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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.



Anonymous said...

~Thank you for sharing~ You are fabulous!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. Glad to hear that things are still going well.

Anonymous said...

Great update! It's great to see Court out and about. I can't believe she got onto the climbing wall! She's really amazing. Keep up your good work, Sean and Courtney. Don't ever give up. Some day, these struggles will all be in the past. I hope to see you both this summer!


Aunt Marti

Anonymous said...

courtney seems to be doing well and making progress i really am so happy for her progress, i think the person i am concerned about is sean, a support system is wonderful for courtney but she is a strong girl and will forge ahead and yes sean you have helped her so much but what about your life , you need to return to your life and you can also help courtney by doing that and helping her after your normal day. sometimes you can become too involved and you need to step away and handle this as a functioning adult in the real world and courtney still will flourish under your care. sometimes we become consumed by hardship and want to try so hard to fix things that you forget about the real world and you need to address that and both your lives in prospective, you need to help eachother thru this by standing seperate from eachother and this will make both of you stronger.

Anonymous said...

I think you should identify yourself if you wish to share your thoughts or concerns. If you won't identify yourself and your thoughts are criticizing. . . you should stop posting. Seems like your agenda is off-topic."Functioning adults" speak their minds in person and stand by what they say.
Martha Conway-Cole

Anonymous said...

As the parents of Sean, we can say that our son is functioning in a very real world. People have experienced hardships and unexpected medical conditions every day and when something so terrible as a heart attack happens to your own girlfriend, who is talking to you one minute and collapses in your arms the next, it puts what's important in your own life in perspective. With Sean right now it is being there for his girlfriend. What a gift you can give to another human being. I say to anonymous could you do that? Only someone who is special enough not to put his life on hold but to live it to the fullest. We as parents say we are proud of two people who are dealing with extraordinary challenges on a daily basis.
Keep on going Sean & Courtney,
Love, Sean's Mom, Sharon

Julie/Mom said...

Thank you Martha and Sharon~
I was debating whether or not to respond to "anonymous" or not. I am happy that it was done by you both. I of course, have my own spin on that comment but chose to wait. I one hundred percent agree that people should identify themselves, especially if they make such specific types of comments. I also agree with Sharon who has the most wonderful son anyone could ask for. Sean seems to truly have a grip on what is happening and how to handle it. He does take time for himself and Courtney is fine with that. I have to say that unless you know the situation and just where Courtney is at in her rehab and how Sean is dealing with it that comments can be taken in ways that are ambiguous to say the least. Courtney is doing well, as well as she can at this point. But is it as well as she can be?? Who knows....I know that because Sean is there for her, she is doing as well as she is. He is a phenominal person with in-sight to her needs and feelings beyond his years. I have just retuned home and it is with much trepidation and mixed emotions that I do so. But knowing that Sean and her new adoptive family are on board helps with transistion. I also know that I am ever thankful that Courtney is lucky enough to have pulled through this horrible event and ever thankful that Sean has been there from the beginning. Thank you Sean and Sharon and Greg! Bless you all.
Love, Julie/Mom

emily said...

whoa, whoa, watch where your pointing that thing! miss you Courtney!

Anonymous said...

Your have all taken my words out of context, i have been a good friend of seans for 4 years now and have seen him and courtney together and yes he has done wonderful things to be proud of as you should, but to see him and courtney consume themselves in such a small world is not good for both of them and you can ask a professional on this point and wish you would, everyone has hardships and the healthy way to deal with them is to let these two people stand alone and not overshadow both their worlds, what is sean doing for his world and when his world becomes larger he will make courtney happy and they still can be together as healthy young adults as they should. i have seen sean try to make courtney better and he can do this by carrying out in his world for now and when courtney recovers they will have at least have a healthy relationship. knowing sean as i do i have seen his sadness , his world and dreams crushed with what happened to courtney and i am not taking away what he is doing, but this should be left to professionals and sean needs to resume his life with courtney in it not consumed by it and this is the way a normal adult would handle this situation and as his friend he needs to participate in his world and then help court as a whole functioning human being. if he were my son i would be proud but i wouldn't allow him to stop his world, what about his dreams and hopes, what about his world, by letting him continue in this way this is not healthy and i think everyone involved needs to address what is happening to this young man, besides the pain of what happened in both their lives having him go on without the normalcy of the outside world and everyday tasks is not normal. courtney has made great progress but to say her progress will depend on sean is so unfair to him. her recovery could go on for years and where will this leave sean, i have seen him very depressed and this just isn't right, the parents of sean should be proud but they also need to think about their son and his future, he needs to work and spend time with court and make social progress in this world........

Anonymous said...

After reading these blogs, I fully believe that Sean can take of himself. "Annonymous" is not giving enough credit to Sean. He is capable of making his own decisions and right now he has made the decision to be there for Courtney. He'll be fine. I have faith in his ability to live his life the way he wants to. I hope you too can find a way to have faith in Sean's ability to be himself.

Aunt Marti

PS By the way, "annonymous" - Who ARE you??

Anonymous said...

Much love to Courtney and Sean. I can't believe someone would use this venue to discuss these very personal issues with his/her friend. Anonymous, would it not make more sense to have this discussion privately with Sean? This feels very passive aggressive....and hurtful.

Courtney, Keep up the good work. You look pretty badass in the latest photos. Hasta luego,


Anonymous said...

Hey Court! That BB gun is some serious heat. It looks like I'm going to be able to visit in August, rather than May like I thought. Typical Navy changing everything around. At least I'll get to come, though :) I have dreams every once in a while about you making SERIOUS progress with all your therapies, and that can only be a good sign. See you soon!


Anonymous said...

I have only spent a brief amount of time around Sean, but from what I hear, he is perfectly capable of making his own decisions. I only know that without his love & support, Courtney would not be doing as well as she is today.....
I continue to pray & think of all of you!


Anonymous said...

I was getting a bit concerned, as I'd checked in now and then and didn't see a new post. It is heartening to see what progress you're still making. At this point, it must be a bit like "heartbreak hill" during the Boston Marathon (I used to live quite near it in Newton) - where you've come a long way swiftly, but that long,slow climb is the apex of agony - so I've been told -I never had the urge to test the theory myself - I usually watched with a hot dog and beer in hand, being a true athlete at heart.

As your Aunt Marti says, never give up and at some point, when this is a memory, the stamina and determination will fuel life's greater challenges. This I do know first hand.

All my Best, thinking of all of you

A bientot, Monsieur Le Frais (Gordon)

Anonymous said...

I posted my last comment before reading debate on Sean's ability to adopt a realistic perspective on this difficult situation. I've met Sean briefly, and he impressed me as a young man of great intelligence, and more importantly, deep compassion. He knows exactly what he's doing. How many times in our lives do we have the opportunity to demonstrate true compassion? It is about sacrifice, not an easy task.

Perhaps somewhat like Rev Wright - the words of 'anonymous' may ring with some truth, but the belltower you've chosen is chiming over the the wrong pulpit.

Anonymous said...

y'all rock!