DAY 82 We’ve been in SF for a month already. We were expecting a bland week because we’ve been warned that there are plateau’s in recovery. There are set backs in recovery. We got an exciting week! Nicole is getting stronger literally by the day. In all ways. She can now say all or most of a sentence with just one breath like us. But without her voice, it’s still a whisper that sounds like our whispers do. If she’s tired, the words can drift or roll in together. If she giggles or coughs, her real voice comes through, they say it’s just a matter of time for her voice to kick in, boy, that’ll be like hearing the angel’s sing. That’s been our favorite thing about the last month, they can tell you what to expect in the future. My husband and I. all of us, went way too long without knowing anything at all about a future with that girl. Her walking has gone from 3 therapists gripping her like bears to one therapist holding a safety belt with one hand just for safety and using the other hand to guide her shoulder for balance. She is walking fast! We wouldn’t believe it if we couldn’t see it for ourselves. She is still unstable with her balance but i’m here to tell ya …it’s coming right along. We were recently able to celebrate her birthday … She got many gifts. The gift we got…I held up a card so she could see her little brother signed it. Instead of me telling her about that….she blurted out and read me the card!!! Yea..everyone in the room just about dropped to the floor, the next day her therapists tested her ….held up something and told her to read it…She did. Her caretakers and nurses really love her. they are always doing her hair, helping her dress in cool colors and clothes, talking with her, and loving on her. If it weren’t for them, leaving her once in a while to care for her little brother and our business would be impossible. Nicole will be getting therapy there for a hand full of months still. We don’t know exactly how long. Then she’ll have therapy when she returns home aswell..but paying for the recovery with a hand full of months, having members of our family here, there and everywhere all the time, waking up in the morning and having to think for a minute what town we’re in….we can do all that standing on our head. Having quite a bright future ahead for our daughter…priceless! Thanks for you support. Please keep your prayers coming. And send Nicole your positive energy for her confidence and complete recovery.
MAN OH MAN, our girl is really surprising us and her staff at the rehab center!! We are all thrilled because she is all but talking….she whispers like we do and says 1 or 2 words then takes a breath then another 1 or 2 words, then another breath, then finishes what she has to say…it’s soooooo coooool !!! Take it from one who knows! We: me, Glenn and our 2 kids today were talking and eating some chocolate candy bar…somebody said something funny and one person laughed, then another, then another, then Nicole came out with a real laugh…a REAL LAUGH! Then we looked at her and laughed, then she laughed again, then she laughed again!! For all 4 of us Kolpacks laughing together again..like we used to…This was just the medicine me and her daddy and her brother and her needed. Then we called some relatives on the speaker phone and let Nicole say Hi or leave them a message and say their name for them. Dr. Father Glenn was tryin to test the waters…said “Nicole, mom’s cell ph number is …ah…i…think ….7 4 3… and what?’ She whispered the correct remaining numbers to him!!! She is no longer considered in a coma. She is no longer considered emerging from a coma. She is considered in recovery. She is slow. She is a bit unsteady at times. She is doing it. MAN Friends, this is some goooood livin’ real good livin..betta days. So tonight….I pray for YOU. To return the favor, you are doing it for us. We love you for it..Kolpacks
MAN…JUST HAD 2 TELL YA! Miss Nicole is just comin’ rite along..I mean nothing lightening fast, but always a progression. She is taking a few words at a time, a few times a day..and whispering them out. Today, she decided on her own to undo the velcro belt across her lap in the wheel chair, then stood up…YA KNOW…with no one around to help catch her if she took a dive!!! YIKES!!! They are slowly changing her environment…”Stimulation” bright sunshine in her room, going out to the large community room where there’s a bunch of real big windows that show off the city from just about every angle, she looks at that and enjoys it. If she’s not ready to leave when you start to wheel her chair, she’ll grab onto the wheel real fast, to stop the chair. …..Just some good stuff…have a good week…BETTA DAYZ 2 U. Thanks for everything, Kolpacks.
A MUST READ: 10 WEEKS AGO We got the phone call every parent dreads. Today our daughter does these things: With an assistant, eats 3 full meals a day, after Nicole feeds herself with a few bites and her arms get tired, the CNA takes over and feeds her the rest. She smiles what we’ve calculated to be about an 80% of a full smile, it’s an unforgetable sight to see all of her beautiful, white teeth, with her face following along. You can do anything you can think of to make her smile, she’ll only do it when it’s the correct time…or else just watch her face when her little brother walks in…that’ll do it everytime. Very cool to see them love each other like they do. He’ll lay in bed with her looking at pictures, or lovin’ on her. So, so precious. As the days pass, you can catch her being just a hair more aware all the time. She’s not all the way aware like we are, but she does know what you’re saying and understands, she’ll do whatever is asked of her to do, so that’s how we know. Because we still don’t know about her memory or awareness yet until she can tell us. Now, what we’ve all been waiting for: With 2 therapist’s, one at each side, for safety, Nicole Walks! We measured: she walks about 60 (sixty feet) one way to an excersize room It can be a little slow and in-balanced, but she does it on her own and every day gets better at it. Then stretches, listens to music, uses a big excersize ball, all with assistance at each side, they help her with balance and strenth, etc. and it is working, you can see a difference for the better every few days. We are lovin it! Then she walks back to her room, another 60 feet.
Now, what we’ve all been waiting for: I was telling her one day that she is physically able to talk, the dr’s tested her and her voice will work, and she can just try to experiment with her voice, to see what it sounds like. She smiled and turned her face away from me. I instantly new she was too shy and embarrased to try. “I told her it was just her and me in the room and I heard her very first voice when she was a baby and since then it’s always been an extra pretty voice, let’s see what it sounds like” She looked back over to me and in a way that if you weren’t looking at her, you would miss it, Nicole whispered with hardly any whisper to it: “I Love” then she smiled. I smiled back and said ” I Love You Too”. About 5 minutes later her dad walked in a I said “Nicole, tell your daddy what you told me” She looked at him, smiled and whispered with barely a whisper “I Love” Then we all loved.
The first time Glenn and I were driving down to tour the rehab center Nicole is in, I was looking out the window in the car, very destitute, sad, and worried. I was thinking about how many times i’d been to San Francisco simply to go down and enjoy the day..and how I felt going down on that day…almost nausiated. I saw a big old barn on the side of the road, it had these big letters painted on it. “Better Days” it said. I was thinking how much I wanted better days as we drove by it. After a few passes by the barn on later trips, i’d think here and there, yeah we are having better days. They are getting better and better as we see her progress more and more. I’ve enclosed a picture of the barn. I hope it brings you better days…it has for us. All of us.
Please keep praying for Nicole’s full and complete recovery, your prayers, your thoughts, your energy is working. Thank you from the bottom of our mending and cautious hearts.
(From now on, we will update you once a week…unless of course, something happens in between that you must know right away!!)
Date: Aug 22, 2010, Sunday. Place: Elks Lodge, 100 Elk Dr., Sonora, Ca. 95370. Time: 3:00pm – 8:00pm Dinner 5:00pm, Live Music,Car Show, Raffle, Auction To: Donate go to nicolewillwalk.com, to donate items for raffle or auction, go to firstname.lastname@example.org