails cheering us on each step of the way.
This year I became certified as an NLP Life Coach (thank you, David.). My mission statement is, "Encouraging empowered living through inspired action".Gradually, as time permits, I will attract a few clients who want wellness coaching.
Also, sometime in 2004, I plan to introduce "Mrs. Greenbalm", a soothing green herbal salve I invented; great for healing cuts and tattoos. (!) Currently, we are in the sample and testimonial stage with trademark and domain secured. The label is being designed for both small and large jars. Eventually, Tudor's math skills will evolve to an accounting level and a position taking orders and keeping track of business by computer. Together we will move into the world as entrepreneurs. For now, attention focused on Tudor's marathon to independence remains my #1 priority.
Thank you for your loving encouragement and your financial support. Your contributions make it possible to continue the work, have fun as a team, going the distance, and celebrating the light of new circuits.
The 14 foot pressurized oxygen chamber holds five people and an attendant. Patients of all ages and medical conditions were present. During treatments we couldn't talk to each other because we had hoods on and an oxygen tube providing pure oxygen. The room was set up for video watching so I saw many different movies and I had to keep track of stories. I preferred educational videos and comedies and my favorite one was learning about the history of dogs.
Mom and I stayed in a nearby apartment complex that was offered for accommodations and the daily therapy was our entire focus. Now, one month later, I notice I have increased confidence on all levels. My balance, flexibility, and coordination are better and my therapists notice a significant improvement in my memory and body. I have been able to increase not only my daily scheduled activities, but the stimulation and content of information that I receive each week. I feel like a new woman, living in the precious present and loving my newly gained attentiveness during the day. My experience in Chico, CA was very helpful and healing! The time reaffirmed my desire to thoroughly heal my brain and body and it reminded me that I need to have a cheerful, fresh perspective each new day.
Upon our return to Bend, we decided to invest time in a new educational experience. After attending Sylvan Learning Center for 3 1/2 years I now have a strong foundation for more disciplined work. My new school is the KUMON Institute of Education. It is an international chain that believes every student is intelligent, in different ways. "Kumon prepares students for a lifetime of learning." As one parent wrote "Kumon produces direct benefits, as well as a 'halo effect' that lets kids who do Kumon also become more responsible for their own learning, become more independent sooner, and develop better trust and confidence in themselves and their skills." I attend two sessions for math and reading each week and have an hours worth of homework six nights a week.
Another new and exciting activity is being a "Teacher's Aide" at Highland Elementary which is walking distance from my house. I have volunteered there for two school years for first grade students, and now I work with two different third grade classes. (I skipped 3rd grade when I was in elementary school so now I am getting another chance!) One teacher focuses on mathematics and the other on literature. I help with reading and writing two mornings a week and math one morning a week. I love it! The kids' energy and enthusiasm for learning is so enjoyable to be around. Their freshness is comfortable to me and our world could use more of this.
I still participate in Ballet classes, Healing Bridge, and Acrovision sessions and I am aware of how helpful these three different movement methods are for increasing my flexibility, strength, and self-body communication. I take naps regularly because I have such a busy schedule and an active, healing brain. Aunt Tudor helps me draft, and edit my monthly websites and Mom helps me remember all our activities and progress each month. My self-esteem and alertness have grown during the last month, and give me even more awareness of my need for guidance from Mom. I thank you to everyone that has sent us contributions.
In light and love, Tudor
"Our ability to choose our own attitude in any given set of circumstances is our freedom." anonymous
"The possibilities are endless when you believe they are." anonymous
Hello! I spent a month in Chico, CA receiving 'Oxygen Treatments' and it was invigorating and enlivening. My November website will include details about it and some pictures.
Hello everyone, welcome into my birthday month, September. We had record high heat in August and it was a challenge to stay cool.
Every Summer Westside Church offers a baptism in the Deschutes River. I was escorted out to a swift section of water where I was totally immersed in the cold river and reborn as a committed member of the church. About sixty other people, both children and adults, were baptized that night as the congregation sang songs of praise and thanksgiving. I have had an intimate relationship with God during my recovery and it was appropriate to celebrate my new life in this ancient way.
I went down to Marin to spend time with Dad and Nancy while Mom was graduating from her "Coaching" training. During my time there I visited Grandma Gilmour, which is always enjoyable for me. I also straightened some shelves at "Paradise Foods", visited with my favorite McCook cousin who came to the store to have lunch with me, and I saw two movies on this vacation; "Freaky Friday" and "Uptown Girl".
Some VERY exciting recent news for me is that I will be traveling down to Chico, CA to participate in a scientific study. The treatments will involve spending 2-4 hours a day in a "Hyperbaric Chamber". I am part of a research program using oxygen under pressure for healing. See the project at WWW.HBOTODAY.COM.
So, please keep me in your prayers from September 20th to mid October as I accelerate my healing process. I will borrow a lap-top and continue to communicate to you about my experiences and time there.
I have many inspirational pictures all around my house and I made three new treasure maps to bring with me. One of them has a wonderful message that I utterly trust and believ in......
"Your body has a Blueprint, a Schematic of what perfect health is, and knows
exactly how to achieve this goal. All it needs from you is a little
assistance by creating a healthy lifestyle; then the healing miracle
I've had a very memorable and fabulous month in July.
Hillary and Paul's wedding was spectacular! I felt honored to be a bridesmaid. It was at Black Butte Ranch and the setting and views were sensational as soon as the smoke from a nearby forest fire lifted. The Cascade mountain range was in full view from the wedding site which was in an aspen grove beside a lake. I loved visiting with family members and spending quality time with Granny, Dad and Nancy. Mom was the wedding officiate and she did a heavenly job (if you know what I mean). I enjoyed seeing family members notice how beautiful she is, especially on the wedding day. Because she has been so intensely involved with my care, many family members haven't seen her for several years.
It was Mom's 56th birthday on July 25th. I had ballet in the morning and then took her to lunch at one of her favorite restaurants. Next, we took a bicycle taxi ride downtown and later she went out with her brother and nephews to see a 3D movie.
We celebrated dinner together with the family at a Mexican restaurant. She said it was the best birthday she's had in a year!
I had my six month visit with my physiatrist, Dr. Stewart who records my progress. He was impressed with my continuing development and we had a discussion about my future. He wrote prescriptions for both the balance master machine at St. Charles Hospital and a complete neuropsychological evaluation. I feel happy to have a plan for ongoing therapies and evaluations. I know that my determination will lead me to a full recovery.
Hello, welcome into Summer! I'm having a super Summer so far. The current big feature in my life is my sister Hillary's wedding, which will take place this weekend on July 12. Hillary and her maid of honor came to Bend last week to visit us to discuss upcoming wedding details and I can tell it will be a beautiful event. I tried on the dress she selected for me to wear as a bride's maid and it is a gorgeous green skirt with a white top. I have been practicing for months to move my body gracefully and I'm very thankful to have an escort for the walk down the aisle with high-heeled shoes, which will be a first!
Last month Mom and I attended a ballet performance, which took place at the new Summit High School. My ballet teacher organized the show and it was so uplifting and entertaining for me to see all of the beautiful movements that the human body is capable of. I loved imagining myself as an elegant dancer and I am confirming to myself that the day will come.
I celebrated my 3 year anniversary at Sylvan Learning Center last month. My instructor let me choose where we would eat lunch and then she came to Acrovision Sports Center to watch me perform in my afternoon lesson. I loved it!
With accompaniment I've started to take some summer bike rides on my 3 wheel bicycle and I am memorizing the routes in several directions. I'm looking forward to zooming around town on my own someday.
Altogether my life is unfolding very wonderfully and I feel that it is because I allow the divine spirit of God to always be by my side. I have many positive quotes and reminders posted all around my house and I would like to share a few of them with you.
Last week Westside Church honored its 1000 member fellowship volunteers at a special celebration. I was presented with a certificate for my monthly contributions of birthday cakes to the Young Adult group that I meet with each Sunday evening. I walked down the red carpeted aisle on my own and enjoyed applause from the entire congregation. It felt like I had just been awarded the Miss America crown.
I attended the first level 3 Golden Bridge workshop last weekend with 15 other participants. The theme was about the Law of Attraction, understanding the importance of being grateful, and making room for positive forces to impact our lives. So far I've noticed a boost in my confidence while walking downtown and in my ballet routines.
Thank you for your prayers and blessings, they are having a powerful impact
on my recovery.
At the Acrovision gymnasium last month I continued to improve my time for the speed walk and I'm featured on their website. You can check it out at: www.AcrovisionSportsCenter.com You click on "TEAMS" to see me in action.
Mom and I were visited last month by our State case worker. He does an annual review of my abilities and needs for supplemental funds from the state of Oregon. He was very impressed with my confidence as I walked for him and my clarity in our hour long visit.
Unfortunately because of Oregon State budget cuts to Senior and Disabled services, my state benefits have been eliminated. Thankfully I'll still receive a monthly Federal stipend but the reduction affects me deeply.
I am inviting family and friends to join "Team Tudor", to sponsor me in my recovery. We have created a trust fund for this purpose. The funds are needed for the next 2 years.
A personal invention of mine-
GOLD METAL- $200.OO or more per month
SILVER METAL- $1OO.OO per month
BRONZE METAL- $50.00 per month
CHEERING SECTION- $1-49 per month
Everyone is welcome to sponsor my wellness by mailing me uplifting messages and being part of "Team Tudor", where everyone wins.
"I am the one whose praise echoes on high
I adore all the earth
I am the breeze that nurtures all things green
I encourage blossoms to flourish with ripening fruits.
I am led by the spirit to feed the purest streams.
I am the rain coming from the dew
that causes the grasses to laugh with the joy of life.
I am the yearning for good."
-Hildegard of Binger
Last month during Spring Break Dad came to Bend and we stayed at Sunriver Resort for three nights enjoying beautiful river and mountain vistas. At night from our balcony we could see millions of stars and constellations and we appreciated all of God's creations.
Dad attended my Acrovision session with me and I set new records in the 40 foot speed walk and on the trampoline. Observers always bring out the champion in me and I achieve a personal best. Dad said that he is very impressed with my progress in the gym. I'm noticing that my skills at Acrovision are helping me during my ballet lessons to jump and land softly on a hardwood floor.
Enclosed is a picture of me at my cousin's 9th birthday party on April 1st (no foolin'). Sending you miles of hugs for a Happy Easter!
I began using the "Balance Master" machine at St. Charles Hospital in February. I went twice a week for an hour session with a physical therapist. Harnessed in for safety, the machine produced visual images (games) requiring me to shift my weight in all directions. I loved getting immediate feedback from a computerized device. I felt like a champ seeing my scores improve from 30-40% to 90-100% in the beginning level drills. I have a list of exercises to continue at home and I will return for re-testing in April. It was nice to see my old friends at St. Charles Rehab and they congratulated me on my progress.
Last week in church I was standing at the end of a row of seats and a woman came to the edge and wanted to sit in an inner seat and I shifted myself back on my heels and that created enough room for her to slide in. After I did that I thought to myself 'that ability is new!' I'm aware of my progress!
My bedroom is getting completely reorganized; I feel as though I have moved. When Aunt Tudor was over yesterday (3/3/03) we transferred all of my clothes from a tall dresser to a low one. The new one is 3 feet high and 4 feet long and is placed on the opposite side of my room. My desk and computer are against the forward window and my futon bed is over the Jacuzzi. So, my room feels like an open dance studio. These changes have been good for my brain.
Thank you for holding me in a visual image of balance and grace. Please continue, your thoughts and wishes are working for me! Ask me how you can join TEAM TUDOR at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know
that through your prayers and the help given
by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened
to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly
expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed,
but will have sufficient courage so that now as
always Christ will be exalted in my body.
The highlight of the weekend was driving to Black Butte ranch to view Hillary and Paul's wedding site. I was able to envision the July wedding ceremony and imagine myself carrying a bouquet of flowers and walking gracefully down the grassy aisle. Being a bridesmaid provides an added incentive to reaching my balance and movement goals.
An exciting new development in my physical therapy regimen is the "Balance Master" at St. Charles Hospital. The high-tech machine is designed to measure both pressure and placement of my heels and toes while the floor is shifting. A computer screen illustrates my reactions and I can adjust my feet accordingly. Already I'm making progress in my foot placement. I am scheduled to use the machine twice weekly for the month of February, so I will certainly walk confidently in the wedding.
During the last month we made some structural changes to my bedroom which include a ballet bar, a built-in futon bed, and a new dresser. Now I have a free and open space for dancing and movement.
Thank you for your letters and good wishes. Please keep them coming.
I flew down to my father's house in Marin County for a 10 day Christmas Holiday trip. We spent time each day at Paradise Foods. I helped straighten the shelves and also did some shopping for myself. Paradise offers delicious and unusual foods.
One day I asked my Dad for some information on the Gilmour family and he showed me a beautiful picture album that my Uncle Roy recently put together. It had a different page for each person (10 people) and had pictures of them at all ages, so it was very helpful for me to relearn the faces of my relatives.
On Christmas day about 30 family members gathered at my Aunt and Uncle's house for a dinner party. We also celebrated my Grandmother's 86th birthday by preparing her long-time favorite dishes; tamale pie, sauerkraut, green salad, and several desserts. Everyone shared a memorable childhood Christmas experience. This was my longest trip away from home and I enjoyed myself the whole time.
At the beginning of this year I attended a "Golden Bridge" workshop with 43 other adults. There I set several resolutions, listened to other peoples' life perspectives, and expressed my current feelings of joy, love, and self-trust. My resolutions include walking on my own at my therapies (rather than using my walker), finding reading material that captures me, and writing 5 letters a week to friends and family.
I invite you all to ask me any questions you may have about my life. You may email your questions to Tudora@Bendnet.com Please continue to visualize me walking gracefully and confidently.
I celebrated Thanksgiving with Mom and a few friends, feasting on turkey, yams, potatoes, salad, and pumpkin pie. We all shared with one another the things that we're thankful for.
Dad came for a visit in the middle of November which gave Mom a much appreciated weekend off. We saw a movie and during our quality time together we had the chance to talk about our personal emotions, on an adult to adult basis. That was a milestone for the two of us.
I got in the holiday spirit this month by seeing "Santa Clause 2" with Tim Allen. The elves moved me to dress in red and green, start decorating the house, and mail my Christmas cards. It was a great family movie for children of all ages. :~)
December 12th marks the 4 year anniversary of my personal marathon which began in Honolulu, Hawaii. This year Mom and I will honor that date by dining at a serene, pleasant restaurant and we'll recount our successes and refine our direction for the next year.
I will perform in a Holiday Gymnastics Show on the 14th of December. My performance is through Acrovision Sports Center and it will take place at the local college, COCC.
The Christmas Story according to Luke:
"And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were so afraid.
And the angels said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
Luke 2: 6-14
I enjoyed a weekend retreat at the Oregon Coast with Crossroads (my young adult Christian companions) last month. It was my first overnight experience away from home and it was really exciting to be on my own. Daily activities centered around group prayers and Bible study. I also walked on the beach with a friend on both sides, sang songs around a campfire, drove along the beautiful coast and saw the local sights.
I began tutoring a 7 year old family friend at my house, once a week. We work on reading, spelling, and writing. I have always loved schoolwork, so I'm enjoying this. Also, it is good for me to experience helping someone else. One of the new vocabulary words I've learned at Sylvan Center is 'humanitarian', and I am one of those.
Please continue to visualize me walking smoothly and confidently. Your visions and prayers are helping me! Thanks!
Fall has definitely come to Bend. The leaves are all different colors, the nights are freezing, and there is snow on the mountains.
My 30th birthday celebration was sensational! We held a dinner party with 16 guests at one of my favorite restaurants, The Pine Tavern. Everyone wrote a special wish for me for the coming year, and I created some goals for myself as well, like regularly walking Stella (my Toy Poodle) and remembering details about my friends, like how they look and what they do.
I got many wonderful gifts from family and friends, including a Digital Camera from my Dad, so I'll be posting photos regularly on this site.
