It finally happened. Last night around 9.15 pm I got a phone call to say that Ray was in the Rehabilitation Unit that produced the miracles for him in 1999 after his major strokes. Then he spent three months there and went from being a stretcher case to walking out on a walking stick. I am hoping they can repeat the miracle and put him back on his feet again for me.
It is 18 days since the fall that broke his pelvis and fractured his acetabulum ( left hip joint) and so far he has had very little practice walking apart from nurses taking him to the shower using a Full Arm High walker, two nurses and a gait belt the last coupe of days. Not an effort wasted but hardly walking on his own. So he has a long way to go but I am confident that the physiotherapists at the little rehab unit can do it. There are still some members of the staff that were there on his original stay and I am sure they will act as cheerleaders and help him to keep his spirits up. That is so important.
This rehab unit was once part of a cottage hospital, now on the Central Coast we have a couple of mega hospitals , two large private hospitals and the little ones are used for geriatric nursing and this one for rehabilitation, mostly of amputees and stroke survivors. There is nowhere better than a little 18 room 4 to a bedroom unit like this to offer inspiration ("there are a lot here worse off than me"), dedication ("come on Ray, you can do it") and perspiration , well it is very hot in the gym with all that effort taking place! I am so glad he is there, now I can believe that he will soon be walking well enough to come home.
By the way, thank you for the sixteen or so people who came to chat Tuesday night. The banner announcing chat sure helped to swell the crowd. I did so enjoy your company and towards the end a real party mood took over. It really lightens my spirits to join in a lot of fun and nonsense and know that behind it are some people with really big hearts offering each other support and encouragement. Good on you people, you ROCK!! I hope the last one out switched off the lights and secured the premises?
The drive over took me 45 minutes as I got to the school safety zones just after 2.30pm, the starting time. I will have to organise myself better in the future. The journey back took me 35 minutes and my heart was much lighter by then. I am going to approach a few of my older friends as see if they would like to come over with me to keep me company. A lot of them like a drive and it is a very pretty drive, if somewhat long compared with the other driving I do. I know a lot of the caregivers here will relate to that. I know it is only for three or four weeks so I will just do it without complaint ( or maybe an occassional vent!).
All the family and friends will soon know he is there and hopefully some will visit. There was a fellow Lion and his wife talking to Ray when I got there. He is our Tail Twister a man given to telling tall tales in order to extract money from us. His opening remark to me is always:"Got anything on Ray for me I could use to fine him tonight?" As a man descended from Irish stock he has a real gift of story telling and tells a joke that can make you laugh without really knowing why. It was good to see Ray smiling and happy after their visit. Like a lot of others we have lost friends and contact with relatives etc due to the ravages of the stoke but some friends have stood by us and I thank God for them all. And for those here who encourage and inspire me so much.
I finally feel as if there is a chance that Ray will recover now, that he will walk and be able to come back home again. It is comforting to have the dreams I have stored dusted off and out on display again. Maybe...too early to say I know. But at least I have some hope in my heart again.