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Ptah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 02:23 AM
Original message
Gabrielle Giffords' doctors, husband share details on her progress
Source: azcentral.com (Arizona Republic)

Her handwriting looks different in the letter she recently wrote to her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, than it did the last time he went into space. Giffords' mother helped her pen the traditional NASA sendoff note two weeks ago. She wrote to her "sweetie pie," and that part - those words - were the same.

Many other things are different since Giffords' brain was pierced by a bullet during the shootings near Tucson on Jan. 8. Her hair is short, maybe 2 inches long, says Pia Carusone, her chief of staff, so there are scars on her scalp that show through. Eventually, her hair will cover them. A thin scar across the top of her forehead is healing well and fading, and her face, though sometimes swollen, is otherwise the same as before, Carusone says.

Giffords speaks most often in a single word or declarative phrase: "love you," "awesome," even "get out" to doctors in her room at the end of a taxing day. She longs to leave the rehab center, repeating "I miss Tucson" and wheeling herself to the doors at the end of the hall to peer out. When that day comes, Giffords told her nurse, she plans to "walk a mountain."

Longer sentences frustrate Giffords. She must search her brain for the words she wants, which feels like trying to pull out the name of a familiar face you can't quite place, her doctors say. Once she builds the sentence in her mind, she speaks clearly and at a normal rate, and can offer as many words as she has the patience to string together. The doctor overseeing her rehabilitation places her in the top 5 percent of patients recovering from this injury.



Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/04/24/20110...
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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 02:30 AM
Response to Original message
1. K&R. Amazing progress, amazing woman
Thanks so much for posting this update. O8)
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #1
27. it didn't hit the speech center which is an awesome stroke of
luck. She might have a struggle thinking and putting it together but she can still say it and the chance to read again is stronger because of it. My Dad's strokes made that impossible. The left side of your brain near to your ear is your speech center, the broca brain. That my dad lost. God bless her and her family. Your brain never stops trying to rewire. It will work hard if you do for the rest of your life.
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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #27
41. Thanks for explaining the details.
I hesitate to use the word "miracle," but that's what this sounds like to me, the more I learn about it. It's just amazing, and I wish her continued recovery. Wow. O8)

And I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. That is so heardbreaking and such a tough way for you to have learned about this. My mother now has a kind of dementia, sometimes gets me confused with other family members, and that's been heartbreaking, too. :hug:
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 12:46 AM
Response to Reply #41
42. I hug you a million times over and our sweet mom too.
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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 03:46 AM
Response to Reply #42
43. Thank you, my friend.
Actually my mother is a whole lot sweeter and more pleasant than she was before, sorry to say. Previously she was a hardcore Bush* supporting O'Reilly watcher, but in the last two elections she voted for my Democratic congressman because I worked on his campaign. *sigh*

I am also so sorry about your Dad. I lost my Dad to cancer way too young, and I miss him still. At least my mother is happy and comfortable. :hug:
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franzia99 Donating Member (479 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 02:56 AM
Response to Original message
2. k & r
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BlueCollar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 03:21 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. kick...n/t
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Taft_Bathtub Donating Member (197 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 03:39 AM
Response to Original message
4. I'm so sad she learned about the other deaths
I read somewhere else that doctors were keeping that information away from her because she lacked the ability to communicate her grief in more than 2-3 word sentences, and that it was too traumatic for her to know about it but not be able to express how she felt.

So sad. :(
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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 04:45 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. From experience
sympathy would've been outweighed by gratitude for being alive. Her expression could even have been something as simple as a shoulder shrug.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:25 AM
Response to Reply #8
14. Are you saying...
...that you survived a traumatic event in which others died and your emotional response could have been encapsulated in a shoulder shrug?

Just checking.
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sudopod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #14
22. The important thing is that you're able to look down on people on the internet.
I guess that means you won The Game.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #22
25. I just wanted to make sure I understood you.
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 11:54 AM by rbnyc
It did seem like an odd response. You are the one who put it out there. If what I said is what you meant, I wondered if you wanted to explore that topic, or if you had any intention at all.

I'm really not playing a game. And I'm not looking down at you, I'm just curious about what you said.

That doesn't mean I don't have any feelings about what you said. I just thought that shrugging shoulders was a pretty contrasting image to the complexity of feelings one might expect a person to have in a similar situation.

EDIT: I just realized that you aren't even the person I replied too. Just jumping in there to look down on me I guess.

Now that seems to be a good time to shrug one's shoulders.
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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #14
28. No.
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 01:55 PM by dipsydoodle
I'm saying that both from the experience of our 21 year old receptionist who was in a head on collision back in 1991 and then spent 4 months in coma and my wife following two brain operations after which she eventually died Jan 1990. Both shoulder shrugged at any mention of others having suffered harm or death - their own well being had become considerably more important.

From the latter I probably know more about the dyphasia from which Mrs Gifford is currently suffering than you , hopefully , are ever likely to know or need to know.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #28
32. Thanks.
I understand much better what you meant. Your comment made me really curious. Thanks for filling it out a bit.
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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. Just as an experiment
try not using any common nouns at all - just for a while. Substitute with descriptions i.e cups become what you drink from, watches are for time, clocks are bigger ones of the previous etc. That's what happens when you can see a word about 6 inches in front of your eyes but you just cannot say it.