Last weekend, forty two people (including myself) attended an all day personal growth seminar, Golden Bridge- Level 2. I received a standing ovation as I acted out my wish to become a graceful dancer/athlete. Last month I was especially moved by something my physical therapist, Allison Suran, said to our Feldenkrais movement class. "Learn to use your body best so you can go through life in the most pleasant way possible." I am diligently working towards having the full use of my brain and body.
I am approaching 4 years in my recovery process and my Mother has been my full time caregiver. Please tune into a PBS special on 10/9/02 from 9-11pm for a glimpse into the world of care giving. We will be mailing out a newsletter this month inviting you to be on "Tudor's Team."
I am inviting you to be part of my wellness... affirmations, prayers, and visualizations have been very helpful during my healing process. This month please walk 30 feet being aware of your gift of balance and transferring it to me.
September 9, 2002
Welcome into splendid, superb September. For Labor Day Mom and I enjoyed a picnic and sunbathing out at a Cascades Lake. There were many families swimming and windsurfers sailing with gentle breezes. Walking barefoot on the pebbles was a new experience.
Ballet has been very beneficial for the alignment of my shoulders, hips, knees, and toes. I am beginning to understand and feel how all of these elements are connected for movement. I am learning to trust myself enough to stand on my toes.
At Acrovision, my gymnastics training center, I broke my speed walk record today by walking 40 feet in less than 10 seconds on a padded mat. Aunt Tudor calculated that at that rate, it would take me only 9.5 hours to complete a marathon!
September marks a milestone birthday for me. I'll turn 30 on the 24th and will celebrate with family, friends, and my therapists at a dinner party downtown.
A special thank you to those of you who have been praying for my full recovery. I'm making progress all the time. My equilibrium is my focus for this season.
"I am a spirit unto the Lord my God, and unto
humanity a human being.
May my spirit and my soul be eternally aligned
unto the Lord God.
I call forth all that lies in my spirit,
As I avail myself unto the all that is, the Creator
of Life and Light,
To be unto me in the highest level of conduct,
That my Life and my Light reflect the spirit that I am,
for unto God I am.
I commit to a life of a higher order,
That I shall live by the law of my highest being,
Of love and compassion, of joy and beauty, of
reverence for all life.
So be it. Amen.
-Jacqueline T. Snyder
Founder of Sacred Life Association
It's been a very hot summer in Bend, breaking all temperature records during the month of July. We stayed cool by keeping our doors and mini-blinds closed all day, and exercising early in the morning or in the evenings.
Mom's birthday was July 25th so I spent the whole month organizing a party for her. After a dinner party we went to "Ben and Jerry's" for some ice cream cake. Mom and I rode in a bicycle taxi and all our guests followed on bicycles. It was very colorful. Mom was wearing her birthday crown and gold cape so everyone stopped to observe us passing.
The McCooks are here in town for a family reunion. We have had dinner parties and athletic activities like biking, hiking, and swimming in the river daily. Some family members have visited the local specialty stores and have had spa treatments from Mom.
This month I began private ballet lessons at a studio down the road. My balance and flexibility have greatly improved and I am walking more gracefully. I'm learning the basic ballet positions and moving slowly across the floor with music.
"I am inviting you to be part of my wellness... affirmations, prayers, and visualizations have been very helpful during my healing process. This month please walk 30 feet being aware of your gift of balance and transferring it to me.
Welcome into jumping, jubilant, joyful July.
For me the highlight of June was giving a presentation at "Crossroads", the young adult group that I meet with each Sunday evening. I got myself prepared with notes and a chronological outline that I could follow, and it went along so nicely. I talked for 30 minutes and then answered questions that people had for me. I also passed out magnets that were hand-painted by Mom with the message "Love is the best medicine." It was so fun! The leader at "Crossroads" saw my notes and said to me "My, you're all ready for 'Oprah.' " And I said "I'm getting myself prepared."
I went into the library last week and filled out a volunteer application, so I'll receive a call later this week and we'll talk about when I can come work there. I'm excited for that to start.
I have a three-wheel bike that is fun to ride. I'm taking some summer bike rides with Mom. We went down to "The Old Mill" district for dinner a few days ago. It felt great to get exercise, then dine, and get more exercise.
Please continue to visualize me having perfect balance!
Our local schools will be out next week and that frees up my Monday and Friday mornings. I'm going to inquire at The Bend Library for a volunteer position as a reader to youngsters. I've thoroughly enjoyed interacting with students that are beginning their lessons in reading.
Now the sunny Spring weather is here everyday and I go out on walker walks. I am greeted by name from strangers, and they say "I read that article in The Bulletin and I'm so glad to hear your story. You are an inspiration to me."
I recommend to all of us to become more aware of the natural beauties in our lives and to be thankful for the abundance of love that God gives each of us.
I have been using my walker to go on walks with my dog, Stella in our lovely neighborhood park, Drake Park, which is along the Deschutes River. There is a footbridge that crosses over the river and as I walk I can pause and observe the wildlife; geese, ducks, and swans. There will be a large, yearly race event in two weeks and people are out in the park area riding bikes, running, and canoeing, getting geared up for the big day.
Gardening is a new activity that I'm really enjoying this Spring, and will continue to do all summer. I walked to our library last week and checked out several gardening books to learn the names of flowers and different gardening techniques. I'm using some new pink gloves that are both practical and stylish to plant my pansies and petunias.
Our local newspaper, The Bulletin, is doing an article about me and the instrumental part that Mom has played in my healing process. The story will appear in the Sunday Mother's Day newspaper. A reporter and photographer attended my therapy sessions with me and made home visits to get more acquainted with me and Mom.
I will put some of the story on this website when it comes out- so check for it after the 12th.
Love your mother and enjoy Spring.
Mom and I went to the San Luis Obispo area for an Easter family reunion at my Great Uncle's ranch with more than 100 relatives. We missed the camping, barbeques, and social activities because the drive took longer than expected, however we arrived in time for a fun-filled Easter picnic and met dozens of cousins.
Granny returned to Bend with us and shared the driving with Mom. She stayed at our house for several days and attended my classes for one day. We commuted together to my exercise classes on the "Dial-a-Ride" van and she observed my routines at the gym.
It was great to spend time with Granny here at home. I'm enjoying the freshness and newness of Spring which has finally come to Bend.
Magnificent March 2002
Last week I was one of the lucky students to be presented with an award for Student of the Month from Sylvan Learning Center. I felt honored to receive the certificate and for the month of March my photograph will be up on the wall, furthermore the director will take me out to lunch and a matinee.
Dad visited me last weekend. We went out to lunch in Sunriver, which is a resort town 30 minutes away, so that gave us some quality time to visit with each other. Also, we walked several miles as we shopped.
For Easter, Mom and I will attend a family celebration in Southern California at a ranch. I will be revisiting not only family but some of my former outdoor activities. I plan to sleep in a tent in my sleeping bag and sing around a campfire.
Due to excessive unsolicited emails I've changed my address to email@example.com
Speaking of love, Zoey my former beloved lab/rottweiler dog is no longer with us, but she holds a special place in our hearts. My stuffed "Zoey" dog is even more precious now than before and she gets 24 hour bed privileges.
I started attending a Young Adult gathering on Sunday evenings at a local cafe. It's a great opportunity to make new friends and share personal thoughts and experiences. The group leader is a church staff member who encourages us to discuss our individual goals and aspirations. I felt comfortable expressing myself and hearing others share their personal issues.
I have made a new friend and she and I went out to dinner the other night and we enjoyed one another's company. It gives me a sense of satisfaction to go out with another young adult and to have an entertaining evening.
For Thanksgiving I flew to the Bay Area to visit my Dad, Nancy, and relatives. Highlights included visiting with family members and riding the moving sidewalk at the airport. My Dad's grocery store, Paradise Foods, had a record breaking sales day the day before Thanksgiving and it was exciting to see the store so busy.
Last Saturday night I participated in the Acrovision Holiday Faire which was held at the local college. All the gymnasts, including myself, performed before several hundred spectators. It felt very rewarding to be on stage doing physical movements.
This year for Christmas I am creating some handmade gifts using some of my favorite sayings that I've collected.
I'm wishing everyone good health, peace of mind, and great joy this holiday season.
I am once again a teacher's aide at the elementary school one block from our house, two mornings a week. I assist the teacher by reading with small groups of first grade students. I give spelling tests, correct papers, and type up the students' stories on the computer. It feels so fulfilling for me to be in a position where I can assist students in their learning process.
For Thanksgiving, I will fly to the SF Bay Area to visit my Dad, Nancy and many relatives. My sisters from Southern California will be joining us. I am confident that my travels will be safe.
I WISH EVERYONE A BOUNTIFUL THANKSGIVING!
October 3, 2001
Welcome into Optimistic October! I celebrated my 29th birthday on September 24th by having a dinner party at a local restaurant with family and friends.
We each prepared our own Oriental dish and it was cooked on a searing hot grill right before our eyes. For dessert my wish came true when the chocolate/raspberry cake appeared with balloons and gifts. It was a very fine evening.
This year at school I am a teacher's aide twice a week in two different classrooms. I work with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students on reading, spelling, and comprehension. It feels great to be back in school and have some students say "Hi Tudor" as I walk around in the halls.
I enjoyed attending the Golden Bridge workshop for the third time last month. It was an important time to feel and know that we, as humans, are all connected, after the events in New York City on September 11th.
I have scheduled myself for gymnastics at Acrovision three times a week. I am learning to trust myself as I move my body around the gym. The entire floor space is padded which builds confidence and inspires me to take new risks.
August 8, 2001
Hello! My life is going really well! I feel like I'm beginning to re-enter the real world with a more solid and secure state of mind these days.
I had a fantastic time visiting Dad and Nancy in California last month. The new "Paradise Foods" is spectacular. Dad put me to work straightening merchandise on the shelves. I am proud of him!
My mother's birthday was last week and a friend and I held a pot-luck dinner party for her at a nearby park. It was a joyful celebration! People brought tasty dishes and we all enjoyed each other's company. I surprised Mom by playing "Happy Birthday" on my recorder.
This summer my therapies are going really well; they include readiing at Sylvan Center and gymnastics. I go to the gymnasium twice a week and I LOVE IT! I work on the low balance beam, parallel bars, and a trampoline. The flooring in the gymnasium is all padded, so I discard my fear of falling at the door.
The weather in Bend is fabulous, so I go on walks daily with "Harley"; my three wheeled walker. Hope all is well with you! Tudor
June 18, 2001
Last Sunday at church the service was given by Richard Benson. He is a magnificent man. We honored my Mom by reading the words to a terrific song by Celine Dion, "Because You Love Me." The words to the chorus of that song are:
"You were my strength when I was weak,
You were my voice when I couldn't speak,
You were my eyes when I couldn't see,
You saw the best there was in me,
You picked me up when I couldn't reach,
You gave me faith 'cause you believe,
I'm everything I am because you love me..."
It was wonderful! I then attended a very special gathering of people last weekend, called The Golden Bridge Workshop. While there, I became more conscious and aware of who I am as an independent individual and how special and unique we all are, as humans.
Schools are now out for summer break, so my teacher's aide position is over. I feel like I've advanced to the next grade too, along with all my students. I did have a tremendously good experience there. On the last day of school the teacher gave me a marvelous treasure. It was a notebook full of papers from the students. Each of them created their own drawing and wrote what they enjoyed about my visits in their classroom. I will cherish this present for many years!
This week, at the Sylvan Learning Center, I will be celebrating my 1 year anniversary. I am noticing that my reading and math levels are much higher. My comprehension is still an area that I'm working on, but it's getting better and better.
Next week I am going to go to Dad's house. There I will get to see the new Paradise Foods Store. I'm excited! I hear that business is going very well there. I hope you all have a fantastic summer and thrilling fourth of July!
April 30, 2001
Hello! Welcome into Magnificent May. I have a subscription to Oprah's magazine and in the May issue there is this wonderful article on "smiling". In fact, I'm still smiling after reading that article. The author notes that "When you're smiling you're measurably lowering your stress level, boosting your immune system, improving your complexion, and lengthening your life. No wonder the whole world smiles with you." Since reading this I have noticed while out on my walks that greeting a stranger with a smile creates a good, positive feeling for both of us.
During my regular visits to the local market to shop for lunch and dinner items, I am frequently greeted by name by staff members. This is a spring-board to feeling like a Bend community member. Taking Stella (our Toy Poodle) on my walks is a sure conversation starter every time!
This month I will be starting a new class. It is called "Awareness Through Movement" and will emphasize flexibility, balance, and strength. It is going to be taught by my physical therapist. I'll be there with a big smile on my face.
March 20, 2001
It has been my "turn" to write the website entry for many months now! There are so many wonderful things to write about Miss Tudor's progress that I hardly know where to begin. As I review my role thus far in the 27 month healing process, I realize that my job changes almost as often as Tudor does. For the first month in Hawaii, I was mostly a bedside sitter, holding positive thoughts amidst grim facts and marveling at the modern technology that was keeping my daughter alive. I shall always remember the divine feeling of being focused upon in the supercharged network of loving, supporting prayers and good wishes. Love is the best medicine in the world.
When we returned to Portland, I became a more active participant in the care and feeding of my sleeping child. With my mother's help, taking turns and practically becoming CNA's, we hovered for 64 days as Tudor became conscious; creating a cheerful environment for her to awake into. At the nursing home I was able to take charge of her liquid diet adding herbs, minerals and other nutrients. When we moved to Good Samaritan Hospital/Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon, I was advised to simply relax, be a cheerleader and take notice of the skilled therapists and professionals at work. Six weeks later Tudor was discharged and we came back to Bend and I became a full time Caretaker. A huge job that is even now a bit of a blurr; three meals a day, up in the night, loading and unloading the wheelchair into the car, and hundreds of miles back and forth to St. Charles for therapies! With miraculous progress, Tudor finished O.T. in June and started taking a transportation service to and from St. Charles. She completed her speech and language and P.T. at the hospital in December. Around that time, my job changed to being a Caregiver. This portion has involved rebuilding and balancing emotional levels, upper division cooking, domestic engineering and continuously passing more responsibility directly to Tudor. Some days I pretend I'm a "slouch" roommate leaving lights on, or a big mess in the kitchen as a test for her sense of boundaries or as a question for her to determine her own values for eventually living with others or on her own. Sometimes I'm a "butt kicker" saying that there will be no more wheelchair/walker/cane in the house or that it's TIME to move to the next level of competence. If some stage is taking "longer" that seems natural, we stop to heal the emotions that are restricting the flow of the process, and build esteem, confidence and empowerment. It is wonderful to see and know that she is excited about her life as she takes on one more job or task. Tudor is doing well with her housekeeping and she is currently learning how to prepare more meals from scratch and date foods in the refrigerator, since her smell memory cannot yet identify freshness.
Soon I will become her "landlady." In several months she will move into the guest room as a tenant and practice being fiscally responsible in doing more of her grocery shopping and bill paying.
We are conveniently located in Bend and she can walk to the bank, post office, market, downtown shops, The Computer Learning Center, and to her volunteer job at the elementary school using her "Harley" walker. Branching out into the community, she is involved in some church activities and a College Community Education excercise class which is helping with her balance, walking, and socializing.
Eventually, with Tudor in the guestroom I will refurbish my office and begin my practice on a very small scale; partly because all my massage musculature atrophied while I was in the bedside phase, and secondly because most of my attention is still on Tudor's healing. She has been my only customer!
Each time we make a big change it takes TIME to settle into the new pattern and find out what works for her learning style and make adjustments so that there is balanced whole-brain, aligned health occuring. The short term memory is still quite short, but with her Palm Pilot, life is organized and literally at hand. She is managing more and more of her life all the time. She is cheerful, happy, and pleasant to be with. Tudor is in excellent health, has never had any physical pain from her injuries, nor so much as a cold in over two years!
Living at home provides her with continuity in an environment that she has memorized and can make improvements within. Her goal is to live with roommates sometime towards the end of this year, have a small job, and continue refreshing her general knowledge and physical stability. At that point, it means I will have kicked my little eagle out of the nest and return to being just a mom.
We were given an Amaryllis bulb for Christmas that slowly produced two stalks and just recently opened into eight flaming red trumpeting flowers! We marveled at the intelligence of the bulb to know exactly what to do as it was growing towards it's full expression. Many times in the last six weeks we have affirmed that her body too knows exactly what to do in repairing itself, has perfect timing, and is an elegant expression of life.
