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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY COURTNEY


24 YEARS OLD!! PLEASE JOIN ME IN WISHING COURTNEY A HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND A FANTASTIC NEW YEAR OF HOPE, JOY AND RECOVERY.

As I think back on the year that has passed, I am amazed at both how quickly it has gone and also how slowly it seems to have gone for Court. She has come such a long way but has an even longer way to go. Court is still legally blind. She has only tunnel vision at best. What she does see is very clear and she's now wearing extended wear contacts. She walks with the help of someone guiding her when on unfamiliar territory. At her home she is able to get around on her own, except on the stairs. It takes her a long time to get dressed and to eat meals but she does it by herself. Her therapies consist of physical therapy, occupational therapy and horseback riding therapy. We are looking into swimming as well, especially since the weather will be getting colder soon (ugh)...
One thing that I think Court would love to do is get back into working some type of job. We aren't sure what that may be yet but vocational counseling will help with that.
I would like to ask everyone who has been traveling this journey with Courtney to send her a special prayer this day. I would like everyone to join in and send her birthday wish of continued positive recovery! Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!
Love, Julie/Mom

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Court's back from Aruba..




Courtney headed out to Aruba last Sunday with her high school friends by her side to attend a wedding. They were there for four days and had a wonderful time. The weather was great and the wedding was beautiful. Needless to say none of them wanted to come home. It was the first outing for Court without family, just friends and I'm sure she enjoyed herself to no end. It was a much needed R&R for her and the rest of her cronies!
She had come home to Maine for a week before that and had some R&R, Maine style,visiting with her Dad and Martha as well. While here she went horseback riding twice with a great friend of ours. She was walking and trotting by herself! Then her old riding instructor came to watch and say hi to Court. They hadn't seen each other since before the event a year ago. That's Pam and her pony with Court above.
Speaking of a year ago, it's been almost exactly one year since Court had a cardiac arrest. We are celebrating a year of phenominal recovery,determination,hard work and most of all LIFE. We are all so grateful to have Courtney with us and watch her continue to recover and improve. This is such an arduous, long road for her. Please continue to read and comment on this blog even though it is not updated as often as it used to be, comments are ALWAYS WELCOME and make this blog more interesting. Without comments it's hard to post things so please let us know you are keeping track of our girl. Thanks to all who have kept up with this blog. God Bless....
Always, Julie/Mom

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Courtney Update...

Hi to all you faithful Courtney fans.
It has been way too long since we have written about Court's progress. Basically her progress is still happening but still on a much slighter scale. She is refining some of her techniques, always striving to do better. I don't see her very often, it is very hard for me not be nearer to her but more than anything Courtney wants her independence back. With her will, stubborness (where did she get that from??) and determination, she will be there faster than anyone imagined. She is still the miracle girl and I am constantly amazed by her spirit. Things are getting very routine for her and I'm sure she'd like to move on faster. As we all know, patience is a virtue.
Courtney is coming home this Sat. to Maine for a week long visit. I will go over to pick her up Friday and hopefully attend two therapies with her.
I hope to post more later on her trip to Michigan last month for a mini family reunion and a memorial service for her Grandfather and Grandmother.
Thanks to all who keep this constant vigil over Courtney. Your prayers and thoughts are greatly appreciated and still very much a large part of her recovery. Please continue to do so. Bless you all.
Love, Julie/Mom

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Fare well Joel....

We have lost a very good friend this past weekend. One of Courtney's oldest friends (since grade school) passed away. We are shocked and devastated at the news. A more compassionate person you wouldn't find. Joel was a benevelant young man who would do anything for his friends and did. He was key in helping execute the two benefits for Courtney this past winter and early spring as well as hosting the two events. He helped raise quite a bit of money for the fund, along with all the other friends of Courtney who put in their hard work, time and effort.
Joel is off to sail other oceans we cannot see...He has other agendas to tend to, others to help. Thank you my dear Joel. Sweet dreams, we all miss you terribly.
Julie/Mom

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Dining Adventure !

