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Posts Tagged ‘rehab’

yay me

I’m feeling better today, thanks for asking. I even took Jasper for a decent walk. We went to the dog park and I marched right into the deep woods, most because I wanted to stick to the shade. It is actually hot today. I discovered that the mosquitoes are out in force already. When I stopped to talk to another doodle owner, we were immediately surrounded in a cloud of mosquitoes. I exaggerate not one bit. Hundreds of them. But when I walked fast enough, they left me alone.

The thing that was so great was that I could walk fast enough. I actually walked fast through the woods. It wasn’t even my heavy-footed fast for me but slow for everyone else kind of walk – I passed a couple of people. Now, those people were at least 150 lbs overweight each, but still!

Up until recently, I had this weird sort of stomp to my walk, like my shoes were made of cement. But I noticed, as I beetled through the woods, that I have managed to shed that. I still trip a lot, but I look like I’m walking normally.

So I’m kind of thrilled. It wasn’t long ago that I just couldn’t even imagine walking in the woods at all. Now, granted, my zippy walk was only about half an hour long, but it is still amazing.

I wonder when these accomplishments will become old hat to me? How long before I start taking for granted that I can walk up stairs? Because I swear, every single time I make it to the top of a staircase, I am impressed, like a little kid. Look what I did!

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The other thing I did was get a new pair of shoes for Boo. This is more impressive than it sounds. One of my first outings, after I was freed from the hospital, was for sandals for Maya. It took many shoe stores and much pain, spread out over days to accommodate for my lack of energy. (There is nothing new about Maya and parental shoe torture.) In one of the stores, we found adorable shoes that didn’t fit Maya, but would fit Boo. They were sandal-like in lightness and really, very cute. See? –

Now, truth be told, I do have a perfectly good pair of hand-me-down sandals that will probably fit her, but they are black. Basic and black. Asher hardly wore them, with the speed his feet grow. I knew she’d hate those sandals and love these ones and I couldn’t really blame her. They were more expensive than I like to pay but there was Maya, like the devil on my shoulder, saying, “You have to buy them. She’ll love them.”

So I did. And she did. She has worn no other shoe since. Until yesterday, when one strap snapped.

My old self would have been sad and annoyed at the expense and gone out and bought more sensible sandals this time. But I’m not like that any more. I am not sure exactly when it changed or what brought about the change. Possibly I have just become – dare I say it? – less WASPy over the years. Or maybe I just aged and decided it was time to stand up for myself.

I took the shoes back to the store and told the nice saleschild there that I yes I was having a good day, only I had this little problem I hoped she could help me with. I showed her the shoes and the bill I miraculously found, demonstrating the shoes to be 3 weeks old, and she gave me new ones, just like that.

Now, of course, I am risking these ones lasting 3 weeks too, and playing the shoe-exchange game all summer, but I think the problem actually stemmed from Boo’s extremely bad habit of not undoing and doing the shoes up again, preferring to just ram her feet in (so yes, technically the breakage was her fault, but 3 weeks? Come on). So I told her those were the very last ones in her size (small lie)  and if she wants to keep them, she’ll take her shoes off and put them on like a civilized human being. I think she will. She was so happy. Her sheer shoe delight made spending the money on those crappy shoes worth it. I’m getting soft.

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Home!

I’m back home again, and this time for good. They let me go 5 days earlier than originally planned because I’m such an over-achiever.

J was out of town at a leadership seminar all week, or I would have agitated to leave even earlier. A family friend who used to babysit the kids when she was in school agreed to move into the house and look after the kids. She’s 27. She did this once before, when J and I went to Israel for my 40th birthday and that time she swore she was never having children. This time, probably because Boo is older, she wasn’t quite so shell-shocked. I still figured that it was best for me to just hang out at the hospital.

Rehab isn’t like the rest of the hospital. The nurses check your blood pressure in the morning and bring you your pills when scheduled and otherwise, unless you call, they leave you in peace. We had large, spacious rooms built with those with limited mobility in mind, so as soon as I moved up there I was more capable than before. And at night it is quiet, so you can actually get a decent night’s sleep. So it really isn’t so awful to stay there. It helps that I had my laptop, a pile of DVDs, my cellphone and an old Blackberry of J’s, which he set up so I could get my email. And people kept bringing me trashy magazines, so I was totally set to be endless amused.

The nurses were all nice, too. Some of my nurses in the ICU were kind of scary and in fact, caused me to be somewhat terrified of going to rehab. They would try to force me to do things I wasn’t yet capable of, telling me I’d have to be able to do these thing once I reached rehab, and they don’t coddle you in rehab, etc. These ones would also inevitably start their shift with a little lecture, which I am sure you are all familiar with from any movie you’ve seen about someone coming back from a traumatic injury. It goes, “I’m not here to be your friend. I’m here to help you get better. And you may hate me for it, but I’m doing it for your own good, blah blah blah.” I was so sick of this bullshit that by the time the last nurse tried it, I lectured back: “I have a great deal of motivation to get well. I have three young children at home who need me. And in fact, I’m progressing faster than anyone has expected. So I don’t need you to push me, because I’ll be pushing myself. If you try to push me beyond my capabilities, you will only end up making me feel bad about my progress, and that isn’t helpful at all.”

She apologized.

Turns out that in rehab, they don’t practice such silly ‘tough love.’ The physiotherapists would ask, “Do you want to try stairs?” And after every exercise, they’d say, “Do you feel up to doing more, or are you too tired? After all, you know your body best.” It was the best environment in which to get better.

I think I’m rambling around here. Stream-of-conscious blogging. Anyway, I’m still much happier here than there. For one, I don’t have a nurse coming into my room randomly and asking loudly, “Did you have a bowel movement yet?” For another, I was the youngest patient in the place by about 30 years. I was very lucky that my room-mate, Rita, who was about 75, was a very quiet, nice woman. We got along very well.

Okay, it is a beautiful day and I’ve had my rest, so I’m going to join my family outside in the sunshine.

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