Sitting Down On the Job

July 23, 2008

A focus today was developing Mariah’s trunk strength. She began and ended her sessions with exercises designed to help her sit up unaided for more than a minute, an unthinkable feat one week ago. Here are the results from 3:30 in the afternoon (click to enlarge):

Under her speech therapist’s watchful eye, she also ate an entire cup of chocolate pudding and drank thickened apple juice through a straw. And in the evening, I was allowed to give her several spoonfuls of ice chips.

Best of all, while mouthing words with exagerated movements, her therapist asked her which four languages she speaks. “Hebrew” was going to be a snap for her, because she’s great at drawing her lips back and exposing her teeth (for “he”) and at pursing and rounding her lips (for “brew”). Facing her therapist, Mariah indeed offered a clear “he” movement. But on “brew”, the movement was accompanied by a breathy syllable that I was able to hear across the room. The therapist did a hilarious double take, I came up out of my chair, and Mariah burst into whispered but audible laughter.

(Now that she can sit up and say “brew”, can watching the Red Sox at her favorite sports bar be far behind? Just kidding. Mariah, as most of you know, doesn’t drink. She did, however, watch the Sox with Diana and me at Fenway this spring.) 🙂

Here’s Mariah with a military friend from DC, Kelly Casey, outside the hospital during her mid-day break.

Mariah and Kelley relax outdoorss during her mid-day break. (McGuire VAMC, 7/23/08)

Mariah and Kelly relax outdoors during her mid-day break. (McGuire VAMC, 7/23/08)

– Mark

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6 Responses to “Sitting Down On the Job”

  1. Sadie said

    You could also become a Milwaukee Brewers fan. 🙂 Keep it up, Mariah. It sounds like you’re making great progress. I’m rooting for you every step of the way.

  2. Suzanna said

    Amazing feats are going to keep coming! Chai and I will come visit in the next few weeks. Keep it up!

  3. Cousin Wayne said

    Mariah, progress is happening faster than I thought possible. Terrific.

    Cousin Wayne

  4. Leah said

    The pirate patch reminds me of knowledge found on Mythbusters, the most reliable of sources, which pertains to pirates’ patches and how they used their patch so that they would have 1 eye which was always accomidated to the dark in case they needed to rush from a lit cabin to a dark deck for battle…My long winded of saying I’m sure the patch is totally appropriate for Cpt. Kochavi– always ready! Let me add as well mmmm, pudding!

  5. Jenni said

    Mariah, I love the patch, but I think it should be pink…I know…no shock there! Keep working hard…You CAN do this and you WILL. I don’t doubt it for a moment, because it would be one unwise girl who would ever dare to doubt you and all of your amazing strength. Know that I’m thinking about you every day and sending you soooooooo much love!! And I agree with Leah….yuuuuuummmers on the pudding…was it Dr. Delicious??? Ha ha ha!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!

  6. Manrique Pena said

    It is a well known fact that one of the Pirate’s natural enemy is indeed : the NINJA!
    To which i beg you keep an eye out for them. Just because you dont see them doesn’t mean they aren’t around (they live in shadows)

    Keep up the great work Mariah!

    —> m Pena (aka Senor)

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