Courtney's trip home went way too fast! She was here a week ago Monday and gone last Sunday. I had to work Tues.- Thurs. so I didn't get to spend as much time with her as I would have liked to, but it beat a blank!
On Tues. she slept in until after 12 noon, probably for the first time since the arrest.(obviously not including the coma). The rest was much needed and appreciated by her but getting her to bed at a decent hour the next night wasn't easy and I had to get up early to go to work. So it was decided she wouldn't sleep that late the following mornings.
We had a great evening at the cottage in Damariscotta with friends who made one of Court's favorite dinners: burgers and dogs! It was mucho fun and delicious! Thanks Tom and crew! Wed. she dined at Moody's for lunch and then for dinner the Whale's Tooth Pub in Lincolnville Beach with her Dad,Martha and crew and Uncle Scott and wife Carolyn from Santa Fe. Thurs.after work more friends and neighbors arrived to wish Court happy returns,etc. so we just enjoyed the evening at home. Great to see everyone! Fri. Court and I lounged around in the morning and then went to Augusta to peruse the new(to us) Target store, one of our favorites! We had fun there and came home to join best friend Patricia and Jim for her birthday celebration dinner at the Silver Lane Bistro. YUM! We had a great time eating our way through the week! Sat. morning Court met her high school friends for breakfast in Washington at a new cafe called Sweet Seasons. Blueberry pancakes apparently hit the spot! She was then off to Belfast to meet her Dad and go sailing (tough duty) and on to have some well earned lobstah dinnah at the Lobster Pound.
She is back in Burlington now and hopefully put a few pounds! She is doing very well in her therapies. I couldn't believe how well she is going up and down stairs and actually doing some jogging! She is truly amazing and we are all very hopeful about the future of this incredible woman who has defied ALL the odds. Let's pray that she continues to do so. With everyones help and support I'm sure she will go far! Thank you for your continued support and vigilance of her.
Bless you all,
Julie/Mom

Friday, June 6, 2008

Court's coming to Maine...

Hi All,
I know it's been a long time since an update was added. Courtney has been doing well continues to progress. It is a slow, steady, hard road to go for her. She continues to do her therapies and routine exercises.
I wanted people in the Maine area to know that I will be bringing her home for a brief visit on June 16th. She will be here until that weekend, not sure which day she'll head back to Burlington, VT. So anyone in the midcoast area or further is welcome to come visit or call her on her cell. She and we would love to see and/or hear from you. Thanks for keeping Courtney in your thoughts and prayers. It really does make a difference!
Love, Julie/Mom

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Horseback Riding Photos

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_MG_8717
Originally uploaded by SeanCooley

Photo Slide Show here

Getting Back on the Horse

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Courtney paid a visit to Windswept Farm in Williston today, the horse farm where she worked in 2006, to start her therapeutic riding program. Physical therapist Keta, lesson instructor Tina and good friend/aide Ann were all on hand to help her mount Walter, a 25-year-old Morgan horse. Court says he's a kind and gentle beast.

It was a short, but sweet ride, Courtney was grinning ear to ear, she may have been a centaur in a past life, who knows. She'll be riding again this Friday and the Friday after, so more photos and videos may follow.

-Sean

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Great Outdoors

Burlington at 80 degrees in mid-April, the wonders of Vermont never seize to amaze. Courtney and crew have been soaking up at much UV as possible since being back, putting in tanning hours on the waterfront of Lake Champlain and exploring tourist havens like Middlebury and Stowe. Some of our other extracurricular activities:

A day at camp
, the Flynn's own a quaint cabin and some land in Huntington, Vt. a town best known for it's gorge. We drove up in a pickup truck, grilled meat, fired guns and rode trails on an ATV thereby maximizing gas consumption. We are true-blooded Americans. The guns were of the BB variety and Court's aim wasn't half-bad, she buried a few rounds into the shooting range dummy Fernando.

Rock climbing
, I was amazing after stepping into Petra Cliffs indoor climbing center in South Burlington. It's a warehouse sized building covered wall-to-wall with climbing and bouldering courses and a friendly staff of humans and canines. Having reviewed the work of Sylvester Stallone in Cliffhanger and pre-insanus Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible, I belayed as Courtney tried to get her feel for climbing back. She's been a climber since she was a teenager and she has the basic technique if not the strength to climb again. She maxed out twelve feet up the beginner's wall, it's certainly a challenging activity that we'll pursue more regularly.

Swimming at the Sports and Fitness Edge
, a gigantic warm water pool in Essex with a hot tub and fairly bodacious water slide. I'm working with her on swimming, she uses a buoyancy belt to stay afloat and can perform a limited back stroke and doggy paddle. It's a great workout for her coordination and she has direct feedback if she's not pushing as hard with her left arm and leg.

Therapy is going well at Fanny Allen, her occupational therapists have Court moving around in the kitchen, she was able to measure and mix ingredients for brownies last week. In PT, she's using a walking staff to move on flat ground without assistance. She's still cautious moving on stairs and uneven terrain, but her stride and gait is becoming more fluid. In speech, she is still working on conscientiously speaking up, her therapist uses a recording device to play back Courtney's voice and give her feedback on clarity and volume.