Weird thing is , which I've mentioned on DU before , if you lose the nouns, for example, in your first language you don't necessarily lose them in a second language - my wife was also fluent in Spanish so although she couldn't say milk she could say leche. :shrug:

btw - I'm not touchy about this especially after 20 years and just provide what I believe to be useful input. Best thing Mrs Gifford has got going for her is her own family because they will have the patience she needs.

:hi:
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #33
36. That's why I probed.
I didn't think you were trying to be callous. I thought you were trying to share some experience but I wasn't getting the essence of it. It sounded like one thing to me but I felt there had to be more to it.

That's an intense experiment you laid out, btw.

:toast:
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #8
18. Or tears. Many of us express our sorrow in tears even when we can
find no words to say. I am so happy to see she is doing so well.




Happy Easter to all my fellow Christians on DU and just wishing a great day for the rest of you. The sun is shining and we are back to warm weather here in MN so that is enough to make it a good day.
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PSzymeczek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #8
39. She found out
when her husband was reading a newspaper article and she sensed he skipped a paragraph. She grabbed the paper from him and read about the deaths (although not the identities). She has appropriately, and characteristically, expressed grief, weeping and grieving.
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gademocrat7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 04:26 AM
Response to Original message
5. K&R
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boppers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 04:38 AM
Response to Original message
6. She can build sentences. Kick ass.
That's the Gabby I know.
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blackbart99 Donating Member (421 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 04:41 AM
Response to Original message
7. I can't think of her w/o crying..........
Please keep fighting Gabrielle....we want you back.
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Lefta Dissenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 06:19 AM
Response to Original message
9. K&R
(with tears).

She's someone I knew absolutely nothing about before that tragic day. It says a lot about her that the words of others have made us feel a great compassion and love for her. From that first day on, all I've heard are descriptions of her that tell me that she is a gift to the world, and she is exactly who we need in the House, representing the people of Arizona and adding her voice to shape the discussions about our country.
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truthisfreedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 06:50 AM
Response to Original message
10. Top 5 percent!
Rock on, Gabrielle!
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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:11 AM
Response to Original message
11. What an amazing woman.
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:11 AM
Response to Original message
12. If its possible to love someone so far removed
I love that woman, her spirit, her drive, her will to live has captured my heart. :hug:
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Paradoxical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:15 AM
Response to Original message
13. This still makes me sad.
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MrMickeysMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:35 AM
Response to Original message
15. Be patient with your progress, Gabrielle ((hug))
"Love you", too!
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warrior1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
16. Sarah Blood Libel Palin should choke on these words...
The paragraph told of six dead, many more wounded. Kelly comforted Giffords while she cried. Her grief spread over days and weeks.

"So many people, so many people," Giffords repeated.

Her nurse Poteet would find Giffords with heavy looks on her face, repeating "no-no-no-no-no."

"She was thinking of it like she couldn't believe it," Poteet says. "She kept saying, 'I want so bad,' and she was trying to talk about it. But it was too many thoughts in one."

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/04/24/20110...
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #16
21. Sister Sarah doesn't care.




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47of74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #16
34. That would require a conscience of some sort
Blood Libel Sarah doesn't have one.
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Martin Eden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 09:44 AM
Response to Original message
17. Thank you for posting this. n/t
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freshwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
19. Thanks, passing this on to people who know her.
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
20. Assault Clips failed to stop this Democratic Congresswoman.
Keep getting better.

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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
23. I cried through the entire article
I started when I read this part: "...Kelly hasn't told Giffords that the shooting victims included her friends and colleagues Gabe Zimmerman and Judge John Roll, or a 9-year-old girl, and three others, the kind of older constituents she loves to help."


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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:36 AM
Response to Original message
24. Amazing and inspirational
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Control-Z Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
26. Wonderful article.
I hope everyone takes the time to read it.
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shireen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
29. excellent article.
thanks for posting it. :hi:

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Shining Jack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
30. K&R
A great human being IMHO.
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Auntie Bush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
31. Thanks for this article.
It answers so many questions that I've been wondering. So nice to hear how she's really doing...it's about time. I cried while reading. This woman is so brave and determined. I just hope someday she'll be back in congress. That's where she belongs!
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Trajan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
35. As wonderful as this story is .... and as wonderful as Rep Giffords is ...
... as a human being - This story will have a less than gratifying ending.

I cannot see her winning her next campaign .... I cannot see her recovering enough of her communicative faculties in time for what would be just another hard election campaign ...

Sure .. There will be a sympathy vote ... But, successful politicians talk ... and they talk and talk and talk ...

Yes .. It is a wonderful recovery ... and we all love her to the extreme ...

BUT .... The assassin's bullet, though unsuccessful at assassination, hit it's mark, and will eventually lead to her stepping down from office ...

It is sad .... Even at this pace, she will not be able to go back and forth in a debate in time ....

I am quite pessimistic in this regard ...
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NoodleyAppendage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:00 PM
Response to Original message
37. She's already speaking better than Bush Jr.! n/t
J
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Whoa_Nelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
38. Thanks for posting this, Ptah!
:hi: :loveya:
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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:13 AM
Response to Original message
40. Thank you so much for posting this.
:hug:

I'm so glad to hear it. I never ever imagined her recovery would be quick or easy, but it's wonderful to know that she's in the "top 5 percent."

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