Thanks for all your loving kindness across the miles. We are especially grateful for all the help we receive from Tudor's dad David, and the Gilmour clan, and from Aunt Tudor, who gives her time and expertise each week in Speech and Language, and for all good wishes from friends and relatives who hold a vision of well being for Tudor. Also we are most appreciative for the donations that make this work possible. We acknowledge all the love that is coming our way and we circle it back to you. Happy Springtime!
February 20, 2001
My life is going really well. I'm busy doing some new activities. I'm a teacher's aide at a nearby elementary school two mornings a week. It's a first grade classroom with many eager students. I help the teacher by reading individually with the students and typing their stories. I have always loved school so this is a natural place for me to be.
I started a new class through the community college. It's called "You Can Change Your Body" and my goal is to feel balanced and grounded when I walk. There are about 30 adults in the class and everyone has a health condition that they are working on.
I just returned from the Bay Area. I was there for a three day visit to see my Dad and Nancy and other family members. Grandma Gilmour hosted several gatherings for us. My sister and cousin both recently had babies and we shared some time with them. It was very fun watching the babies interact. I had lunch with one of my college friends and I got to tour Dad's new grocery store which looks fantastic and exciting. He's working hard for the upcoming opening day.
January 2, 2001
Happy New Year 2001!! Here are some highlights of the last month. I attended the "Golden Bridge" workshop the first weekend of the New Year. I learned the importance of expressing a wide range of emotions, that we as humans are all unique, and I made some new friends. I made a "treasure map", a visual blueprint of life goals.
On December 12th, my two year anniversary in recovery, I took Mom out to dinner at an elegant restaurant and I had a savory shrimp meal. During the past year I have noticed that I am able to hold more information and knowledge in all aspects of daily life. My balance and strength continue to improve and I walk confidently with a cane. I'm currently working with a new physical therapist and I have a great connection with her which enhances my progress.
For Christmas we enjoyed a large gathering and I had the opportunity to socialize with family and friends. I was well prepared for the holidays this year because I had taken a solo shopping trip to buy presents.
Lately the weather in Bend is very chilly with night snow storms on the mountain. The local skiers are thrilled, but my walks in the park happen infrequently these days. I'm exercising indoors now, both at home and at the gym. I also am reading avidly and enjoying some great books with accompanying videos.
October 24, 2000
I have been enjoying the fall weather on my daily walks in the park. I notice the large variety of colors from the trees and leaves flying in the wind. Families are out in the park wrestling in the huge piles of leaves.
My therapy schedule has changed a lot. I now have the opportunity to plan some of my own exercise routines. So far I have walked to the market and shopped for groceries, walked downtown to have dinner, and strolled in the park.
In the kitchen I am preparing some delicious stir-fry dinners for myself and Mom.
September 26, 2000
We celebrated my 28th birthday this last weekend with family and friends, local and out of town guests. There was a women's dinner party on Saturday night, then a group of us stayed together overnight at the Inn of the Seventh Mountain resort. On Sunday, my actual birthday, we enjoyed brunch together.
I appreciated receiving many cards and gifts from friends and family. My parents' gifts included a Palm Pilot and some academic software so I'm busily learning many new skills right now. Stay tuned for some birthday pictures.
September 4 - Labor Day
Welcome to Super September!
I’ve just returned from a ten day visit with Dad and Nancy. Some of the highlights were seeing cousin Chelsea and her new baby boy, Chase; going to the San Francisco Zoo; enjoying a great Chinese lunch and visit with my old college friends, Christa and Elena; going to Grandma Gilmour’s church, followed by brunch at Lafayette Park Hotel; playing scrabble; planning my birthday party (soon I will be 28!); and finally, going to Dad and Nancy’s church this week.
Dad and I read books, watched videos, addressed my birthday invitations, and saw the beginning of construction for Paradise Foods, a new market he and Nancy own. I kept my regular schedule for meals, rest, and exercise, and am ready to resume my physical and speech therapy at St. Charles Hospital, aqua therapy at Bend Athletic Club, and my reading, writing, and arithmetic at Sylvan Learning Center.
Of course, seeing many other family members and friends of the family was very nice, too!
August 13, 2000
Hello! For the past week my entire family was here for a family reunion. During the week there were lots of activities. There was a canoe trip on the Deschutes River, hikes in the Cascades, and swimming in several lakes. We celebrated a few birthdays and anniversaries and enjoyed dining together.
My Dad and Nancy joined us for a few days and as usual we had a great time. My sister, Hillary arrived with Zoey and we enjoyed playing together for a week. I rode my bike to the school playground nearby and I got to watch Dad and Zoey play catch with a ball.
Mom bought a new exercise machine for both of us to use. The stair-stepper enhances balance and develops leg strength. I have a daily work out program at home which feels great.
Life is very enjoyable.
July 25, 2000
My Mom went on a 9 day vacation, and just returned home today, her birthday. During that time her mother, my Granny was here looking after me. We had a lot of laughs, fun, and a good time being together. My Dad came up here for a few days too and we went up to Portland together. There we saw my sister Hillary in her new house and my dog, Zoey. Hillary is currently taking care of Zoey and so I don't have to give her away. I am still taking classes at the Sylvan Center and I love them, especially writing.
The summer weather in Bend is beautiful, it's always sunny and sparkly. It's an incentive to be outside, wear shorts and enjoy summer activities.
July 5, 2000
Independence Day had a significant meaning to me this year and I am celebrating by being more independent every day. I am now making all the arrangements for transporting myself to my rehab appointments by taxi, dial a ride or transport service. I am exclusively using a cane to get around. In the afternoons, bike rides provide a great exercise routine.
June 22, 2000
Hello from Tudor. We celebrated Summer Solstice by retiring my wheeled walker (Harley). Now I am getting myself around using 1 or 2 forearm crutches. This makes me feel more confident.
My Dad was here for the last six days. This year Father's Day was very memorable for both of us. We spent some time riding bikes in the park. He took me to rehab, Sylvan Learning Center and aqua therapy. We also enjoyed several meals out at restaurants and saw a movie together.
June 6, 2000
Jovial June is off to a good start. I'm proud to say I rode my new bike about 5 blocks to the local ice cream parlor and treated myself to a scoop of Oreo Cookies and Cream. It felt wonderful to have that new experience on a bike. I went to the Sylvan Learning Center for the first time this week. There I will learn to develop my reading and writing comprehension skills. Soon I will be reading novels and writing at a more advanced level. The Dial a Ride van is my new mode of transportation to all of my rehab activities. I like traveling independently.
We are still looking for a great home for Zoey, please let us know if you have a good idea.
May 23, 2000
Today I have a special request for all my web-site readers. I'm hoping that you might pass this message along to some of your friends. I'm seeking a good home for my dear dog Zoey. She is an 8 year old rottweiler/black lab mix. She is gorgeous, gentle, calm, leash trained, doesn't bark, good with children, likes activity and other dogs and is spayed.
She needs a fenced yard with no cats. I'm looking for an adoptive, active family to enjoy her loving company.
Please call or e-mail me. My phone number is (541) 389-6624. Phone message may be left at (541) 389-6266. My e-mail is: Tudor@bendnet.com Thanks!
May 16, 2000
My trip to Portland was fantastic. Many places we saw felt familiar to me. Mom and I stayed at the Benson Hotel. We enjoyed visits and meals with Hillary who also was in Portland for the weekend. I went to RIO (hospital) to meet with my doctors and therapists. Everyone noted that I look great and I've made a lot of progress in the last year.
I spent some time with my dog, Zoey and my friend Mary Jane, Zoey's care taker. Zoey and I still have a close connection.
Back in Bend we are working on figuring out the best situation for my future. We'll keep you posted.
May 9, 2000
It's been a busy week for me. Dad got me a three wheel bike. So now I can go on bike rides for balance work, exercise, endurance and strength building. Tomorrow morning I'm going to take "Dial a Ride" taxi service to therapy. I'll be going to rehab on my own for the first time.
On Friday Mom and I are going to Portland to meet Hillary for a special Mother's Day time together. We plan to visit the hospital where I first had rehab.
Also I will see my dog, Zoey and some Portland friends. I am excited. I'll give a full report next week.
Thursday, April 27
Got to relax, which felt great. In the afternoon we went to see a movie, "Return to Me." I liked that movie a lot. Then we went to West Marin and had dinner. When we got home we all watched "Frasier."
Friday, April 28
Breakfast at Willie's and a real tour of Woodlands Market. The floral department is marvelous and we took several pictures in the store. One by the HealthNotes computer which is the company I was working for when I went to Hawaii. Rest and homework in the afternoon. I took Dad, Nancy and Grandma Gilmour out to dinner for my last night of vacation. We are watching "Kids Say the Darndest Things." Saturday it is back to Bend and my Spring Breakfast is over. It's been terrific!
Wednesday, April 26
After breakfast at Willie's I took a tour of Woodlands Market and then headed off to Berkeley to see my friend Bronwyn. We had a great visit and made plans for Bronwyn to visit me in Bend this summer. Another college friend, my sister Hillary and my cousin Megan called for brief telephone visits. I am getting plenty of rest and plenty of physical exercise.
Tuesday, April 25
Dad, Nancy & I had a wonderful time at the Oakland City Zoo. We rode in a golf cart with Ray who has been a docent for years. Here's some interesting things I learned.
1. A large elephant eats 300 pounds of food every day.
2. Zebras are very feisty and can kick hard enough to break a lion's jaw.
3. A baby giraffe is born while the mother giraffe is standing up.
We saw camels, bears, tigers, monkeys, wallabies, meerkats, goats, and many kinds of birds.
Monday, April 24
Christa & Elena, my two college buddies joined us for lunch at Goat Hill Pizza in SF. We all brought pictures and memories from our days in Humboldt. Dad took pictures of the three of us which were developed right away and look great. Tomorrow we are off to the Oakland Zoo!
Saturday, April 22
My sister, Robin and her friend took me to Grandma Gilmour's house for brunch. After a great meal we dyed Easter eggs and I took my nap. My cousin Jon came over for a visit and Dad came to pick me up. My college roommate, Christa Murray came for dinner and we enjoyed a pizza while we caught up.
Nancy helped me get ready and we all went to St. John's Episcopal Church for a traditional service with choir and trumpets. I enjoyed singing the hymns and hearing the story of Easter. After a quick lunch and a good rest we had a party. Some of our family and friends were there. I was so happy to see my cousins Chelsea and Emily.
Friday, April 21
Hello from Ross. I had a wonderful flight to SFO where Dad & Nancy met me right as I got off of the plane at 3:20 PM. We had a relaxing evening after I got unpacked and put everything in the right place.
April 11, 2000
Hello everyone! Welcome to Adventuresome April.
I went to the doctor the other day and reported what I'm going through. I said, "Every time I urinate I'm leaking coins, dimes,quarters, pennies". The doctor said "You are definitely going through some change." Ha, ha, ha, ha!
Many things in my life are developing in a positive way this month. My memory, physical skills, my mind, and humor. I am experiencing life as a wonderful and special gift that each of us is given. We are all so lucky. To have emotions, senses, a brain, and physical abilities is so unique.
I am now the proud new owner of a pair of high-tech crutches. They support my forearms and allow me to stand up straight. I can walk more smoothly with them and stand up tall. They are definitely easier for me to put in the car.
I am also experiencing Spring Fever this month. This week I sat in the sun and felt rejuvenated. I noticed flowers blooming and heard birds singing. In 10 days I will be taking my first solo air plane flight to San Francisco. I am climbing our stairs at home everyday to get ready to get on that plane. I am looking forward to seeing the Gilmour family, celebrating Easter, and going to the Zoo....to see what giraffes and panda bears really look like.
March 8, 2000
Hello everyone, this is Tudor welcoming you to Magnificent March. I am really excited about all of the mental and physical gains in the past several weeks. In January I started having a protein smoothie for breakfast and some more brain tonics. My memory is improving noticeably. It is easier now to remember my daily schedule, jokes, where household things belong, phone numbers and people's names. I can hold more information for longer periods of time. I can feel my brain cells reconnecting. Yahoo! Yesterday I could recall 26 of our 50 states in about one minute.
In 9 months of therapy at St. Charles I have gone from "severe brain damage" to a "mild deficit" in my testing scores. Thank you for your continued prayers. I plan total wellness for myself.
February 15, 2000
Fabulous February has been full of fun since the first. My sister Hillary requested that I do a somersault in PT as a birthday gift. So I did it several times and it felt great. It let me know that I am flexible and capable of accomplishing my goals.
In PT I practice my walking, shifting my weight evenly. It is very easy to do in water. Aqua therapy is really helping my body to remember how to walk. The warm water helps my muscles to relax and I feel safe.
In OT I've been doing research. I'm looking into residential programs and exploring other opportunities for later this year. There will be a time this year that I will transition to a more independent environment. I am looking forward to this.
More and more I am able to help Mom with household chores. My endurance is expanding. Some days I can skip my afternoon nap. In Speech and Language my memory is improving. I can remember that an elephant's nose is called a trunk. We laugh ALOT about these words. I have fun re-learning these important things.
Valentine's Day meant so much to me this year. Last year at this time I was just waking up and speaking a few words. This year I was sending and receiving valentines, feeling so grateful for all of the love in my life.
It's great to be awake! Love, Tudor
January 23, 2000
Hi everyone, this is Tudor. I'm writing my own website right now, I'm 59 weeks well! In OT/PT I am working towards self-reliance. I've made cinnamon rolls, and brownies and lots of friends who could smell them in the oven. Changing the sheets on my bed, putting them through the laundry and making my bed all by myself, was my big accomplishment this weekend. Even though it wore me out, it feels great to be able to do things independently.
I am becoming more and more aware of the healing process for a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). We decided to use the phrase "Totally Beautiful Individual" instead. Our affirmations are working wonders!
In Speech I am working on re-wiring my general knowledge. Elvis Presley is the King of rock and roll, and Denver is the capital of Colorado. Someday I will be ready for Jeopardy, but for now the Wheel of Fortune has my attention every night at 7.
Thank you all for the healing, positive thoughts and encouragement! I can feel your love, it makes a big difference.
Look for another update in Fabulous February.
Love yourself. Tudor
"IT'S GREAT TO BE AWAKE"
January 2, 2000
Happy New Year everyone and welcome to "Jubilant January"!
We enjoyed a warm and wonderful holiday season this year. Tudor brought a new awareness to Christmas 1999 seeing lights, decorations, cards and our tree, as if for the first time. Her excitement and appreciation were contagious. We attended several holiday parties and Tudor maneuvered herself quite well with her "Harley" walker which was decorated with bells, a sparkling snowflake and ornaments. Her sense of humor is coming through loud and clear these days.
Tudor had such fun in OT making dog biscuits and gingerbread house dough which required long standing at the kitchen counter. She has been spending more time in the kitchen at home making her own lunches on the weekends and emptying the dishwasher from time to time. Also, she is changing her bed sheets and doing a little laundry. All these "maintenance" skills give her a feeling of pride as she moves toward interdependence in this next year of recovery.
In PT, Tudor finished "Delightful December" by taking her first unattended steps! Later that day (the 29th), she walked across the room to Aunt Tudor as a birthday gift and got a big applause from friends and family. Aqua therapy once a week is helping Tudor regain her walking skills. The 94 degree water is only 4 feet deep and supports her body while the PT encourages side to side weight shifting and arm movements for a balanced stride on land.
In Speech and Language, Tudor has been doing critical thinking exercises to sharpen her deduction process. She is also playing word games which she is very good at from having spent so many hours with the "circle-circle" books. These exercises take almost as much energy as physical therapy and she is always ready for an afternoon nap afterwards. Her computer time has expanded to include the card game Solitaire and email correspondence with some new key-pals. She would love to hear from you.
Wishing you a happy and healthful 2000!
December 13, 1999
Tudor has begun the second year on her recovery journey!
All of her rehab therapists at St. Charles Hospital report consistent, steady progress in OT, PT and Speech/Language and note that Tudor's attitude and determination continue to be positive and focussed.They are impressed by her hard work in therapy every day, as she meets the new challenges they create for her. Tudor's goal is to be walking without assistance and performing most household, cooking and living activities independently by this time next year!