On the vision front, Courtney is seeing an
optometrist and an osteopath in Montpelier. She hasn't had a substantial improvement in her eyesight, it may be a matter of time before the prism prescription helps her adjust. It is frustrating for her when she's trying to read or stay aware when there is lot of movement in her field of view.

Overall, we're happy with how our transition to Burlington has gone. There's still a long road ahead, but having a support system of family and friends makes a big difference. We're lucky to have everyone to lend a hand. We're thinking of throwing a springtime party and BBQ, updates to come.


-Sean

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Moo! Fun in Stowe..



Today was a short day of therapy for Court. Since she only had one today, we decided to take a short road trip to Stowe. Sean,Courtney,her Dad and I headed over to visit the Cabot cheese store and sample some of the fine selections they had to offer! After downing various varieties of cheeses and other goodies, we then went next door for some fine chocolates! It was off to the Apple Cider place across the street for some cider donuts and fresh pressed apple cider.
Waterbury was next on the tour for actual dinner at a really good pub/brewery called The Alchemist. It was great to just get out and be a tourist for an afternoon! The weather was some what c0-0perative by hitting 61 degrees for a minute. Some fog and rain made an appearance but it managed to clear off by the time we headed back to Burlington.
Court has had a somewhat rough time this past week trying to get off her last anti-seizure drug. It went well for a few days but after her last pill she bacame quite weak and shakey. The doc said to put her back on the lowest dose until we can sort out the problem. Could be she will stay on this drug for a while. Time will tell.
Please be sure to keep Courtney in your healing thoughts and prayers. She still needs all the hope and help she can get. This time of rehab is really hard on all of us. She is not making positive strides as quickly now that she has come so far. It's only natural for this to happen but at the same time it becomes somewhat disheartening for everyone, especially Courtney. This is the beginning of the next stage of her rehab. Wish her good luck!
Thanks,
Love, Julie/Mom

P.S. These pictures were put on the blog under protest from Court...
Doesn't she look cute?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Settling In


Being back in Burlington for the past weeks has been a nice return to familiar faces and places. We're happy to see all our friends, Court's been able to talk and joke around with everyone just like old times. There's been no lack of tasty food and helping hands.

Her therapists at Fanny Allen are terrific, she is slowly working on writing, working her left hand and buttoning or zippering clothes. She gets to swim in a heated pool Monday nights at the Sports and Fitness Edge in Essex, she can wiggle around doggie-paddle style until she's tired and relaxes in the hot tub. We've been to the past two weekly pot luck dinners her college friends hold and they've been a great time, it's a social environment that's easier to interact in and navigate than the bar scene.

A few folks have asked about Courtney's schedule and living situation. I'd say that anyone looking to hang out with Court, feel free to give her a call on her cell phone (she may not pick up right away, but can check voicemail and usually can use voice dialing to call back). She's free most nights after dinnertime as well as weekends. Court's also been practicing on the computer, using some of the adaptive features, so send her an e-mail if you like.

We're spending this snowy weekend in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, Marti's house here is filled with neat trinkets, I could probably spend hours peeling through old baseball cards. Winter is refusing to die, so I guess that means more drinking indoors and reading Stephen King late at night.

-Sean

Friday, March 21, 2008

Easter Egg Hunt Party :)

Tonight at 83A Ward St. there will be an Easter Egg Hunt Party. Its what it sounds like...at 9pm an Easter Egg Hunt, lots of games, plenty of Beverages, friends and fun. A suggested $5 donation to cover party costs and overflow goes to the coin drop. We'll see you all tonight! Give a call if you have any questions: 802.355.2466

Amber

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Court's New Address!!!

Court is transitioning into her new digs very well! Kathy and Pat are wonderful pseudo parents, or rather caretakers and they all seem to have a similar sense of humor(very important) as well as food likes/dislikes, etc.
Just to let everyone know Courtney's new mailing address is: 27 Oak Creek Drive, South Burlington, VT. 05403
My email in case anyone should want to contact me is: gallicat@hotmail.com.
Thanks,
Love, Julie/Mom

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Moving On


The day has finally come, Courtney's leaving Crotched Mountain tomorrow and we're headed up to Burlington on Saturday afternoon. After much finagling, the pieces have come together for Court's rehab and living situation in Vermont.


Courtney will be living with the Flynn's, a middle-aged couple with traumatic brain injury experience in South Burlington. She'll have round-the-clock supervision and a bedroom and bathroom to herself. We're looking forward meeting them and getting Court settled in.

