Although Ladan fell into a coma on 4th November 2004, it is now a little over one year since we believe Ladan had her last haemoorhage, coming at the end of nine or more traumatic months of medical upsets. Since then Ladan has remained in a stable condition.
Ladan shows only minimal signs of any consciousness, that is to say that she opens her eyes, often responds to auditory, visual, tactile or gustatory (taste) stimulation, and on rarer occasions will apparantly track with an eye (her eyes have remained divergent since her last haemorrhage) or respond to a series or requests with appropiate blinking. Ladan’s breathing often changes according to her state and this response is also frequently observed when changing the topic of discussion to something personal to her.
Improvement cannot be measured on any large scale, but physical stability still slowly improves, such as blood pressure and temperature stability, and when Ladan is going through a more responsive period blinking responses have been observed more frequently and probably for longer durations, though such events are still relatively rare. Earlier reports in my blog have seen Ladan more responsive than this but that was prior to the last haemorrhage, in the same way as Ladan was communicating by nodding and shaking her head prior to the seizure in December 2004, each event brought a serious set-back in the path of recovery, which is why a year of stability is, in itself, something to be thankful for.
Since May we have been in a care home called The Minories in Jesmond, Newcastle. It is a very friendly home and much quieter than the Hawthorns in Peterlee or the hospital was. Professional input into Ladan’s case is minimal and almost exclusively clinical, but that is pretty much the how it was at The Hawthorns and the hospital anyway. Ladan has not, as yet, had any serious problems at The Minories and seems very settled here, I nearly always come in to find Ladan looking settled in the mornings. Myself and Ladan’s other family members are also made to feel very welcome here day and night, which I am sure has a possitive influence on Ladan too, probably in more ways than one. There are a few problems which are taking a long time to get sorted out, but so far Ladan seems to be doing very well there.
There is a new rehabilitation centre opening in Newcastle at the end of the year which we still have the option of going to if things don’t seem adequate at the Minories, but I am hoping that will not be the case. In the longer term, if there is no major recovery in the near future, I still plan to get Ladan out of the care home environment and into a real home environment where I can be there for her in a more normal fashion, the medical professionals want Ladan to remain in a care home environment for a significant period of time to be sure that she is stable enough to move into a real home.