Tudor recently had some minor surgery a few weeks ago to improve her breathing and reduce the scar tissue on her neck. Since then, she has been preparing invitations and planning an anniversary party which was held on Sunday, December 12, to celebrate her first year of healing and restoration.
Hosted in the lovely home of Judy and Gary Hoffman, and attended by family, friends, and professionals, it was a meaningful experience for all. Tudor shared some well planned remarks, thanking everyone for their prayers and love, for financial support, and for everyone being there with her. Then she gave special praise to her Mom for continuous primary caregiving around the clock, for her Dad and his frequent visits and phone calls, for Grandma Gilmour and her frequent letters, and Aunt Tudor for her speech and computer lessons. She thanked the physical, occupational and speech therapists for their special skills and for coming to the party.
The group sang a couple of songs and listened to Tudor's favorite, "Because You Love Me" by Celine Dion, which left a few eyes moistened. Everyone felt the joy of the celebration, and shared in the vision of the future when Tudor claimed her continued efforts will lead to total recovery.
As we begin this second year we will keep you informed by entries twice a month and Tudor, herself, will begin to participate in the writing as she continues with her computer lessons. Please continue your prayers and enjoy a Very Merry Christmas!
Click Here To See Pictures of Celebration.
November 19, 1999
We are preparing for the Thanksgiving Holidays and feeling very thankful, not only for the ongoing support of our family and friends, but the continuous and inspiring steps towards recovery that Tudor makes on a daily basis! Tudor is looking forward to a proper celebration on December 12, the one year anniversary of her "Marathon" in Hawaii.
Optimistic October began on a sweet note with Tudor cutting and distributing the last of her fourth birthday cakes. As part of an OT exercise, she sliced, served and placed two portions of cake at a time in her "Harley" front basket (walker) and walked all around the gym sharing her good fortune. So many people at St. Charles Hospital comment on her progress and compliment Tudor on the inspirational way she is moving towards full recovery. She is meeting the challenge to restore body-mind function with a smile and affirmations. Occasionally, she reflects on her losses, grieves and feels sad. However, she returns to an attitude of gratitude, joy and happiness very quickly, thankful that she is alive and able to do all that is required for wellness.
Her physical strength is increasing in both sides of her upper and lower body. The right side is catching up each month. OT has Tudor ironing, writing pretend checks and balancing a checkbook, counting out change and currency, emptying the dishwasher, making the bed, vacuumming and other household chores that she then practices at home. In PT, she continues to exercise on machines that build strength and she is walking on the walkmaster at slow speeds to develop an even gait. Last week we ventured into the employee gym which is filled with exercise equipment and Tudor accomplished 3 minutes on the stairmaster! Yes.....she has decided that she is "in training" for another marathon.
In Speech and Language, the delightful Miss G. is working on memory, memory, memory. Remember that affirmation?
"I HAVE A CLEAR, SHARP MEMORY". Please say it often for Tudor. Thank you. Her vocabulary is fantastic, thanks to her circle-circle word workbooks. She has completed six and is now moving to crossword puzzles.
We celebrate each week of recovery and wellness (44 now), and continue our prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving for all the love and support that comes our way!
October 3, 1999
Tudor spent three days in California at the end of September visiting her dad and Nancy, her first official trip away from home and hospital since last December. The highlight of her visit was a reunion, and the celebration of her 27th birthday (9/24), with the Gilmour Family in Lafayette. She amazed everyone with her spectacular social skills and radiant appearance, demonstrating her many months of consistent therapeutic work and her incredible progress. For several hours she entertained us all with smiles and laughter, displaying a charming and delightful sense of humor.
The following day at St. John's Episcopal Church in Ross, Tudor was offered a special prayer for her day of birth, and in turn, stood up and thanked the entire congregation for the "hands of healing" quilt they had made and given to her. After the service, everyone shared a piece of cake, prepared especially for Tudor's visit, and decorated with colorful handprints duplicating the design of the quilt. This parish has been praying for Tudor consistently, and has contributed significant financial support to the "Tudor Gilmour Trust Fund."
An especially touching time was Tudor's visit with Elena, a close friend from college, who, herself, was recently was hit by a car while riding her moped. She suffered multiple fractures, including both legs, and after a month in the hospital at Stanford, is healing well. They had lunch together with their respective dads, and were so encouraging to each other.
It was a full three days of constant activity, with an additional two days of driving back and forth to California and Oregon, and Tudor handled it all with perfect patience and grace. Shortly before leaving for California, Tudor's doctor and therapists met with her and her family, and unanimously agreed that she is progressing exceptionally well. We celebrated with a homemade chocolate birthday cake baked by one of her therapists and decorated with the words and symbols: Tudor you are a star. Yes, Tudor…you are TRULY a star!
September 19, 1999
Tudor wrapped up Awesome August in fine style and now she is well into Super September. After nine months of wellness, everything about her recovery can be described in superlatives. She has progressed from a standard walker to a nifty maroon three wheeler which she calls "Harley." Harley has hand brakes and a basket. Her walking speed has doubled, her gait is smoother, and she is now able to carry more of her stuff and help with chores like setting the table. When walking in the house (and this morning into church) she sometimes challenges herself to use a cane. A few weeks ago her balance wasn't up to the task; now it is. Her strength and flexibility also continue to improve and are enhanced by weekly massages which are the highlight of her Sunday afternoons. Her vocabulary, word usage, and math abilities continue to delight the St.Charles Speech Therapy Department. Tudor credits the many word books she has completed and steady viewing of "Wheel of Fortune," along with the fine therapists she works with.
Lots of exciting things are happening in other areas as well. Thanks to her Dad, her Aunt Tudor, and Greg she now has her own computer! This gives her an email address at: firstname.lastname@example.org and internet access from her room. It also allows us to update the website from home, which is a great blessing given the paucity of free time in our days. Thank you, David, Tudor, and Greg. It's a wonderful way for Tudor to reconnect.
Tudor is sporting a great new look this fall, just in time for her birthday. She now has contact lenses again and had no trouble remembering how to put them in and take them out. This is another important part of self-care development. Additionally, she has already received an early present of beautiful earrings for her freshly re-pierced ears. All in all, she's looking lovely, feeling confident, and beaming more warmth and happiness than ever. It is a blessing and a joy to spend time with her.
Later this week, David and Nancy will be driving her to the Bay Area for a birthday celebration and visit with the Gilmour family. Tudor will be 27 on September 24th. She would love to hear from her friends and supporters, either by card or by email at the above addresses. Thanks for all the continued love and caring.
September 13, 1999
The next update on this sight will be soon. Please stand by.
August 24, 1999
Tudor named this month well. After spending some time resting after the family reunion. she started another cycle of regeneration. In Speech and Language the emphasis is on remembering current events: the weekend, what she prepared for dinner in OT, who came to visit, as well as general knowledge. These facts consist of "all that information" we collect throughout our lives starting with who we are in relation to our family, community etc. and continuing all the way to a spiritual sense of self.
Tudor is in the process of connecting and rebuilding the neuropaths to those files of information. George Washington is beginning to sound more familiar as our first president. while remembering Elvis Presley as the "King of Rock 'n Roll" is a whole lot easier since he has an audio imprint in her mind.
Another aspect of Speech and Language has been making "lists". The object is to name things that might be found or associated with a kitchen, professions or animals. Grouping different kinds of jobs within the hospital, for example, helps to reawaken information that is probably stored in the same place in our brain. Her ability to name items or groups of things is getting faster all the time.
Household skills have been the focus in OT. After stretching and warmups, Tudor has made her way to the Rehab kitchen to make a salad and burritos at different times. These activities involved planning for ingredients, bending, reaching, balancing at the counter, chopping and assembling the meals. And of course, they were delicious! Another day, she did laundry. Little by little, Tudor is becoming more independent and able to help at home, which gives us both joy. She made a flower arrangement and set the table when we had a friend for dinner.
PT is really exciting these days. Tudor begins by walking between the parallel bars with a cane and then moves out into the open space in the gym. This morning she walked out of her bedroom using her cane. What a lovely sight! Walking with confidence and dignity, Tudor remarked that one month from today she will be 27 and wants to be using the cane exclusively by her birthday.
All is well in this healing environment. We visit the beautiful chapel at St. Charles at least twice a week and give thanks for all the LOVE that surrounds us and keeps coming our way and we send it back to you to complete the circle!
August 19, 1999
Awesome August is sooooo busy that we are behind on our updates. Tudor is making improvements in all areas each day! We will give you a full report by Sunday.
August 9, 1999
Tudor's week was a whirlwind of therapy and family celebrations. She rested many hours in between to keep up. Her endurance for conversation and little cousin stimulation increased to about two hours and memory for matching names with faces became 100%.
This was also "Temp Tooth" week! On Thursday, Tudor spent two hours in the dentist chair as forms were taken for the front veneers that she will have at the end of the month. She is thrilled that her front tooth (that was chipped in December) is closer to being totally repaired and she smiles with even more radiance.
Making a salad was the OT assignment last week. Tudor stood at the sink chopping carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes and cucumbers. This requires concentration, balance, hand-eye coordination and builds body-mind endurance. We enjoyed the benefits at dinnertime. Friday she helped Hillary prepare garlic/rosemary potatoes in our kitchen for Granny's party. What a joy it was to see my daughters cooking together. Tudor was barely conscious the last time Hillary saw her in February.
Tudor had several PT observers and a cheering section. Granny marveled at her new walking abilities and overall improvement. David was pleased to see her walking, marching and picking up objects from the floor with confidence and dignity! Soon she will be doing more of these activities beyond the parallel bars.
In Speech and Language sessions, Tudor is working on "word ladders". She must make a new word from the last two letters of the previous word. When she is challenged to remember another word, she consults the dictionary. This is a timed exercise witha goal for speed and accuracy. The word search booklet still fills her spare time at home and in the car. We throw in a few multiplication drills on the way to Rehab for extra fun in the morning!
Truly, a full week for Tudor, interacting for short, sweet exchanges with twenty-two loving relatives.
August 2, 1999
Tudor was so pleased with her efforts and progress in July that she proclaimed this month to be "AWESOME AUGUST!"
OT/PT highlights of last week include: balancing on the large red ball in front of the mirror, leading the stretching program from memory, walking more between the parallel bars with a cane, (no hands on the bars), beginning to learn to go up steps, moving a load of laundry from the washer to the dryer, and planning her list of activities for this week in the rehab kitchen. Wednesday she had a three month evaluation in PT which showed her improvement in numbers.
Speech and Language lessons emphasized a new activity of categories of products in the market. Tudor did very well even adding the commercial jingle for some perfumes and cars. Memories were stirred. Accuracy is about 90% consistently in math and in alphabetizing. Good job Tudor!
At home, Tudor had visits and phone calls from Portland friends. These always give her a boost and make her heart sing. She loves receiving and reading mail from her best pen-pal, Grandma Gilmour. On Saturday she attended the Bend High reunion picnic and even though she couldn't remember faces, the names were familiar and it was nice seeing young people who can remind her of things they did ten or more years ago. Outdoor concerts were also on our list of activities.
During her evaluation in PT last week, Tudor demonstrated that she can roll from back to stomach on her own. This means she can have massages at home now. On Sunday, I gave my first massage in 7 ½ months. We both enjoyed it!
The McCook family reunion takes the spotlight this week here in Bend. We have beautiful weather and a long list of activities. Tudor loves being surrounded by all her "rels" and says, "I have SUCH a nice family!"
July 27, 1999
Miss Liberty is finishing out the month of July walking with confidence and dignity! She has had lots of practice walking down the measured halls of St. Charles and is quite proud of her 200 foot walks with her cane. Tudor is also practicing at home, though still feels more secure with her walker there.
In Speech and Language, she met all of her goals for math and alphabetizing with greater accuracy. Her therapist is pleased. Part of each session is devoted to refreshing her General Knowledge: people, places, current events and so on. Tudor has been very sad about the Kennedy/Bessette tragedy; concerned for the grieving families and sending love and prayers to them in their time of loss.
In her spare time, Tudor loves completing her "word-circle" puzzles which are building vocabulary, mental agility, problem solving skills and intelligence. She has finished at least 25 puzzles this week! "I wish I could get paid for doing this!", she remarked several days ago, "I love it!"
For most of the week I was banished from OT sessions during the production of several birthday surprises! Tudor greeted me Sunday morning with salutations to the Birthday Queen, the birthday song in her lovely alto voice, a beautiful handmade card and a watercolor painting (that she had made while standing). Later in the day, I was presented with a delicious cake, iced in chocolate and decorated with a loving message, "HAPPY B-DAY" with candles in numbers and "U R GR8!". David was here this weekend, helping in so many ways and spending focused time with his daughter. She basks in his love and attention and appreciates all that he does to make her healing process and the business of her healing run efficiently and effectively. Now that is a BIG job.
We also had lots of visitors this week: cousins traveling through town and a wonderful lunch with high school alumnae. Tudor is looking forward to her 10 year Bend High reunion. Visits were a good exercise in social endurance before more relatives arrive next week!
This month Tudor has experienced the freedom, independence and empowerment that 33 weeks of wellness and labors of love bring.
July 17, 1999
And, what a week it was! The circuits in Tudor's brain continue to reconnect and as they do she becomes brighter and more confident. This week she seems to have consciously taken care of her healing process, feeling empowered by the steps she has already taken. In other words, she is reflective about the past seven months and more self-directed in her goals. She has changed the word "accident" to "incident" when speaking about 12-12-98, which shifts the focus to opportunity and away from disaster.
While "planning ahead" was a theme last week, we were late getting places several times without having "planned" enough time. So, this week she has become a time management expert having calculated all her tasks and figured how long it takes to shower, dress, travel across town and so on. (Now, this is the personality of the little Tudor who asked me if I would still drive her to school when she was a senior if she skipped third grade because she had calculated that she would be too young to drive!)
Her vocabulary has blossomed to match this new awareness, still checking sometimes for correct usage or meaning. Several weeks ago I gave her a word game book; find and circle 40 different words presented in a scramble, backwards, sideways, up or down. This has become her favorite past-time circling and crossing off the words with delight. Yesterday she was talking to me while looking for a word, and found it. (That's thinking about two things at the same time!)
In OT/PT sessions Tudor is working very diligently with balancing and walking. She is on her own with a cane between the parallel bars and spotted by the PT around the outside loop. This week there were many Kodak moments and some teary eyes as I saw her walking. Next week, I am banished from the gym and kitchen as they help Tudor prepare something special for my birthday. The therapists have made each part of the surprise a memory and coordination exercise. Everyone is having fun!
Acupuncture and cranio-sacral treatments once a week complement her recovery program. In the front tooth department, we are almost ready for the repair as the appliance makes the necessary correction. Tudor is responsible for changing its rubber band twice a day, as well as putting a solution on her scars, (neck & foot), to dissolve the rough tissue. She always remembers. An extra speech and language session with Aunt Tudor filled the room with laughter as they refreshed their memories on state capitals playing GeoSafari.
We are having lots of fun getting well. Tudor made up her own affirmation
I AM WALKING WITH CONFIDENCE AND DIGNITY.
Thank you all for your love and healing thoughts. We appreciate you.
July 11, 1999
.......Continuing with the July themes:
One of Tudor's strongest memories is that she chose to return to life because, as she says, "I have a really loving family and wonderful friends." She remembers being free to choose and she made her decision based upon the love that is here for her. Sometimes, however, at this stage of her healing, she is sad because she cannot remember current events, her stored belongings, or much of her past. During her recovery, Tudor has been relying on a memory that is greater than her brain.......cellular memory.
In 1929 Karl Lashley published the results of his research that showed that specific memory is not located in any one part of the brain, that it is distributed all over the brain and body , as a "field." More recent research theorizes that each cell has memory of the whole body. All the therapies are helping awaken and reconnect the memories to each other. Tudor is having joyful cellular reunions everyday in her body-mind. "The reason I could ride the electric shopping cart at the market so well," she told a friend, "is because I used to ride a motorcycle."