Her therapy evaluations will take place next week at Fanny Allen Hospital in Colchester, she'll be able to resume PT, OT and speech therapy there on an outpatient level. We'll also look to take advantage of some recreational and adaptive therapy programs in the area (swimming, horseback riding, etc.) She'll have a new case manager and a life skills aide on weekdays in Burlington as well.

Court's excited to be moving on up and continue the progress she's made at the mountain, most recently: ditching her wheel chair entirely and using a walking stick to move independently early in the day (which she's promised to swing upon the first Little Bo Peep joke) as well as getting a new prism prescription for her eyeglasses in hopes of realigning her eyesight and helping her balance.

We've got quite a few people to thank and chocolate cake to devour tomorrow.

-Sean

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Dinner/Auction

Tonight's event went very well. It was absolutely delicious. There was spaghetti with marinara sauce or meatsauce, all kinds of breads and rolls, salad and homemade desserts to die for! My compliments to all the chefs! Far better than the average spaghetti dinners, this was excellent! I do not have any figures or a headcount yet but I did get to see many familiar faces that I haven't seen since Court's high school days (or in my case, daze!). It was so much fun and the evening went way too fast. The auction was fast paced and so many wonderful things were auctioned off. I think we did quite well.
I want to thank all the people involved in setting up this wonderful benefit event. I know it took a tremendous amount of work and planning and it showed! And to everyone who participated in it, whether it be working there or attending and bidding on the fantastic items, a HUGE THANK YOU as well! I hope everyone is happy with their treasures and we all appreciated the support and show of love for Courtney. It was great to see Court's friends and mine as well.
With sincere gratitude,
Julie/Mom

Thursday, March 6, 2008

SFC Meeting This Coming Wednesday

what are those again?...

Sorry about the extended delay in SFC meetings and happenings. Personally, I was super busy and needed to get some things out of the way to allow myself to fully commit to SFC again. Jeff and Lynn Gregory's class hustled to organize a raffle which raised over $1,000 and the cycling team raised a similar amount. I've since spoken to Courtney's dad, Doug, and emphasized how much the money we've raised (and will raise) will help out with Courtney's continued rehabilitation when she gets back to Vermont. We are ready to get going this coming Wednesday (March 12th) to discuss a few event ideas, a new date for the silent auction (which is still happening); and best of all, Courtney's arrival back in Vermont. If I don't hear from anyone I'll plan on 6pm at Morrill Hall again. If anyone has a suggestion for a different day, time and/or location, let me know and I'll arrange it around everyone's schedules. After working through almost 1/2 a year of kinks and dilemmas in our 'management' and organization system, I think a few changes will be made to improve the flow of our meetings as well as events.

Spring in Vermont gets everyone out and ready for fun. The Sun is finally out, the days are longer and warmer and spirits are high. Lets take advantage of this get some outdoor events going.

Doug, I accidentally erased your message with the phone number when I was on the road this weekend. Could you e-mail or call back with it.


Well, unless posted otherwise, I'll see you on Wednesday of next week at 6pm - Morrill Hall. (I am bringing all t-shirts with me to distribute).

Happy Spring!
Amber

Thursday, February 28, 2008

'Status Quo....

It's been business as usual here at Crotched Mtn. Courtney has been trudging along in her daily therapies and things are progressing but at a more regular speed than previously experienced. This is bound to happen as she continues but it is somewhat disheartening for me to not see the speed with which she was gaining before. Things have leveled off so to speak and she is ready to move on to her next venture!
Our date of discharge now has been slated for March 14th with a review at that time of her status. Her Dad is up in Burlington today checking things out for Court so we will have a better idea of what's available there. It's Court's first choice to go back to her beloved Burlington so that's where we hope she lands!
To all who know me somewhat, I am saddened to say my Dad passed away this last Sunday and it's been quite hard on me. I find no time to grieve and it's been hard on Court too. She didn't get to see him this past year so she's been in a funk about that. Finding time to write on the blog is difficult with everything else going on but we will try to continue to add information as it becomes available.
To end on a happier note, there will be a benefit spaghetti dinner and auction Friday evening, March 7th at the Rockland, Maine Elks Lodge on Maverick St., I believe starting at 5:00 p.m. The auction starts around 6:30. I sincerely hope everyone who can will attend this yummy and fun event. Some very nice things have been donated so please tell people you know to come along and enjoy a great evening of food and fun for Courtney's benefit!! Thanks to everyone.
Much love, Julie/mom

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Meetings and Then More Meetings


Today was Courtney's updated care plan meeting with us, her therapists, case worker, Crotched Mountain reps, Vermont reps, etc. (next time we should hire a band and catering). The first half of the meeting covered Courtney's continued progress since her initial plan was created three months ago.


