Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Right Way Of It

(I'm fairly certain that Lisbeth's brain is all pastel colors, like this one...)
I visited with Lisbeth today. She called and asked if we could go shopping for a new bed blanket, and before we went shopping, she showed me some projects that she's been working on, like this googly eyed nose. Yes, a nose. Lisbeth loves to joke. You do know it's the funny way of it, Mom!
And these white paper hearts that will soon have intricate designs cut into them. For Valen's.
And this drawing of Milkweed that she worked on during this week's session with her (new and wonderful!) expressive arts therapist.
Milkweed. Little name of her. By Lisbeth Miller. Love it. Both of us. It's so beautiful. With a flower and a sun. Sleeping on my scarf. She couldn't believe it.
(It's a good likeness, don't you think? :*)
Oh, and Lisbeth showed me this puzzle she is making. With the flowers and the hummingbird. Pretty way of it.
Lisbeth is a complex puzzle. Her moods shift rapidly. After we went shopping, she became triggered by an incident about her bed. The new comforter we bought came with a bedskirt and pillow shams. Lis's helper and I started to put these on Lis's bed, when Lisbeth became agitated and wailed, but can't have the old sheets! Evidently she thought that there were going to be new sheets, and began to cry when we told her that they didn't come with this set. I told Lisbeth that she could buy a new set of sheets with some Christmas money that she still has, and that she could even go out and get them right after lunch. Hearing this would improve someone else's mood, but because of Lisbeth's brain injury, she perseverates on negative thoughts and needs help to switch gears. We - her family, friends, and helpers - have to lift the arm off the skipping record that is Lisbeth's brain, and gently place it in another groove. This is called redirecting. The process begins with alot of echoing back to Lisbeth, simply repeating what she is saying, and this validates her reality. Because she has a TBI and chronic seizures, Lisbeth often feels unsafe, threatened, frightened, and anxious. She describes this as the hurt feelings. People working close with Lis must remember never to take things personally, to be prepared to be the focus of her anger, and above all, to get used to going to jail...