This week, memories are also coming from listening to CD's that were in her personal collection. She sings along, wants to move and dance and do the Macarena! A few Portland memories popped through. Another afternoon, she spontaneously wrote a letter in cursive, and this morning teased me that she couldn't remember the name for "banana" before her morning dose of brain tonics! What a sense of humor.
Speech and Language drills in math and alphabetizing were 20% faster as per her goal this week and with a high level of accuracy. Occasionally in OT and PT Tudor reaches "meltdown"; the limit of her physicality or an overwhelming fear. The therapists are very good, quietly passing her a kleenex, some encouragement, a few minutes of rest and moving on. This week she has been walking with a cane in PT sessions, working on balance and rhythm. Tudor made brownies in the rehab kitchen, following recipe directions, reaching, bending, stirring and finally tasting the sweet results of her efforts.
David spent the weeknd in Bend observing her therapies, relaxing with her, going to movies and enjoying her new level of rapport at 30 weeks of wellness.
Monday Evening, July 5
Independence, freedom, choice and empowerment are the themes that seem to be coming through for Tudor this month! Perhaps it's the new brain tonics that have given her this latest boost. Whatever it is, she is certainly a sparkler in the sky. There are indications on several levels that Tudor's healing has taken another jump. Her vocabulary is expanding when she describes her experience of an event, past or present; she is thinking about her future and what she might like to do in more detail than ever before; she is emotionally sensitive and aware of her own limits and needs. She can name and make distinctions between her feelings and the feelings of others and has asked me sweetly on occasion what she could do that would make my day even better? Many times her words of wisdom seem to be a divining rod of Truth. She has clarity about what is really important to her and speaks easily about it. Also, details of life in Portland are popping into place here and there. Each day with Tudor is a delightful surprise of awakening!
We primed the memory bank for the Fourth of July by singing Yankee Doodle, The Star Spangled Banner and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance as we hung out the stars and stripes. The pet parade down Wall Street brought lots of laughs seeing hundreds of animals, mostly dogs, decorated to their teeth in red, white and blue, followed by their families being silly too. Our path downtown crossed a 5K holiday benefit race. Tudor wanted to stop and watch. "I love to run!" she said, and clapped, yelling "Good Job!" to several runners. After watching her favorite show, "Touched by an Angel," we finished the day eating apple pie a la mode and watching the fireworks.
Today's adventure continued the themes of freedom, choice and independence as she climbed upon an electric shopping cart and cruised the aisles of the local grocery store following the overhead directory and imagining meals. Her Gilmour grocery genes came in handy as she looked for the sales on her favorite items and thought of Dad. Tudor maneuvered the cart right through the express lane, true to form!
Friday evening, July 2
Today's update is from Martha:
Each day since December 12, 1998, I've been wearing a small pin that says, "EXPECT MIRACLES." So far so good! Now as Tudor and I take this next big step together (to write the updates), we are trusting that this too will be FUN and EASY and the descriptive words will flow as we continue our connection with you.
Twenty-nine weeks into this healing adventure we feel blessed with the gift of regeneration and give thanks each day for the privilege of being alive and in the vortex of an enormous circle of loving family and friends.
We have been back in Bend for eight weeks now, the therapy schedule is in place and working well, my domestic skills have been revived, and, as Tudor says, "I'm more awake now!" Essentially, we are more settled and at this point she can participate in telling her story. So, now we are expecting a speech and language miracle for me with some typing skills thrown in too! Tudor can do many more things by herself now. She can get herself dressed, all except shoes, which she can remove at night while changing into her P.J.s. She does almost all of her self-care in the bathroom with some help with different hairdos. Showers are almost 100% by herself these days. Therapies take up most of her morning. After lunch in the cafeteria, she has a nap. Rest is still a key part of her regeneration, sleeping soundly 9-10 hours a night. Afternoons we visit with friends, go to other appointments, such as the dentist, or acupuncture and to the library. Speech and language homework and physical therapy exercises fill up the rest of the day along with phone conversations.
The biggest thing emerging is her sense of independence! "Good month for it," she said, as we got into the car yesterday. Tudor is PLANNING AHEAD. This means that her mind is expanding to see a bigger picture and that she is aware that she has some control over how her day turns out. Her July 1st decision, in celebration of her physical independence, was to use her cane for walking by my birthday. In preparation for that she used her walker instead of the wheel chair to reach the cafeteria. Wearing a dress and regular shoes (instead of her high-top converse ankle-support shoes), she brought smiles and even a tear to the cafeteria staff and others as she beamed with pride. Lunch with Judy is always a special event.
Today in PT she continued her work walking with a cane, practicing shifting her weight to the right and taking longer steps with the left. In OT Tudor found her way to the rehab kitchen to practice opening cupboards, and the refrigerator, reaching to the top shelf, checking a list of ingredients and cooking supplies to make BROWNIES next week!
Tudor says, "Independence is a JOY. Happy Fourth of July to you all."
Wednesday, June 30
Administrative note from David Gilmour: We hope, barring technical difficulties with the server, to be able to continue using this site address and to resume posting updates every other day soon. Should a new address be necessary, it will be advertised here. I want to thank John Jones for his high quality writing over these past six months. I know we have all appreciated this work.
This past weekend was a great event because David, along with Robin and Tracy (Tudor's sisters) and Alex and Ryan (niece and nephew), were in Bend. We all went to church, which Tudor loves, had breakfast at Sunriver, and had a great conversation with Hillary as the highlights. Here are a few words from the visitors starting with Tracy.
It was so nice to see Tudor, she is so positive and happy. She tells us that her therapy is "fun and easy" (instead of hard work) and she "loves to do it." She was entertained by Alex and Ryan. Alex says, "I like riding on Tudor's lap when we use the wheelchair going out to eat and watching movies [Music Man and Mary Poppins] with her." Ryan says, "I love Tudor so much, and her dogs too!"
I am so impressed with Tudor's progress over the last two months. She is much more independent in eating and getting around, and her thought processes are becoming more complex all the time.
Robin hadn't seen Tudor since Hawaii. The changes since then are obviously amazing! The hands which were so tightly clenched in January are now so flexible. While dining out Robin was surprised to see Tudor anticipating things, like moving a cup of water out of the way of a wiggly child. Then Tudor's job was to figure out the tip. She does it well -- more quickly than I. It's fun to hear Tudor's enthusiasm as she considers her choices and states, "That sounds good." Tudor's laugh and sense of humor are delightful.
She is able to see the irony of things. When Dad asked if we seemed like people who might like dessert, Tudor looked a little puzzled at first. Not that she couldn't figure out the answer -- but she laughed and said, "Of course! Dessert is Good!" That's my sister.
The joy of seeing the kids with Tudor is beyond words. She is still their gracious, gentle and loving aunt, whom they love.
Wednesday, June 23
First an important administrative note: No updates will be posted on this site for at least the next few days. Martha and Tudor are making some changes and adjustments.
Meanwhile, Tudor continues to make steady (and cumulatively remarkable) progress. She loves the therapists and the program at St. Charles, and she looks forward to each session. And, of course, lunch afterwards. At home and elsewhere, she grows more confident, more capable, and more self-assured, both physically and mentally, by the moment.
She and Martha firmly believe that much of her extraordinary success stems from all the prayers, the healing energies, and the wonderful support, much of it silent, they have received from so many good people and so many different directions. They are deeply thankful and grateful for your efforts, and ask that you continue to hold them in thought and prayer as this inspirational journey takes a new direction of its own.
Monday evening, June 21
Tudor's restful weekend continued through yesterday. In the morning she called David so she and Martha could wish him a happy Fathers Day and thank him for being such a terrific dad. Earlier in the week she made a special card for him, thanking him for calling her twice a day, for visiting whenever he can, and for doing so much else to make it possible for her to go to therapy and have her Mom home to look after her.
Through the afternoon she wrote letters, did some reading, and watched a bit of television golf. Later on, she and Martha took a wheelchair stroll downtown for dinner.
All the relaxation helped her begin the week with a burst of energy. She was up and moving before Mom this morning, and was fully dressed and ready to go by 7:30. In OT she did lots of stretching, then some typing (she's up to 11 wpm), then had a heat treatment and more stretching.
In PT she rode a regular stationary bike for the first time. This is harder work and requires more balance than the recumbent, and she did just fine. Then she did a lot of walking using the parallel bars for support, first inside the bars, then outside, using just one bar (and one hand) to steady herself. Her walking continues to improve on a daily basis.
After lunch at St. Charles she had a rest before her friend Mary Jane arrived from Portland. Tudor loves these visits with good friends, the more so because they always trigger a few more memories and help her reconnect with her past.
Saturday evening, June 19
Tudor finished another fine therapy week yesterday. She did her normal OT exercises, featuring lots of bending, stretching, reaching, and picking things up, and the usual PT lower body work, and did all of these in front of the camera. The therapy staff took several Polaroids of her in action, both for analytical use and as another visual way for Tudor to measure her own progress. Martha says she is beaming in all of them, and her smile looks more even, evidencing the success of all her right-side efforts.
Today was devoted to an in-depth study of the therapeutic benefits of complete relaxation, with absolutely nothing on the schedule.
Thursday evening, June 17
Yesterday, David accompanied Tudor to OT and PT. He met her therapists and had the pleasure of watching his amazing daughter in action. She played bean-bag basketball and beachball baseball, the latter with her Dad pitching. Then she did leg lifts with weights, pedaled the recumbent bike, and walked using a cane, with assistance from the therapist. After that it was a father-daughter lunch, then home for some rest.
Today her Speech and Language therapist introduced another new game, wherein each chooses a picture (a bald man, for example) and they ask each other questions leading, each hopes, to speedy identification. That was easier for Tudor than her new five-word alphabetizing exercises. She's working hard at those, because they're quite difficult. Try one---ask someone to read you a sentence like "When does the movie start?" and then put the words in order---without peeking, of course.
She and Martha had lunch with a good friend, then Tudor walked quite a distance, from the parking lot to the dentist's office. The staff there all noticed how much she had improved since last week---in mobility, speech, and the sharpness of her humor.
Martha also notcies an emerging sense of self. Tudor spends more time in front of the mirror these days, and today, instead of slacks, she put on a dress and lipstick. She is developing clear notions of who she is and what she wants to be.
Tuesday evening, June 15
Tudor's first task in OT yesterday was to recall and discuss her weekend activities. She was quite detailed and accurate in doing this. Once again therapy was fun and easy as she relived the time spent with three of her college friends. Then she moved to the arm stretching apparatus, using slightly more weight than before, and practiced catching a bouncing ball. Her right hand squeeze strength is slowly catching up to her left. Currently it's eight pounds, while the left is eleven.
In PT she pedaled the recumbent bike and did other leg exercises, all aimed at helping her walk more smoothly. Once again there was laughter at St. Charles. The more Tudor thinks therapy is fun and easy, the more she does.
In Speech and Language today, she shared more of her weekend memories, adding a bit of color and greater detail. This is good retention! Her word alphabetizing exercises now use five-word stentences in place of the previous four. Tudor has made the adjustment quite well. She also scored 100% on her math work, and once again exceeded her speed goal. Her new problems require three separate mental functions instead of the previous two. This is more difficult and takes longer--- just what she needs.
This afternoon, after a stock-up stop at the library, she and Martha drove to the airport to pick up David. He'll be dining with Tudor this evening and accompanying her to St. Charles tomorrow, so Martha will have almost a full day to herself. Wow.
Sunday evening, June 13
Yesterday, Tudor passed the six-month mark in her recovery. Just think. Three weeks in Critical Care, most of that on life support. Surgery to repair her broken jaw, and a tracheotomy to help her breathe. Then a week in a regular hospital room before a long flight to Portland. Two months in a skilled nursing facility---ten weeks comatose all told. As consciousness dawned, six weeks of intense rehabilitation, learning to walk, to think, to remember. Six more back in Bend, practicing these things and much more, getting better, faster, and stronger in every way, every day. All those who are following her progress are witnessing a miracle in the making. It unfolds one smile, one laugh, one breakthrough at a time.
Tudor understands very well the team nature of her recovery work. As Martha puts it, she lives in a constant state of gratitude. One of the thoughts she has expressed many times since regaining her voice is that her parents, her family, and all those who have prayed for her have shown her what LOVE really is.
Friday evening, June 11
Tudor has now completed her first month of outpatient therapy at St. Charles in Bend. Yesterday she had another good Speech session, in which she beat her goal for alphabetizing by five full seconds. She was also faster at mental math, although her accuracy was down a bit due to the increased difficulty of the problems.
After lunch she had another dental appointment on the way toward making her beautiful smile even better, and then, at home, had long telephone conversations with relatives on the east coast.
Today in PT, she had a new therapist. That always means a slightly different slant on exercise and even the general notion of recovery. Tudor learned some new stretches and responded very well to the upbeat, positive way challenges were conveyed to her.
In OT she repeated the evaluation tests she took on her first day at St. Charles one month ago. All the effort put into balancing body movements is clearly paying off. Her right side performance on these tests has improved by twenty-two seconds.
Later in the day she played Gin Rummy with a visitor, while Martha went out for a very welcome massage. There were also visits from three of Tudor's college friends. She was quite weary by the time they stopped by, so the get together was short. However, they'll be here this weekend, so more merry reminiscing is on the agenda.
Wednesday evening, June 9
Tudor has had a couple of very fine days. Yesterday, she woke up excited about going to Speech Therapy, and for good reason. She's in the middle of a recovery surge. She scored 100% in her alphabetizing exercises and did them considerably quicker. Then she worked on idioms and their meanings and did more head math. Once again she exceeded her speed goal, so now it's time to raise the bar toward tougher problems. After that session she had an acupuncture treatment to stimulate her right hand.
Today she again woke up happy and singing. In OT she used both hands to crank the pedals of the upside-down bicycle, then moved pieces from side to side across an arch, with weight attached to her right arm. The emphasis remains on bringing her right side performance up to the level of the left.
PT was total bliss---one full hour of cranial-sacral treatment. Martha says Tudor practically swooned, she loved it so much.
On the way home they stopped at the library and stocked up on books and music. Apart from the occasional video (and talking on the phone), those are Tudor's main sources of entertainment and learning at home.
Monday evening, June 7
Yesterday was low key by design. Tudor read, listened to music, and had long phone conversations with Granny, David, and Hillary. She loves those phone calls. Martha says that as her memory improves, Tudor always knows where her new wireless phone is and she seldom forgets to take it with her as she moves from room to room.
She's also growing increasingly independent by the day. This morning Martha awakened to the sound of Tudor's walker. She was already up and moving.
After her shower and shampoo, (she still needs help with those) they went to Monday therapy. Tudor walked from the car inside and then, in OT, walked down the hall and around the corner to a different therapy room to use a new twist and balance gadget.
Her increasing endurance showed again in PT, where her leg lifts went easily and she rode the Stairmaster five minutes at the medium resistance setting. Previously, she had done two minutes on the low setting. That is major improvement. Those marathon legs are coming back!
So is her singing voice. Every day she remembers lyrics to more songs. Martha says she sings all the time---unless, of course, she's talking on the phone.
Saturday evening, June 5
Yesterday, Tudor had her regular OT and PT sessions. This means, of course, more upper and lower body work, with emphasis on coordination and balancing her left and right sides. Even though therapy is fun and easy, she works hard at it and goes for maximum benefit each period.
She and Martha had lunch with friends, after which she did a long math workout with Aunt Tudor. Then came pet therapy and dinner with yet another friend, followed by an extended cruise downtown for ice cream and a tour of the art galleries on a balmly spring evening. It was a fine day, ALL day, from 6:00 AM until 9:00 last night.
Today they had more company this morning and again this afternoon. Whew! By then both of them were pretty well frazzled and they decided to call a social time out. Tudor is very thankful for everything in her life these days, and she loves it when friends come to visit, or to sit and read with her, or when she gets to go places and meet people. But every bit of that fun makes demands on her which she and Martha are just now learning to measure, and occasionally they cross the line of her endurance. So tonight and tomorrow will be mostly quiet time at home.
Thursday evening, June 3
Yesterday, in OT and PT, Tudor, who doesn't like hearing that some things are "hard" to do, introduced a new affirmation:
THERAPY IS FUN AND EASY.