In speech therapy she's focused on higher learning cognitive tasks like keeping up with current events and researching topics of interests. She's also exercising her voice to project louder and more clearly. Courtney can hold conversations with familiar listeners and is working to have unfamiliar listeners understand her better.

In occupational and physical therapy she is still making great leaps, using an enlarged keyboard to type a few small words, walking up and down stairs faster and fully dressing herself. We've seen the benefits of her having one-on-one attention from therapists, we owe the whole team a debt of gratitude.

While she's made so much progress, the consensus came that she is not fully ready for outpatient therapy quite yet. The hard work she's putting in at the mountain is too valuable to risk losing without a clear plan to move forward, a plan that's still being developed.

The second half of the meeting concerned discharge planning, an issue that seems to grow more complex each day. Her current insurance provider is determined to drop Courtney's coverage as soon as possible, pressuring us to take her funding source into account, not solely her rehabilitation and quality of life.

We've applied through a Vermont provider and they've been very helpful, however being covered means she'll likely be moved to a Vermont facility immediately. The options with the appropriate therapy for Courtney would be in Montpelier, which we have a meeting with on March 7, and Rutland (or Rut Vegas to Court), which Doug toured yesterday and may or may not be in the mix.

Nothing has been set in stone, we are hoping her insurance holds up so Courtney can continue doing what she does best: kicking ass.

-Sean

The Lucky Garter Girl: Greenfied Wedding Photos

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uploaded by SeanCooley.

Court caught the bouquet at Brenda's wedding at the Greenfield house. Great food, cake, booze and dancing. Click on the picture above or visit the link to see the photo gallery for the event.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

AWSOME Waldoboro "Support" Concert!!

Courtney's Maine connection of supporters came out last night to attend a double header! Two bands played for a great group of people who came to enjoy some really good music and dance! The Waldo Theatre was filled with a lot of familiar faces and some new faces as well. The bands encouraged everyone who wanted to come out and dance. The first band to play was a great bluegrass/ragtime/folk-rock group called the Toughcats. The three members are from North Haven Island, Maine and played a great set. They had the house's attention from their first song and continued to command the attention of everyone! I yelled for an encore but to no avail.
The second band was the Pickled Beats, with a cast of four, playing a wide variety of classic rock songs. They were too good to sit still for, so many got up and "cut the rug" including myself! The place was well attended but I don't have an offficial headcount yet. I will post it as soon as I find out. The whole event was preceeded by dinner at the local Narrows Tavern with a portion of proceeds from dinner there going to Support for Courtney. A local art gallery, the Tidemark Gallery donated 20% of all sales for that day to the fund as well!
A basket was placed in the entrance for donations to help defer the cost of boarding my horses. People dug deep into their pockets for that as well.
All in all, it was a great success. The hard work and effort that was put into organizing and hosting this event was evident and very much appreciated. Thank you so much to everyone who participated, from the organizers,to the bands and to the people who came and showed their support for Courtney! And to the people who couldn't come.........you missed a really fun time!!
Love, Julie/Mom

Friday, February 15, 2008

Adaptive Snowboard Round 2

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Things have been busy up on the mountain lately, our new friends in Greenfield had a 60-person wedding in their house last night and we're going to a Manchester Monarchs hockey game tonight. I finished editing the video of Court's last snowboard trip. She kept her strength up all day, riding down the length of the mountain four times with three spotters, Doug and myself following along.

Hope everyone found a Valentine yesterday or at least had a few chalky "I Love You" candies. I got Court flowers and chocolates, she gave me a big pair of chocolate lips. We danced at the wedding and she muscled her way to catch the bouquet.

Courtney's care plan meeting has been bumped up to this Wednesday, we'll talk about the her progress in therapy and next steps then.

-Sean

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Winter Festival and Fundraising

We raised $1,127 for Courtney. The Winter Festival fundraiser was a success. We would like to thank the CDAE at the University of Vermont, Accent Travel, Summer University, Stone Works, UVM Athletics, and everyone involved with the fundraiser. Cyrus and Ann win the salesman/woman trophy. Thanks again to all those who sold tickets and stood in the cold.

I was there for most of the day, which was perfect for a Winter Festival (take a look at the photos). There were a number of people who had read about Courtney in the Winter Festival Paper, or from the UVM Cycling Trainer Ride in the past couple weeks. That was wonderful to hear as well as all the people who shared stories of themselves or family members who suffered from a disease or illness. These conversations lasted anywhere from 5 seconds to a few minutes, but were very positive. People on the street passing by seemed more willing to donate after we quickly explained Courtney’s situation.

