Jenny had her first real trip out in public today. We went to the sea horse exhibit at the zoo that Jenny talked about seeing prior to her stroke. It started out rough when a child, doing what a child would do, commented to peer something concerning Jenny’s condition. Jenny already resisted going out into public for this reason (being looked at as the “handicapped” person). She was able to calm herself, but had various outbursts of emotion throughout the visit for various reasons. It was crowded at the time we went to the exhibit, but a quick walk around the zoo was pleasant for her. She continues to do well in therapy and is getting slightly stronger each day.
The highlite of the day was when Jenny was hooked up for assistive communication and environmental controls. In just a few days, Jenny has become able to control a delicate pressure switch that can work a speaking board and turn on/off things that we use every day (such as lights or tv). Jenny burst into tears of joy when she turned on a light by herself. For the first time in over 3 months Jenny had actual physical control over something in her environment. Such a small act was so huge to her. She powers switches powered by her hand, head, or toes- where she has most movements. Today marks a dramatic change in our lives. It will take a while for Jenny to become good at the speaking device, but it will be so nice to know that Jenny is having her needs made known all (or most) of the time.