The staff at St. Charles liked it and agreed to use it, and before long everyone seemed to be laughing and having a much better time. Tudor worked first at tossing bean bags through a hoop. This game twists her hips and makes her shift and catch her balance. And, of course, it's fun and easy. Then she practiced lifting her left foot across her right knee to untie her shoe. That's more stretching and flexibility. The OT therapist is so pleased with her walking that from now on she is to leave the wheelchair at home and walk from the parking lot to therapy.
In PT she rode the recumbent bike and did lots of leg lifts using ankle weights. Then the therapist had her roll onto her stomach and balance over a foam wedge to strengthen and loosen her shoulders. Toward the end of the session a new game was introduced---pathfinding. Tudor's first assignment was to find her own way to the cafeteria for lunch, and from now on she'll be directing Martha to and from St. Charles and other destinations.
Last night she put on her pajamas, washed her face, brushed her teeth, and got herself ready for bed. She woke up very happy this morning, put on some music and was singing when Martha came down stairs. "Today will be a good day," she said.
And it was. In Speech Therapy, working against the clock, she was slightly faster at rearranging sentences into alphabetical word order; then she did her mental math problems not twenty percent but FIFTY PERCENT faster than last time! Once again she has responded to a challenge. She seems to love competing with herself.
After lunch in the cafeteria, which she found with only one wrong turn, she guided Martha home for a nap and pet therapy with Stella The Wonder Poodle. Yes, it was a good day.
Tuesday evening, June 1
Yesterday was a St. Charles holiday for Tudor. In the morning she had a very nice time with David and Nancy, before they left to drive back to the Bay Area. Tudor loves her dad a lot, and she always enjoys his and Nancy's visits.
In the afternoon she did PT exercises with Martha and in the process took some very important steps. They went to the mall, so Tudor could practice walking on a long, smooth surface. This was the first time she has walked in public, and the thought of falling in front of all those people frightened her. Typical of Tudor, though, she worked through her fears and tears. Then she took hold of her walker and headed for The Bon, not to shop but simply to get there. And she did.
Martha has noticed that breakthroughs in one area usually foster growth spurts elsewhere. Sure enough, last night Tudor untied her shoes, took off her clothes, put on her pajamas, and got ready for bed entirely on her own. That's another first.
Today in Speech Therapy, she worked on solving a new level of math problems in her head, then switched to rearranging short sentences so the words were in alphabetical order. As Tudor's accuracy improves, more emphasis is put on doing these exercises faster.
They had lunch with Leslie Day, and the three of them collaborated on the following affirmation, which Martha asks you to use in conjunction with any prayers or healing thoughts you send Tudor's way:
WALKING FOR TUDOR IS SAFE, FUN, AND EASY
Sunday evening, May 30
Another update from the heart and pen of Nancy:
The sun is shining brightly in Bend this Memorial Day Weekend. David and I arrived Friday evening in time to take Tudor out for dinner. She was delighted to see her dad.
Saturday we enjoyed a trip to Sunriver, a lovely resort near Bend, for lunch and the beautiful scenery. Tudor shared old and some new memories with us, now that her short-term memory is improving. Following her afternoon nap, Tudor, David, and I went to Aunt Tudor's and Gregg's for a barbecued dinner overlooking their pond.
Sunday began with a worship at Trinity Episcopal Church, followed by lunch again at Sunriver. We highly recommend it for good eating (next to dinner at aunt Tudor's, of course!). In the late afternoon we all took in a movie.
It is rewarding for us to see the continuing, quiet enfolding of Tudor's healing. After one month in Bend, under Martha's patient, considerate care, she is so much more mobile and flexible, with significantly improved strength. She loves reading children's books and enjoys playing lots of mental games now. Of course, she displays the same good humor, patience, and joyful spirit she has had all along.
Friday evening, May 28
Tudor has completed another fine week of recovery at St. Charles. Yesterday, in Speech and Language therapy, in addition to spelling, word recognition, and math exercises, she moved on to jokes. Sure. Jokes make us grapple with nuances of thought, meaning, and intent. What's the difference between a shopper and a sailor? One sails the seas, the other sees the sales. Or is it "seizes?" See what we mean? Tudor's favorite---what has four wheels and flies?
Today in OT she tried something else new---batting a beach ball. Swinging the bat is great for loosening up her shoulders. As with her other exercises and her PT work, the emphasis is on bringing her weaker right side into balance and harmony with the left.
In PT she rode the recumbent bike for eight minutes, a new high. She marked that on her chart, naturally, and then was asked to project how long she will ride next week and next month. Focusing on the future helps her realize, more than ever, that she is responsible for her own recovery.
In between yesterday's and today's "outside" efforts, she and her mother both accomplished some important "inside" work. Martha went to Tudor this morning and found her crying. She was grieving all the years of her life that are at this point missing from her memory and therefore lost to her. Although her days are filled with love and joy, sometimes the enormity of her journey demands particular attention and Tudor feels deep sadness. Martha, also full of love and joy, has had huge losses as well, and she understands the value, the necessity, of grieving them. This morning they sat together, mother and daughter, and cried.
David and Nancy are visiting again this weekend. Look for their report on Sunday, software permitting.
Wednesday evening, May 26
Martha is back from her first extended time away from Tudor in five and a half months. During her four-day absence (her previous record was four HOURS) Tudor was well cared for by Granny, and everybody had a great time. All is well in Tudorville.
Now Martha understands why doctors, therapists, and others who don't Tudor daily regularly note the remarkable progress she has made between visits. She is always working, always getting better; over a four day period the changes can be dramatic.
Yesterday, the Speech and Language therapist commented that she is very pleased with Tudor's ability to learn new skills. She, too, has discovered how well Tudor responds to challenge. Take the number "60," add "4," subtract "1." Tudor does simple math like this in her head. "That reading exercise took three minutes, fourteen seconds. Thursday, I want you to go twenty percent faster. How quick will that be?" Tudor can figure it out. What does "skating on thin ice" mean? She has difficulty with idioms, because her mind is quite literal, but she usually gets them.
Martha notices that OT stretching is giving her greater movement. Tudor can now turn over in bed, reach her boombox, and change her own tunes. This is something new and quite pleasing. She's also getting better at combing her hair and tying her shoes. All these tasks are difficult and take time, but they are also good movement exercises and sources of great satisfaction.
In PT she is now in charge of charting her own progress. So much weight, so many repetitions, so many minutes on the bike. The therapist calls out the numbers and Tudor writes them down. In a way, she's beginning to write her own story.
Tuesday evening, May 25
Granny has flown home; Martha is back at the helm. We'll have an update from her tomorrow.
Monday evening, May 24
More of Granny's Perspective:
My visit continues to be a total plus. Tudor is charmingly agreeable on all matters of social activities, lessons, meals, and care. She has a routine that she follows and tells me if I forget, or need a suggestion.
The weather has been perfect which helps I am sure. We had lunch again with Aunt Tudor and Gregg on Sunday overlooking the pond. Lots of duck activity and one egg.
Zoey was here when we got home and she stayed until evening. She loves playing ball but is beautifully behaved and a pleasure to have around. She minds Tudor well and stays near her chair.
I will be sorry to leave tomorrow, but hope to be back soon. Martha's visit with Hillary and her fashion show at RISD was a great success.
Cheers to you all. Thank you always for your thoughts and prayers. We will need them for awhile.
P.S. Therapy this afternoon was so terrific. Tudor is a miracle. She works hard, stretches, does it all. We celebrated with a little strawberry ice cream.
Saturday evening, May 22
My return visit with Tudor is better than I could have imagined. Tudor has improved tremendously in her speech, using her walker, dressing, eating, and bathing. She loves to read and trys everything from the newspaper to her story books. Her disposition is cheerful and positive, she is a joy to be with and we laugh a great deal.
Aunt Tudor arrived early this morning while we were talking to Mom, Hillary, Louisa, and Megan in Providence. Aunt Tudor made us delicious breakfast and then we went out to her house to sit by the duck pond, on the first warm day in awhile.
A pair of mallards are nesting by the water. Four bachelor mallards are looking for bugs, swallows are taking food to their house in the elm, quail are running around, rabbits and deer are due later. It is peaceful, a view of the cascades and water burbling in the pond.
What a treat. I look forward to visiting more often.
Thursday evening, May 20
Tudor had a morning appointment with her new Primary Care Physician, and it went very well. In the process, she got a cranial-sacral treatment and some accupuncture, which she really loved. She remembers having accupuncture before. Another piece of her history is back.
In Speech therapy she worked with the gerund flashcards she made yesterday, then switched to playing cards. Her task is to go through them rapidly, separating those with an "N," for example, such as the queens or sevens. In mid-sentence the therapist asks for those with another letter, teaching her mind to quickly shift gears.
When they returned home, Martha's mother, Granny, had arrived for a visit. She'll be looking after Tudor for the next few days while Martha is out of town. Martha is flying east to see her daughter Hillary's final fashion show before her graduation from the Rhode Island School of Design. Consequently, there will be no update tomorrow; however, we will have Granny's Perspective on Saturday.
Wednesday evening, May 19
Tudor had a nice day which featured exercises and relaxation at home, plus OT and PT at St. Charles. OT began with memory work and a new task. You probably recall how well she responds to challenges. Her therapist wants her to concentrate on remembering specific meals and activities. Right now these things get scrambled in recollection; she needs to start separating the cereal from the carrots.
She did more mat work, rolling on a ball while on her hands and knees. This strengthens her arms and is a wonderful balance exercise. She and the therapist played tug-of-war, pushing and pulling each other with crossed arms. More strength and balance.
PT worked her lower body with the recumbent bike and parallel bars. Much of the effort here is concentrated on bringing Tudor's right side into better harmony with her left.
She and Martha are doing their shower and shampoo thing this evening, because Tudor has an early appointment with her primary care physician in the morning.
Tuesday, May 18
Tudor and Martha spent the morning work session doing word scramble exercises. Then in Speech and Language therapy, Tudor concentrated on words with multiple meanings, such as "deal," to stretch her mind. She also worked on gerunds and matched common proverbs, such as "Every cloud has a silver lining," to their meanings. Tudor's mind is quite literal and linear these days; these exercises reawaken abstract thinking.
Evidently they make her hungry, too. Martha says they had lunch at the St. Charles Cascade Cafe, where Tudor finished a large plate of fettucini and a huge piece of chocolate cake.
In the afternoon, after Tudor's nap, when morning clouds had dissolved into warm spring sun, they took a wheelchair walk downtown and did some laugh and pet therapy with Stella the Wonder Poodle and a friend's new puppy.
Monday, May 17
Tudor's week got off to a good start, with the work to which David alluded yesterday. Martha reports that both at home and at St. Charles she has in the past few days begun performing several tasks---all small things like fetching her glasses or lip balm from her nightstand herself instead of asking someone else---which collectively add up to good strides in the direction of independence.
PT saw her perform another first today---her first "ride" on the recumbent stationary bicycle. And because her leg strength is increasing, she is now able to use ankle weights during her leg exercises on the mat. She also did more fall recovery practice, and concentrated on gait and balance while walking in the parallel bars.
More balance and coordination training came in OT with another first---brushing her teeth while standing up. She's also standing now to use the upper body exerciser, which is like an inverted bike whose pedals she turns by hand. This adds balance, leverage, and more leg work to the list of benefits she receives, in addition to arm strength and coordination.
A few errands, a nap, and a nice visit from Annette and Baby Parker rounded out the rest of a very fine Monday.
Sunday, May 16
David shares again:
We have written so many times about having a quiet day on Sunday. Would you like to know just how we do that?
After a full night's rest, Tudor wakes up to a loving Mom fixing breakfast. Potent vitamins and herbs follow, then it's off to a shower. Working together with Mom, Tudor dresses for church.
I take Tudor to Trinity Episcopal Church in Bend where we are met at the door by the Rector. Church is fun and far more meaningful to Tudor these days. She sings well and follows the liturgy and listens carefully to the sermon. Communion is brought to us in the pew and wheelchair. After church we have juice with the friendly people of Trinity.
The rest of the day is lunch, nap, playing, and signing more Thank You cards.
Martha is getting a touch of Spring cleaning done while I finish putting Tudor's new dresser together. Her room is pretty comfy now, and with a new mirror on the wall Tudor can see herself getting stronger every day.
Monday's a comin'! Then it's back to therapy, which is work.
Saturday, May 15
More thoughts from a loving dad:
Just two weeks ago Nancy and I drove Tudor home to Bend. This is my first return visit and I have nothing but good news to report.
Tudor and I began the day with breakfast at IHOP. I can report that her appetite is healthy. She gets in and out of the car very independently, and her walking with the walker is done confidently. When it was time for a rest she easily got herself into the bed and found her comfortable position.
Over all her physical strength is up a few notches, but more noticeable to me is the mental strengthening. Her reading, writing, math, comprehension and memory are delightfully enhanced.
Tudor does share that she experiences more loneliness here because the hospital was packed with a large caring staff and a group of visitors every week. She is aware of you as a caring army of people supporting her as she grows from strength to strength.
So, I'll encourage you once again to keep Tudor and Martha in your prayers and keep those cards and letters flowing as evidence of your love and support.
Friday evening, May 14
Tudor went along, sat quietly, and worked on her Speech and Language homework this morning as Martha got a hair trim. She did a good job on her assignments, with neither supervision nor assistance.
Then she had combined OT and PT sessions, with a lot of good work in each area. OT was mostly upper body---balloon tennis, balance exercises, and pressing small weights while lying on her back. She is getting a mirror for her room at home, so she can work on posture and balance there as well as at St. Charles.
PT concentrated on lower body, including the sitting stairmaster machine, practicing fall recovery procedures, and using the parallel bars to help develop a smoother walking gait. Tudor was proud of herself for facing more of her fear of falling and was praised by her therapist for her willingness to move through her fear and keep going.
David was waiting when they returned home. He's here for the weekend; we hope to have more of his perspective tomorrow.
Thursday evening, May 13
Tudor had an easy morning at home, working mostly on Language exercises with Martha. This afternoon, she had another St. Charles Speech session. The subject was "Words and Their Meanings," with emphasis on homonyms---words which sound and are spelled alike, but have different meanings. Grasping this concept requires some nimble mental gymnastics, and Tudor did quite well.
Later on she had a heartwarming phone call from a childhood friend. The young lady's husband is on another Leukemia Society fundraising team, as was Tudor in Honolulu, and is about to run a marathon in San Diego. He is dedicating his run to Tudor and the extraordinary effort she is making to complete her own marathon, right here in Bend.
Wednesday, May 12
Today marks the fifth month since Tudor's accident, and her recovery continues to go well. Today she had an especially good PT session. Since it was her only therapy workout, she put in extra effort. First she did the sitting stairmaster, which strengthens her legs and also helps develop balance, for two and a half minutes. This was thirty seconds longer than last time.
Then she got down on the mat for leg lifts and motion exercises that look something like doing the frog kick without the water. After that she practiced standing tall in the parallel bars. This is the therapy equivalent of boot camp---head up, shoulders back, chest out---looking good, Lady!
And finally she did more fall recovery work. This has been going very well since Tudor spoke up and asked for clearer instruction. Martha is very proud of the way she stood up for herself. That's another big step on the road back to independence.
Tuesday, May 11
Tudor had a nice night knowing that Zoey, who seems to sense the need to be extra mellow and gentle around her, was sleeping just outside her door. In the morning, when Martha was in the shower, Zoey even helped Tudor with the bacon part of breakfast. Now that's devotion!
There was a slight change in the therapy schedule today. She had Speech and OT sessions, and will have just PT tomorrow. In Speech she did well on some thinking exercises and received her first homework assignment from St. Charles. OT featured range-of-motion work, sliding tokens from side to side along an arch, and some good exercise for her (weaker) right hand---digging through sand in search of coins.
Leslie, who picked Zoey up this morning, called to say she is having a blast at the ranch. Tudor will get to see for herself tomorrow when she and Martha visit the Days (and the chimps, and, of course, Zoey) for dinner.
Monday, May 10
Tudor had another excellent day. She awakened excited, because this was the day her friend Mary Jane was to bring Zoey to Bend. Except for a couple of visits in Portland, Tudor hadn't seen her dog since December.