A woman who works at Healthy Living in S. Burlington won the plane ticket. She said she has never won anything like this before and was happy to donate to Courtney’s fund.

We’ll probably start the weekly meetings up again soon. If anyone is interested at hosting the meetings at their house that would be great, let us know. If anybody is interested in taking on an event or setting up a table in Burlington we have the coin buckets and displays for you to use.












-Jeff

Friday, February 8, 2008

Snowshoeing in Lieu of Boarding


Court's snowboarding trip has been postponed, but only until Tuesday, we've had some gross weather lately anyhow, sleet and freezing rain (nature's diarrhea). We made due by breaking out snowshoes from the recreational therapy department and had fun trudging around the baseball field at the mountain. Court had no trouble getting around, no falling either. I was previously a snowshoe virgin, I'd like to do it again sometime.


If you're in the Burlington area on Saturday, please visit our friends at City Hall Park and around Church Street. If there are still raffle tickets available, please buy one or tell a friend. And if you happen to find yourself with a beer in hand later that night, please drink it.

Enjoy the weekend everyone.

-Sean

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Winter Festival in Burlington, VT

The SFC will have a table down at City Hall Park during the Winter Festival in Burlington on February 9th. We’ll be there from 10am – 4 pm. A special thanks goes out to the University of Vermont, CDAE from UVM, UVM Athletics, Summer Univeristy and Accent Travel.

We’ll be selling raffle tickets for $5. The prizes are listed below on the poster. Feel free to stop by Saturday and help out or just say hi.

- Jeff

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Triking the Mountain

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Courtney spent a physical therapy session yesterday triking around the mountain. She had little trouble, needing only guidance from the therapist and she sported a smile for most of the ride. I'm happy that her therapists are constantly challenging Courtney and keeping things fresh with new activities and adapted toys like bikes and snowboards (next snowboarding trip is scheduled for Feb 8).

-Sean

24 Hour Trainer Riders Brought In the Bling $$$

With a coin drop sitting in front of their tent set-up and a table of flyers, stickers and posters, the UVM riders brought in over $700 for the Support for Courtney fund. Thats over $100 more than the projected outcome. Thanks UVM Cyclers for your effort and enthusiasm as well as your participation in the Support for Courtney cause.

Sooner or later Courtney will be out there with us, cruisin' around B-town and having a good time.

-Amber

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Photos from the 24 Hour Trainer Ride

These are some of the hardworking individuals from the UVM Cycling team that donated their time, effort and leg strength. You may have seen these cyclists on the local Fox 44 News on Saturday evening! Thank you Mike Femia and to all who were involved and braved the cold and wind on Friday night and Saturday.







- Jeff

















Friday, January 25, 2008

24 Hour Trainer Ride for Support For Courtney; Hosted by UVM Cycling

Today at 3:30 pm, the UVM Cycling team started setting up for their 24 hour trainer ride on Church St. The ride was organized and developed by Mike Femia and the team to raise money for Support For Courtney. Thanks to this courageous crew of cyclers and friends (its really really cold), a table with a coin drop, an informational poster, stickers and fliers will be on display for a full 24 hours raising awareness to everyone passing by. That just about covers it all; families, people going to and from work, people going out to for a good time and people coming back from a good time with an added stagger to their step.

We are so lucky to have such a great group to help us raise awareness to Burlington's public. If you are in the area, scoot down to the Burlington Square Mall where you will see a red Ski Rack tent with a bunch of riders in spandex and bikes set up all around. Bring something warm and some good cheer, because its going to be a bone-chilling 20 degrees tops. They will be there until approximately 4 pm tomorrow.

Keep an eye out for information on the Winterfest, February 9th, hosted by Lynn Gregory and her CDAE class working with Jeff Szatkowski.

More information on the Silent Auction, it is still happening, is soon to come as well. If you are expecting a t-shirt, don't worry, they are made and should be shipped out in the coming week. Things on the Support For Courtney front were put on hold temporarily due to Winter break and personal commitments, but is in full swing again.

I'll leave you with this tidbit of information . . . the cycling team really gets pumped when inspirational music is blasting, for example: The Final Countdown.

