Saturday, February 21, 2009

My hospital rehab

One of the first things that my physio worked on was getting me to be able to sit up on my own on the edge of a bed. Literally that took weeks before I could sit upright without assistance and without toppling over. Your trunk balance was needed before you could sit in a wheel chair. The next thing they worked on was getting me into a standing frame so that I could get weight onto my legs. The next task was working upon my standing balance so I could actually stand without holding onto anything. I will always remember the look on Margaret's face when she came into the hospital to visit and I stood up on my own. What an accomplishment after 2 months in bed. By standing on my own, I was able to start transferring to a wheel chair without assistance. Another celebration, until I fell in the lounge trying to get back in my chair from the couch. My break had come off.

Another celebration was being allowed to go downstairs on my own in my wheelchair to get a cup of coffee. Freedom. Not without comedic complication. You try wheeling a wheelchair in a straight line using only one hand and a cup of coffee between your legs. Fire doors were also a real challenge. I had to get close to the door, push the bar hard with my one good hand, then try and wheel my chair through the opening as the door rapidly closed. Coming home from weekends, I also had a clothes bag in my lap.

Finally came using the bars where I was able to work on bending and straightening my legs and that magical moment when I got to try lifting my feet to actually move forward. I didn't get just forward though, they made me do backwards and sideways as well.

The next big step was taking away the bars and using a quad cane. A regular cane with four feet rather than one. What a sense of independence. I loved walking the halls just to be moving. God help the person that moved one of the hallway chairs on the rehab floor which was the rest stop locations.

The next big step was when Leslie took Carl and I outside to work on the sidewalk and hillside. We had to wait for each other sitting in our wheelchairs like blind beggars with our shades on. Coming in from outside, the best part was getting to walk up the 5 flights of stairs to get back to the rehab floor. What an accomplishment. After 3 months and one day, Iwas released from the hospital to continue my rehab at home.

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