First, though, with Mom's help she had a shower and shampoo, two of her favorite things.
Annette and baby (eight months) Parker visited later in the morning and stayed for lunch, while Martha slipped out to do some errands.
Then came very good PT and OT sessions, with more work on fall recovery, balloon tennis, and playing catch. The athlete in Tudor loves these games, so OT is usually fun. PT is more like work, but she is definitely willing and ready to do that. She's already got over her fear of being on the floor, and is learning the recovery procedure in increments.
Finally, Mary Jane and her special passenger arrived this evening. Zoey, who is eighty pounds of exuberant love, is a little too much for Tudor to handle right now, so she'll be staying with Leslie Day for a while. But Tudor will see her regularly while she works toward being able to walk her again soon.
Mothers Day, May 9
This was an extra special Mothers Day for Martha, because both of her lovely daughters are doing so well.
At 7:00 AM she had a wonderful telephone conversation with Hillary who, after three years as an Honor Student, will graduate next month from the Rhode Island School of Design.
Then she opened the Sunday paper and read the story she and Tudor had been interviewed for earlier in the week. It's a tender, touching, inspirational piece entitled "A mother's faith, a daughter's will," and it is a fitting tribute to both.
Then Tudor surprised her with a letter she wrote (unassisted) yesterday on her aunt's computer. She gave permission to reprint it here, because she wants everyone to know how much she loves her mom:
Thank you for spending all your time with me.
You are so beautiful and wonderful to be with me every day.
I feel really happy to get to be with you every day.
It makes me feel so good when you bathe me.
I love the room that I stay in. The flowers and herbs make it smell so good.
Let's always have so many flowers, especially the ones that smell so good.
I love Stella so much. She's lucky that you're her mom, too.
I love you.
Saturday evening, May 8
Martha and Tudor are enjoying a simple, restful, down home weekend. Martha appreciates being back in her own house, and having her own washer and dryer, like never before.
Their only excursion today allowed her to take her favorite hike up Pilot Butte, while Tudor was at Aunt Tudor's using the computer to email her dad. This, of course, is good practice at thinking, spelling, and finger dexterity, and great fun as well. Tudor was delighted.
Friday evening, May 7
Tudor and Martha had a full and good day today. They were up very early, because Tudor's PT workout began at 9:00 AM. This was a particularly challenging session involving fall recovery. Now that the food tube is gone, Tudor can lie on her stomach. The goal is for her to accomplish an unassisted transition from a down position to sitting in a chair. Tudor is frightened by the idea of falling and doesn't like being on the floor, but she understands the importance of this exercise and she's working hard to accomplish the task.
After OT, which compared to PT was a breeze, they returned home for lunch, wherein Tudor made her own sandwich, then ventured out again for a two hour dental appointment. Then came baby therapy when Annette Girard stopped by with her new son. Tudor got to hold little Parker, and thought that was great.
Later on it was pizza time, followed by a wheelchair cruise downtown to visit several Bend galleries during their Spring Art Hop. This season's theme was "Say It With Flowers," and Tudor loved the beautiful paintings and photographs. She stretched her memory a bit more on the way to and from, recalling friends she knew in school and the homes they lived in.
Thursday evening, May 6
Tudor's day started early with breakfast, shower, and shampoo. Then at 11:00 AM she had her first Speech and Language session at St. Charles. After some more tests, she worked on photo recognition and identification, and completed a two-page concentration exercise on following directions. Every time she does this kind of work more lights come on in her memory bank.
After lunch a Bulletin reporter and photographer interviewed Tudor and Martha for an article which will probably run on Mothers' Day. It was a very touching experience for Tudor to hear more of her story from her mother's perspective. Little by little she is putting together the pieces of her past.
Wednesday evening, May 5
Tudor spent the morning of a beautiful spring day exercising her burgeoning language skills by writing cards and letters to family and a few of her many fans. Then she and Martha voyaged downtown, by wheelchair and foot, to mail them and have lunch.
In the afternoon she napped and then enjoyed pet therapy with Stella The Wonder Poodle. This isn't just hugs and kisses. Stella keeps Tudor pretty busy tossing squeaky toys, and she's so quick there isn't much rest time between throws. It amounts to a lot of laughs and much good movement.
Tomorrow she will have her first Speech and Language session at St. Charles, and a reporter will be coming from the Bend Bulletin to do a story on her and her mom.
Tuesday evening, May 4
Tudor and Martha were up early today to allow plenty of time for breakfast, shower, and shampoo. Then at noon they went to Tudor's first outpatient session at St. Charles. She was tested and evaluated in Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy. Tudor said the staff therapists she met seemed very nice, and she's excited about getting back to structured work.
That will begin officially on Thursday, with a Speech session, then she'll have separate OT and PT periods on Friday. After that, she'll have one or two sessions each day, Monday through Friday, with homework in between. She and Martha can now adapt the rest of their routines to that schedule.
Today those included resting in the afternoon, practice walking around the house, and an evening reading period. Everything Tudor does these days contributes to her recovery.
Monday evening, May 3
David and Nancy left this morning to drive back to the Bay Area, so this was Martha's and Tudor's first day alone at home. Tudor is already moving around the house with greater assurance, and she and her Mom are beginning to develop schedules for meal times, bathing, and study. Tudor likes having established routines, and they in turn are instrumental in her memory development.
At lunch time, when Martha asked what she was hungry for, Tudor answered without hesitation. "Books," she said. So today's excursion was to the Bend library. Tudor, glowing with excitement, got a new library card and checked out several books and an educational video.
Tomorrow she begins outpatient therapy at St. Charles Medical Center. Three days each week that too will become part of her new routine.
Sunday evening, May 2
David, Nancy, and Tudor collaborated on today's update:
Tudor's first Sunday in Bend began with Mom's home cooking followed by a shower and shampoo. This is a joint effort which requires four hands, lots of laughter, some stray spray, and about an hour's time.
David and Nancy picked her up for the morning service at Trinity Episcopal. Tudor remembered attending Sunday school there and thoroughly enjoyed singing the hymns.
Afterward, the three of them toured more once familiar places in Bend, and Tudor noticed many changes, especially all the new housing. Memories of her childhood home town and its arcane road system returned so rapidly that she was able to guide her dad to Aunt Tudor's for lunch.
After an afternoon nap, she did stretching exercises and practiced walking with a walker. She is working toward the goal of using her wheelchair only for outdoor excursions. The walker is much more work, but she knows it makes her stronger.
This evening Martha enjoyed a well-deserved night out for dinner, while Tudor, David, and Nancy dined at home, watched "A Bug's Life" on video, and ate strawberry rhubarb pie.
Saturday evening, May 1
Today was Tudor's first full day in Bend, and Martha noted that May Day, 1983, was when she opened her private massage practice in the very room where Tudor is now staying. Tudor is thus absorbing all the healing energy in that room -- and there's a lot of it!
Martha and Tudor are working to establish their routines together -- getting up, dressing, meals, navigating the house (Tudor). Tudor's Dad came over, and he's helping to shop for the equipment that Tudor will need in the house. David and Nancy took Tudor out for a whirl around town to stimulate her memory and to share memories together. They had pie at the Pine Tavern Restaurant and drove by each one of the schools she attended -- Kenwood Elementary, Cascade Middle, and Bend High. Tudor also had some good Dog Therapy today with Stella and Shotgun, and she worked on throwing the Squeaky for Stella with her right hand -- a little Physical Therapy.
Tudor utilized her Occupational Therapy skills by folding laundry and helping to make dinner; she grated cheese and had to use both hands.
It was a busy, full first day at home in Bend for Martha and Tudor, and lots was accomplished.
Saturday Morning, May 1
Nancy sends the news from yesterday:
Today was moving day!
Tudor's morning was busy with packing, final evaluations, gifts of pastries and chocolate candy shared with the hospital staff, and many good-bye hugs. Several therapists commented that Tudor was one of those special patients they see once or twice a year, and that they would miss working with her. Another told her that in twenty years of working with patients she had never seen anyone work harder on improving the strength and range of motion in her arms, legs, and hands.
Shortly before leaving Good Samaritan, Nancy and David got some instruction in wheelchair technique and transfers from Martha and the Physical therapist, in preparation for the four-hour drive to Bend. It was a sunny, pleasant, relaxing trip. Tudor and her Dad enjoyed seeing old and familiar sights along the way---further adding to Tudor's memory bank.
After a brief stop in sisters for lunch, tudor arrived in Bend around 4:00 P.M., where Martha, who had driven home earlier that morning, was waiting to greet her.
Thanks for the glorious homecoming! We will spend a quiet weekend acclimating to Bend and preparing for the next stage of healing.
Friday evening, April 30
This will be a very brief update, as Nancy is providing a more detailed account for tomorrow morning. Tudor and Martha and Nancy and David all made the journey to Tudor's new home with Martha in Bend safely and in very good spirits. Tudor settled in nicely in her room and, being quite tired from the long car trip, went to bed early. Martha was glad to be home and a little tired herself. Martha's friends and family prepared the house with flowers, food, banners, and balloons, creating a welcoming atmosphere for her and her daughter as they begin their new life together in Bend.
Thursday evening, April 29
This was Tudor's last full day of therapy at RIO, marking a real milestone in her progress! In Speech and Language Therapy, the Therapist continued with the testing of Tudor's cognitive and language abilities. Today Tudor had to read a sentence and match its meaning to one of three pictures. This was the most advanced reading activity she has done, and she did very well.
Her Physical Therapist provided a new wheelchair for Tudor to take home to Bend, and also a walker. Tudor was encouraged to use the walker in the house and to save the wheelchair only for longer trips.
In her second Physical Therapy session, Tudor walked completely around the gym, half with a cane and half with a walker, with very little assistance! She walked smoothly and evenly and slowly, and she stood taller.
In Occupational Therapy, the Therapist talked to tudor about her goals, as part of the progress report to be sent to St. Charles Hospital in Bend. A big goal of Tudor's is to be able to walk her dog, Zoey. That would require high level balancing and motor skills and coordination.
In the third Physical therapy session, Tudor transferred herself from her wheelchair to her mat, which is raised about 18" off the floor. She did this very slowly and evenly and all by herself!
Martha and Tudor are very excited about graduating from RIO and going home tomorrow! Tudor's Dad, David, and his wife, Nancy, arrived this evening, and he will be driving Tudor to Bend tomorrow.
Wednesday evening, April 28
The Countdown is counting down....and Martha and Tudor continue to prepare for going home to Bend! Tudor's team of Therapists is busy measuring her range of motion, her strength, and her cognitive abilities, both comparing the results to the measurements taken when she first arrived at RIO six weeks ago and also preparing their reports on her progress, which will be sent to her next team of Therapists at St. Charles Hospital in Bend.
Meanwhile, her Therapists are also continuing to encourage her to become more independent: for example, they are asking her to use her walker more while she is in her room. And in Garden Group, her Physical Therapist went with her and encouraged her to stand up with the help of her walker while she was spraying the plants.
We ask all of you for your prayers as Martha and Tudor make this important transition to their new life together in Bend.
Tuesday evening, April 27
In Speech and Language therapy, after Tudor did her daily "check-in" with the Therapist, she worked on matching up professions with items associated with them, choosing from two columns. First she had to read each word aloud and then choose what went with with which: horse-jockey, nail polish-manicurist, plunger-plumber. She did very well on this more advanced cognitive activity.
In Occupational Therapy, the focus continued to be on preparing Martha and Tudor for going home. Today they worked on transfers---from wheelchair to a regular bed, from wheelchair to a regular couch, all with Martha assisting. Tudor is now doing most of the work herself, with Martha functioning essentially as a guide or spotter.
Later, in Speech and Language Therapy again, Tudor was tested in reading and did very well. Her reading skills have improved tremendously since the last time she was tested at the beginning of her RIO stay. She also worked on skills centered around activities she'll soon be doing---shopping, going to the library, things she can do with her dog, Zoey---activities related to going home and going in the world.
In Physical Therapy, Tudor again did stretching exercises and also worked on standing up in front of her morror, balancing out her body, getting her alignment.
A big even today was the removal of her feeding tube. This means she now has enough oral caloric intake to nourish her body-mind.
At the end of the day, Martha and Tudor went into a little garden and participated in Springtime in Portland. Tudor watched a peony open, a hugh pink one the size of a small cabbage; watched the leaves opening up on the trees; smelled the herbs and other fragrances; and looked at baby pigeons in their nest. Springtime is everywhere in Portland, and Tudor is a big partof the renewal and blossoming.
Monday evening, April 26
Sunday night was Martha's "overnight" at the hospital, and it went well, with Martha doing most of the assistance herself. She learned that assisting Tudor on a full-time basis can be very strenuous and that she will need help when she gets back to Bend.
At the end of the evening, Tudor asked Martha to read her something from Martha's book. Tudor is making another step forward, showing interest in others' lives, moving beyond herself into the larger world.
Monday morning the Speech and Language Therapist asked about her weekend, and Tudor recalled a lot of what she had done. Then she did more work on categories and word completions---__body...everybody, somebody, nobody; __yard...front yard, back yard; door__...doorknob, doorway.
In PT, she walked two-thirds the way around the gym with a cane, with assistance. Then Martha helped as she walked the remaining third with a walker. They brought the walker back to Tudor's room for more practice walking to the bathroom instead of wheeling.
In both OT and PT, Tudor worked on stretching and Martha received instruction on how to guide Tudor herself. Tudor also practiced getting in and out of the bathtub, with Martha assisting.
In the afternoon, they went out again for tea, since tudor had loved having a scone so much on Friday. This time they tried the buttermilk raspberry pecan variety, and it too was delicious. After tea, they went to a nearby bookstore where Tudor browsed the children's section and began reading some picture story books. She's very enthusiastic about reading and wants to read it all!
Sunday evening, April 25
David provides today's news:
This day started slowly. Tudor was still in bed when Martha arrived at 9:00 AM. She hadn't been dressed, and her breakfast wasn't there as it normally would be. Then we realized---this is a test! Martha is completely in charge; there are no nurses for Tudor today. With a little fast action, we are up to speed, but Tudor's sense of humor really starts it off. Martha says, "Are you ready to get up?" Tudor replies, "I'm soooooo ready!" Then the great smiles and laughter.
Sunday seems to have begun the good-byes and the preparation for departure from Good Samaritan Hospital. It started early with two friends coming by at breakfast time to say good-bye before church. Zoey, Tudor's dog, came for an energetic visit in the lobby and a Kodak moment. Then there were fifteen of us in the chapel for our last Sunday gathering. After a nice visit with this circle of friends, we headed to the cafeteria (no eating in the chapel!) for a special treat of chocolate torte cake and milk, brought by one of the friends and her eleven-year-old daughter.
Tudor's bed was moved to room #1 for the overnight with Mom. this is for practice in readiness for reality in Bend on Friday. In fact, on Saturday we moved everything from the apartment in Clackamas to storage or to Martha's home.
Sundays are peaceful, with no schedued avtivities, and I think this day of rest has a great medicinal impact on Tudor. She looks forward to Sunday; she thoroughly enjoys the leisure, and she's ready to go on Monday morning. Four more days, eight sessions of therapy each day, and this chapter in Tudor's recovery will be over.
To the visiting friends and to each of you we want to say Thank You for being with us on this journey to full recovery.
Saturday evening, April 24
Today was Tudor's easy day with therapy---only one session each of PT and OT. In PT, she concentrated on stretching, working with a therapist she hadn't worked with before, which provided a fresh approach to the activity.
IN OT she used a "Body Bar." This is essentially a dowel that she can twist, or she can stand up straight and stretch with it by going hand over hand. Then the therapist worked with her torso and hips, twisting and stretching, having her sit on the mat and bend down to touch her feet. Tudor also played a version of Ring Toss---reaching out, placing a peg on a board, then hanging the ring on the peg. She loved having both Mom and Dad there observing.
Later, she and David went to the movies, and Animation Festival. Tomorrow night, Martha will stay at the hospital for her "overnight" with Tudor, in preparation for many overnights to come at their home in Bend.