-Amber

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Discharge from the Crotch (What a Gross Title)


We had about 15 people sitting in on today's meeting, all working toward achieving a recovered Courtney Blasius and planning for the day when she eventually rides off into the Crotched Mountain sunset. Here's a roundup from the agenda:
  • Based on Courtney's progress thus far, each of her therapists saw a potential benefit in her continuing therapy at the mountain for at least for another month.
  • Courtney's says she wants to work on becoming more independent while at Crotched Mountain, with goals of unassisted walking and dressing herself in the near future.
  • Her destination of choice for outpatient therapy is Burlington, although we need to be sure any facility in the area can meet all of her needs (vision impairment, physical assistance, local therapy, comfortable living, etc.)
  • Court's case manager is working with the insurance provider to allow her stay at the mountain to continue. We're still awaiting approval from Vermont Medicaid, changing providers may alleviate some time restraints on her rehab.
We'll await word on the insurance, in the meantime everything is great in New Hampshire. No one could have a assembled a more caring, helpful and knowledgeable support team. I'm glad everyone liked the snowboard video (she stayed on her feet the entire time, Lindsey Jacobellis is jealous) I'm sure there'll be more ridiculousness in the weeks to come.

-Sean

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Adaptive Snowboarding



I've edited together a video clip from our day of snowboarding on Friday. Courtney had great stamina, riding down the bunny slopes for three runs. If we can get her into the rotation for the adaptive snowboard program, she could take the ski lift up to the top of the mountain next time, perhaps in early February.

Another full day of therapies tomorrow and then looking forward to our meeting with Crotched's staff on Tuesday.

-Sean

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Week in Review

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Some of the highlights from last week in no particular order:

On Wednesday Court had a routine heart appointment with Dr. Kim from Catholic Medical Center. She had an echocardiogram performed and the prognosis was that her heart looked healthy.

My parents came up to New Hampshire on Saturday afternoon, we took a trip to neighboring Peterborough after dropping off supplies of Stephen King novels and bootlegged DVDs to the house. Peterborough is definitively a quaint town, about twenty minutes from the mountain and at least 50 miles away from the nearest shopping mall or Wal-Mart (I am beside myself without a localized area to buy useless crap). We had lunch at a pub called Harlow's, good Mexican food and good beer. My parents were really impressed with how strong and mobile Courtney's become, they last saw her at Spaulding which seems like eons ago.

With instructions from Dr. Robinson, the neuro-optometrist, and Crotched's vision therapist we've developed some tantalizing eye exercises for Ms. Blasius. A few involve moving a penlight in front of Court's face and challenging her to follow with her eyes and not move her head. Playing ball is another productive activity, having her catch or intercept balls as they are rolled toward her or across a table.

Courtney's had a strong week in therapy, she's has been walking close to a mile throughout the day with less support and guidance. She's working wonders with the speech therapists to adjust the pitch and tone of her voice. She's slowly better able to dress and undress herself and becoming coordinated with her left hand.

We're looking forward to adaptive snowboarding tomorrow, as long as tonight's snow and freezing rain clear up in time.

The next meeting with the Crotch's therapy team will be on the 22nd to discuss Court's progress and eventual discharge into an outpatient care. We're not positive where that facility may be yet, likely in Vermont or perhaps Maine, she said she wants to go home to Waldoboro for a week or two before starting outpatient rehab. A group living facility anywhere near Burlington may be a good fit if she can get appropriate therapy and return to her social life.

Below are a few scenes from the mountain and the Greenfield house, Reese is the clingy but lovable housedog and the crystals are dagger-like icicles that spill off the house (they remind me of Superman's fortress of solitude).









-Sean

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Eyes Have it!!

Courtney's eye exam with Dr. Robinson in Windham, Me. went very well today. He said her eyes look normal and healthy but the connection to the brain has been scrambled and needs to connect with the "backup" part of the middle brain. Also, her eyes are not focusing on things because they are not working simutaneously. One eye is looking one place and the other eye is trying to find it. That would blurr anyone's vision, let alone try to decifer it. He gave us some eye exercises to do with Courtney and in about two weeks or so she should start to see more clearly. It remains to be seen how long it will take for her to see well enough to drive or do more complicated things. All in all it's very good news and we look forward to giving Courtney the old one,two in eye workouts! Thanks to everyone for all your support and positive thoughts! Prayers are the key and she is living proof!
Love, Julie/Mom

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Neuro-eye exam

We are off to see the Neuro-optomitrist early tomorrow morning. Courtney is reporting that she is seeing better each day but we don't want to miss anything. I'm not sure what we will learn from this exam but I am excited about it and hope it gives us some insight as to how Courtney sees and where we can go from here. Maybe it will just be "time" and that will be ok as long as she continues to improve. She is starting to read words in inch size or so and is playing some card games with a large deck so things are looking up. It must be all the prayers and positive energy everyone is sending her way! Please continue to do so and we will let you know how everything goes after the visit. Thanks to all!!
Love, Julie/Mom

One Badass Snowboarding Trip

.From CrotchedMountain.com

Thanks to Crotched's winter recreation programs, Courtney will get a chance to ski on the resort side of mountain on the 18th, so I took a sneak peak yesterday and tried out my new snowboard in the process. I was with Courtney when I bought my first snowboard at Burton's summer sale in Burlington, hoping that she take me out to Smuggler's Notch or Jay Peak and show me the ropes. The Crotch may not be on par with Vermont's mountains, but it was great for me, a beginner with a few lessons under his belt.

