To us,it seems, Lydia has a divine gift of peace and joy. She does sometimes get frustrated at not being able to do what she wants to do, but these frustrations do not linger nor lead to anger as we might expect. She quickly goes back to trying again. Today she was working on standing up in a slow and controlled manner, and she had to try it many times, and was still struggling to control her impulses. She became sad for about 10 seconds, and then was ready to work some more..
When we look at the Rancho Scale with its levels of cognitive functioning, Lydia is mainly a level 5, with some level 6 tendencies. She can focus for a few minutes. She can remember past events, names and people from before the accident, but not remember information she was just told, or she just said. Sometimes she answers questions accurately, and sometimes she makes stuff up, but believes it to be true (confabulation). Sometimes she gets stuck on an idea, or activity, and she has trouble switching to the next part of the activity. Often she reacts physically, before the cognitive piece clicks in - so head nodding is no longer accurate, as she may nod without making a definite yes or no decision.
We realized yesterday, that she will usually take the first choice offered to her. Last night, at bedtime, I asked her if she wanted her blanket on or off. She said on. So then I said, "Sorry, I didn't catch that, do you want your blanket off or on?" ( I switched the order) and she said "off". She is unaware of her inconsistencies, and so it is taking us some time to figure out how to respond to her.
Over all of this, she is content, mannerly and imbued with a childlike innocence. She waves often to us, and says "Hi Mommy", or "Hi Daddy". Her smile is bright, as if to say she is genuinely happy to see you. I can leave her for a few moments of privacy on the commode, and when I return, a big wave and smile, "Hi Mommy". When I finish helping her, "Thank you, Mommy". When I respond, "you're welcome", she smiles widely at James and with finger pointing to herself, proudly proclaims "I am welcome". Such a sweet spirit.
She will teach us much. She prays and talks to God like He is right beside her. Today at lunch, she was looking up and waving. When I asked her if she saw someone, she said "God", and kept waving and smiling up. At other times, she has pointed to a friend, as they walk up our walkway, and waved. Tonight, she was pointing to heaven and then waving.
We have been trying to help Lydia understand that over three months have passed, and that many things have happened. Tonight James was sharing with her the news of a dear family friend who had died in June. When James told her that she is with Jesus, Lydia responded "Lucky Ducky!"
For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these, is the verse that reverberates through our minds.