Friday evening, April 23
In Speech Therapy today, tudor filled in blanks to create new words. Thus __coat became raincoat or overcoat, and __stairs became uptstairs or downstairs.
Since it was a beautiful day, they went outside for PT. Tudor walked with her walker in the Healing Garden, with Martha assisting. With only one week to go at RIO, Martha is being trained in all areas of assistance.
In her second Speech session, Tudor had to add one more item to list of similar objects---flounder, halibut, trout....salmon.
OT found her in the practice kitchen, making Rice Krispie Treats. She had to measure out six cups of rice Krispies and pour them into a bowl. The challenge was to perform these tasks while standing, with some assistance, at the counter. She will finish the Treats on Monday; meanwhile, she is busy memorizing the ingredients.
In her second PT session, she did stretching and worked with weights and exercises, using the "UBE" (Upper Body Exercise) machine.
Later, she and Martha went out for lemon ginger juice and a yummy cranberry cornmeal scone. It was still a beautiful day, so they went about two blocks, with Martha pushing Tudor's wheelchair. Tudor really enjoyed this simple but special outing.
Thursday evening, April 22
Tudor had a really good day. In Speech therapy, she was able to talk about everything she had done this morning, from taking a shower to what she had for breakfast, to what she did in Gym Rounds. Her recall demonstrates continuing improvement in short-term memory. During the remainder of the session, she again worked with categories, this time generalizing from listed items. For example, rye + pumpernickel + white + sourdough = bread.
In PT, the therapist trained Martha in transfers. Today she was Tudor's assistant as she walked with her walker around the gym.
After lunch and a rest, Tudor went to OT and worked on getting in and out of a bathtub, using a transfer chair and assistance.
Then she went by bus to Emmanuel Hospital for Aquatic Therapy. The water in the PT pool is kept at 95 degrees, close to body temperature. For an hour Tudor walked back and forth across the pool, with the help of a therapist. Then she did arm exercises against the resistance of the warm water. She liked the pool work very much!
There will be a special Going Home party during this Sunday's visitation, at 3:00 PM in the Rose Garden. We hope many of you will be able to attend.
Wednesday evening, April 21
In Speech therapy today, Tudor worked with pictures, writing sentences about the contents. One picture was of a judge in a courtroom. Tudor was asked what the judge did, and she immediately said, "Decide!" Then she was asked what options the judge might have in deciding, and she listed a number of them, demonstrating both sensitivity and thoroughness. She then did her daily work with calendar and schedule.
In OT, she played "balloon tennis" across the room with an intern, while Martha and the therapist cheered. Tudor had lots of fun practicing her forehands and backhands.
In PT, she again walked with a walker, with some assistance, all around the gym. then she walked about 40 feet, assisted, using a cane.
She finished the day with Garden Group, transplanting tomato seedlings, which now rest alongside her Spider Plant and African Violets. The Horticultural Therapist, in order to encourage independent thinking, asked her to revitalize a bouquet of flowers. Some were dead or wilted, and Tudor had to decide which ones to replace, take them out, and rearrange the remainder. She did a great job, and the bouquet was reborn.
Tuesday evening, April 20
Tudor started off her day with thinking exercises: Why do you wear a coat? Why can't you eat soup with a fork? What would happen if you used a calendar from last year? At the last question, her eyes opened wide and she smiled broadly. "You'd be late everywhere you went, and it'd be on the wrong day!" Her executive function is clearly intact.
In PT, walking with the walker went very well, and she hardly needed help at all. She also walked with the cane again, with some assistance.
At the regular Tuesday conference with her doctor and all her therapists, everyone agreed that Tudor is making fine progress and that the discharge date of April 30th is appropriate.
Tudor's sister, Tracy, who is a nurse, together with her daughter, Alex, spent the afternoon hours observing her therapies and had a wonderful time. Alex was wearing her bejeweled birthday (yesterday!) tiara the whole time!
Tudor is counting down the days until her discharge---ten more and she will be going home!
Monday evening, April 19
David observed all of Tudor's morning therapies today. In Speech, she again worked on categories and scored 100%. During the first of three PT sessions, she walked forty feet with a cane, with assistance, and forty more with a walker with less help than ever before. OT worked on her arms. Tudor leaned on both, arms and wrists bent, and moved from side to side. Then she did a lot of slow steady stretching.
In the next PT session, she did foot and leg stretching and other movements to increase her range of motion. Then in session three, she practiced transfering skills. She learned a lot from her therapist about balance and movement for changing position---and she did about 90% of the work herself. She even did some stretching up on her toes, with assistance. This requires both strength and balance.
Her sister, Tracy visited today, and brought her six-year-old daughter, Alex. Tudor was delighted to see them both.
Sunday evening, April 18
Tudor was extremely happy this morning because her dad was going to be there and her mom already was.
Martha and Tudor did homework today. Tudor did hand exercises with Playdoh, and they did some reading together. Tudor then fed her fish---four guppies.
Later, six visitors came at 3:00 PM. There was lots of fun and laughter, and,as a special treat, they planned a Going Home Celebration for next Sunday.
Saturday evening, April 17
Tudor had only four therapy sessions today. In Speech, she continued her category work. This time the categories were automobiles, coins, and meats. She did very well.
In OT, she warmed up with Playdoh, then, to strengthen her right hand, she queezed clothespins and clamped them onto various sizes of wooden dowels, with the thickest reaquiring The Big Squeeze. She did fine at this and enjoyed it.
Beween therapies, she finished a letter to her sister and mailed it. Then, in the afternoon, she had Garden Group and planted carrot seeds. Later, she spent time in the Healing Garden, to enjoy the beautiful day.
In PT, she walked another forty feet, assisted, using her walker, then exercised on a machine which strengthens her legs.
Finally, she and Martha joined seven of her friends for dinner at a Sushi restaurant. Tudor thoroughly enjoyed herself.
Friday evening, April 16
In Speech Therapy today, Tudor worked with categories---vegetables, tools, people's names, etc. She had to come up with individual items that fit each category and write them down in her own hand. She did very well on this more advanced activity.
In PT, whe walked considerably further than before---forty feet!---with a cane and some assistance. Her new affirmation: MORE DISTANCE, LESS ASSITANCE!
Tudor's memory continues to improve. Today she remembered a lot about last night's restaurant excursion---what happened, how she got there, what she ate, the people she was with, and so forth.
After a rest and more walking in PT, she and Martha went out to tea. Tudor admired the beautiful pink blossoms on the trees lining the streets.
Sunday's visitation for Tudor's Portland friends will be at 3:00 PM in the chapel. She is looking forward to seeing those of you who can make it.
Thursday evening, April 15
Today began with "Gym Rounds." Tudor walked about eight feet using a cane, with assistance. Then she did lots of alternations of stretching and walking with a walker.
In OT, she used scissors with her right hand (she's left-handed) to make a collage. The therapist complimented her precision in cutting pictures from a magazine. She is making a "mini treasure map" of her aspirations; it will be an ongoing project.
Just before dinner, Tudor went across the street for a hair trim. She looks very beautiful. Martha watched as she got into the van, along with three other patients and two therapists, and went off to The Olive Garden for dinner.
Wednesday evening, April 14
Today was another day of fine progress for Tudor. In Speech Therapy, she is now filling in the blanks in sentences with her own words and in her own hand. And in PT, she walked the whole ten foot length of the parallel bars and back, all with very little assistance.
OT found her in the kitchen, making apple cinnamon muffins from a mix. She had to read and follow the directions, check the refrigerator to see if everything was available, preheat the oven, stir the mix, etc. When the muffins were done, she took them up to her floor and gave tham to the members of her Healing Team.
Then came Horticultural Therapy, potting a plant with potting soil. She now has a nice Spider Plant to go with her African Violets.
Tomorrow evening well be special. As part of her Recreational Therapy, she and a few others will go in a van to a restaurant for dinner. She is looking forward to this excursion very much.
Tuesday evening, April 13
This was a full day for Tudor. First came the regular Tuesday conference. Her entire team said they were pleased with her performance. Routine and repetition are helping her short-term memory, and she is making good progress physically.
In PT, she did lots of stretching, and today she walked with a cane, with assistance, about eight feet and then back to her chair. Next she walked about thirty feet with a walker, with assistance in foot placement and balance. Each day she requires a little less help.
The highlight of the day was "Dog Therapy" at 4:00 PM with Zoey, her very own dog. This took place outside under a beautiful sun. Tudor petted Zoey and let her pull the wheelchair, with Martha holding on. Tudor was so happy to see Zoey! She also enjoyed seeing the two friends who have been taking care of Zoey for her.
As the discharge date of April 30th approaches, Tudor and Martha discuss the move to Bend and plan for it. Tudor is very excited and very happy to be going home with her mom.
Monday evening, April 12
This morning as Tudor went to her various therapies, she enjoyed telling the story of her weekend excursions to her old neighborhood. In PT, she walked 30 feet with a walker, resting at 15 feet, and being assisted in foot placement and balance. She did lots of stretching in both PT and OT; both therapists are pleased with her progress!
Martha asks you to remember the following affirmation:
TUDOR'S SHORT-TERM MEMORY IS IMPROVING DAILY
Thanks you for all your prayers and support!
Sunday evening, April 11
This morning, it being a beautiful day, Martha and Tudor walked through the neighborhood where Tudor lived three years ago. The walk turned into a stroll down memory lane as they passed her old apartment and entered Couch Park. "Zoey and I used to come here," Tudor remembered. "Zoey loved this park!" They sat awhile and took everything in. Tudor petted a few friendly neighborhood dogs and let the park's ambience stimulate her neurons. When they returned to RIO, she was quite tired. She had lunch and rested.
At 1:00 PM, three friends came to visit; at 3:00, six more. They met Tudor in the Rose Garden, and there was lots of laughter among this happy group.
Afterwards, Martha and Tudor decided to go to a few stores and then revisit Tudor's old neighborhood. They bought a greeting card, and Martha asked Tudor to pay for it and calculate the change. As they walked through Portland's "Alphabet" streets, Tudor began to figure where they were and what streets were ahead. At one point she grew quiet. Martha asked her thoughts. "Oh, I'm just looking at the beautiful houses and pretty gardens and remembering this is where I used to live."
A simple walk to a nearby neighborhood turned out to be full of rich information for Tudor and a trigger for many fond memories. And Martha got a good workout pushing the sheelchair and helping with all the transfers.
Saturday evening, April 10
Tudor had no scheduled activities until 11:30, so she and Martha worked enthusiastically with Playdoh and flashcards. More flashcards came into play at Speech Therapy. These depicted sequential events which Tudor had to put in order. She got them all right!
In OT, she worked on stretching, using the big ball and the walker. Then in Horticulture Therapy she was given a tray of African Violets. Tudor picked a plant to propagate, cut the leaf, cut the tinfoil, and replanted the leaf in water. This was an exercise in following directions and in desterity, using both hands.
Later on Lesley Day arrived and she, Martha, and Tudor all went to tea.
Nancy Gilmour, following her visit to Portland with David, composed these thoughts:
When I think of Tudor, several words and phrases come to mind: acceptance, the value of simplicity, patience, humor, and grace. She exhibits all of these as she goes about her day.
She doesn't question that four months ago she was prepared to run 26 miles and today struggles with the help of medical equipment and her physical therapist to walk across the gym floor. She does it graciously---with patience, persistence, and a smile---alway glad in her accomplishment. Simple, repetitive, but difficult, tasks like this, performed every day, are giving Tudor's body-mind the rewiring boost it needs to heal.
Martha's patience, faithfulness, and unfailing good humor are becoming as legendary as Tudor's. She accompanies her daughter everywhere, every day, learning the strategies for Tudor's care and ongoing therapy, filling in for busy nurses, and constantly encouraging and affirming Tudor's progress.
Along with all his administrative duties, David also gives Tudor encouragement---in person when he can, and regularly on the phone. The challenge at present is to make all the necessary arrangements for Tudor and Martha to come home to Bend at the end of April, with all aspects of Tudor's medical and daily care needs and continued therapies in place. And, of course, he is raising funds to help accomplish all this.
In addition to a remarkable and dedicated team of doctors, nurses, therapists, and health professionals, there are many other people helping from a distance---some known to Tudor and her parents, others nameless. They are investigating, researching, writing, visiting, holding Tudor in prayer, and encouraging her each step along the way. All play an important role in assuring that Tudor will have every chance for full recovery and a full life.
It has been, and continues to be, a privilege to witness this miracle taking place.
Friday evening, April 9
Today the main focus for Martha and Tudor was preparing for their weekend outing. First, they listed choices in two basic categories---nice weather or wet weather (outside or inside!). Then they practiced a variety of transfers---bed to wheelchair, wheelchair to bathroom, and wheelchair to car. It was a lot of work for both. They will be strictly on their own on this outing, so it's both exciting and a little scary.
Where will they go? We'll have to wait and find out!
Thursday evening, April 8
Nancy sends the first part of today's update:
You've heard the adage, "Slow and steady wins the race." Nothing could be truer for Tudor, who is now engaged in the most important race of her life. But unlike any race most of us have run, hers involves patient, simple steps taken daily, each one bringing her closer to her goal of remembering and running again.
Today Tudor took several more steps toward that goal. In OT, she practiced using her right hand to grasp things, and then gripped a special hand apparatus that measures strength. Tudor is up to 10 lbs. of pressure! Then she pinched and squeezed a large handful of Playdoh, maneuvering it into interesting shapes.
PT this morning focused on transfers again, teaching Tudor the correct way to move in and out of her wheelchair, and teaching Martha the correct way to assist her. The importance of this simple maneuver cannot be overestimated: Tudor needs to feel safe, and Martha's back must be protected. Balance and technique are the keys.
And Martha tells us of the afternoon's activities:
In Speech Therapy, Tudor again worked on day and date, and the number of days until her discharge; she was consistently correct!
During afternoon PT, she practiced (and Martha observed) getting in and out of a car, in preparation for their upcoming outing. Tomorrow, Martha, having learned the technique today, will help Tudor transfer in the car herself. One of Tudor's walking exercises today involved pusing a shopping cart full of gym equipment. She did this enthusiastically, with assistance from a therapist.
Her final session, Speech, required a good bit of problem solving. Tudor had to put suet into a bird feeder. This involved choosing the proper tool to open the package, manipulating it, getting the suet out (that lard is gooey!), opening the feeder, inserting said suet, and closing the feeder. She managed it all, and just as she finished the sun came out, so she went outside and hung the feeder in a tree.
Wednesday evening, April 7
Martha reports that Tudor had another pleasant night with Granny, and a good day. Once again her OT workout went well. The therapist exercised her arms, legs, hands, and feet, while Martha calmed and relaxed her as only she can. Tudor again made it all the way without medication.
Then she got her first ride in the cardiac chair, which Martha says would be the envy of any astronaut. Its a high tech affair that lets Tudor sit up at any angle, and articulates to help refamiliarize her body with the effects of gravity.
Sometime this evening the respiratory therapists will begin taking her off the respirator for short periods of time. Tudor will again be breathing on her own.
As Martha walked into room 454 at sunrise this morning and saw her sleeping daughter, her mind flashed back to a distant Christmas.
Twenty-six years ago today little Tudor, exactly three months old, won her first starring role. It was the Christmas Pageant and the children were costumed to urchin perfection as whimsical barnyard animals, pint-sized shepherds, and bearded wisekids. A solemn-faced black child was the cutest donkey Martha had ever seen. Hidden from view, her tiny daughter lay wrapped in swaddling clothes in a simple wooden cradle in a straw-filled manger. Baby Tudor was the baby Jesus.
As the Pageant started, Tudor began to bawl. She was in excellent voice and her cries startled the audience, most of whom had assusmed Jesus was a doll. Martha stood frozen in the wings, quietly praying for silence. Then, as she braced herself to sprint across the stage, a small brown hand reached out. With a gentle motion, the donkey began rocking Tudors cradle. Baby Jesus fell fast asleep.
Twenty-six years ago, Martha knew her daughter was close to heaven. She is now as well, sleeping peacefully, having already delivered to us a Christmas miracle. The legions who love Martha suggest that perhaps we could all pause a moment during this season of rebirth and reach out, in loving prayer, to gently rock her babys cradle.
God bless you all.