Before hitting the slopes, I poked around the equipment room and saw the adaptive skis and snowboards that the recreation crew uses. With a combination of handles and leashes, Court will be able to ski with someone riding behind her as a guide (not me, unless she's got body armor on). While I was better than the majority of the seven and eight-year-old children on the mountain, my boarding skills use some refining, but I had a lot of fun and sustained only a mildly sore posterior in the process.

Wish us luck for tomorrow, we're bringing Courtney to Windham, Maine for a day-trip to the neuro-optometrist, I'll post some bits after the appointment.

-Sean

Friday, January 4, 2008

Chillin Poolside

Court in the Pool with Dad



Courtney unleashed some pent up swimming energy in the therapy pool last night, after allowing a few weeks for her old defib incision to heal up. As I've mentioned before the therapy pool is more like a therapy hot tub with 80 degree water which Court can move through with ease. Come pool time she's Superwoman, jumping and running with reckless abandon, hopefully it's a preview of things to come on dry land.

Court has steadily improved her eating skills, transferring food to her mouth seems to be the most difficult, but she tackled the challenge of peas at dinner. I didn't realize how tricky it can be to eat everyday foods like rice, peas, soup or spaghetti (somehow chocolate, in any form, makes it straight to her mouth with minimum spillage). She's nearly mastered picking up drinking glasses and eating from bowls of oatmeal or pudding.

In occupational therapy Courtney has practiced dressing herself in the morning. She's had mixed results using a Sock Aid, which entails unrolling a sock over a plastic semicircular tube, sliding her foot in the tube and pulling the socked end over it using a rope attached at one end. Her left hand is still weaker than her right and trying to put on a sock with one hand is futile exercise, as is helping to put on gloves in under ten minutes. But she's getting better at zipping up her jacket and taking it off, a skill she'll need to brave New Hampshire's 10 degree temperatures.

I've just bored Court to sleep with some Democratic debate videos, locals have been talking about the primaries coming up on the 8th and I haven't decided who's the least filled with bullshit just yet.

-Sean

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Whitewashing in a Winter Wonderland

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There's no better way to show your loved ones that you care than to pelt them with snowballs, then knock them down and mercilessly shove fistfuls of snow in their faces. We enjoyed a post-blizzard snow day in the expansive backwoods of the Greenfield house on Sunday. The owner was doing a bit of logging, hence the chopped trees and fire pictures, we served as the halftime entertainment, I believe that Marti's friend Gordon drew first blood with the snowballs and the battle escalated from there.

No one was safe, especially the guy with the fancy, but non-waterproof camera, I bounced between snapping shots and playing defense. A majority of the snowballs appeared to be targeted for Court's aunt Marti, who flew up from Arizona this week specifically to participate in the fight (and probably spend Christmas and New Year's with us too). Unfortunately Marti must leave to return home to her shelties, she could only stick around to see pretty white fluffy snow and not the grimy brown slush it will eventually melt in to.

Court hit the gym yesterday for part of physical therapy, she's been exercising on simple leg machines with light weight. Not only is weightlifting a part of her rehab, she's also training to box Ivan Drago in a few months so hopefully her stamina is up to snuff in time for the fight (running with me on her back and drinking raw eggs are part of the next phase).














-Sean

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Ringing in 2008


It's been a fun snowball-fighting, tree-chopping, turkey-cramming, eggnog-chugging kind of a day (photos to follow). Along with family and friends, we celebrated the new year, or as Dick Clark put it "doo" year, at our home away from home in Greenfield. Court should move back into her regular therapy schedule after New Year's Day and meet with the eye doctor in Maine next Wednesday.

Until then we will have to revise our resolutions, Courtney broke her resolution to stop doing her boyfriend bodily harm and I broke my resolution of not whining about it on the Internet. I'm still about a quarter in the bag, so I'll stop writing for now and allow others to slip into a nog-induced hibernation.

-Sean