Sunday, May 23, 2010
She has now graduated from wheelchair to walker and is attacking her physiotherapy program with a vengeance; announcing a few moments ago that she'd walked 1200 feet since rising this morning, and had climbed 14 steps to the garage (with an attendant, of course). This has been a day of achievement -- and besides all that, Elizabeth (a ranger partner from our staff) is bringing her pet feline, DotCom, for a second lesson in becoming a therapy cat (the first was a week ago). Elizabeth thoughtfully brought her animal friend on a leash to visit with Dorrie in the courtyard of Elmwood last week in what promises to be a first "training" in a new career. Dorrie is ecstatic with her new position as a Trainer-in-training!
This afternoon I'll drive into Berkeley to pick her up for dinner out. She's dying for barbecued ribs and in an actual restaurant at that. With a walker we can manage it. With the wheelchair it was a goal to be attained.
Her crochet work is serving backed-up orders (they're beautiful!) which she will continue upon release from the facility -- with a promise to deliver as completed. We're hoping for her return to NIAD (National Institute for Artists and Disabilities) soon after her release.
Life is good ... again ... maybe; at least until we learn the extent of her limited recovery, and how far they'll reach to effect her future.
... and what the implications are of her now extended disabilities, and how far they will reach into and effect my own limited future ... .
Good questions, all.
.. but for this moment it's barbecued baby-back ribs and mild sauce and another session of DotCom's training as a cat therapist! Elizabeth plans to involve Dorrie after her discharge in plans to occasionally visit nursing homes in the area with DotCom for the purpose of making life more pleasant for those whose lives are being lived in shadows. Dorian's experience as a patient will certainly inform her new career, and her great love for felines enables her to appreciate their value as "therapists." No need for intellect here, guys, just a loving heart and the willingness to give. Fortunately, she was blessed with both, as was Elizabeth.
By Jove, with the loving caring support of Elizabeth Tucker, I think we've got it!
Photo: A portrait of the late "Speedy Reid." Dorian painted this as a tribute for a noontime memorial service she conducted at NIAD the day after he was put down by the vet at the age of 17. Note the halo.
Photo #2: Do click to enlarge. The expressions on all three faces are testimony to DotCom's ability to give comfort and reduce stress.
Posted by Betty Reid Soskin at 2:35 PM
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