Memorable Experiences in Rehab


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My first and most memorable was shortly after my brain surgery the staff neglected to tell me that I stroked during surgery and that I probably shouldn't get out of bed. Not knowing this, I needed to use the bathroom and went to stand up and crumpled like a wet noodle to the floor requiring 7 stitches above my left eye to close the wound when my head hit the floor. Now that folks was an awful rude awakening. The doctors rushed me into to have scans/MRI to check the coil repair on the aneurysm to make sure that no further bleeding had been started.

 

Good thing for those special pain cocktails the nurses were administering :crazy:

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My most memorable moment was 6 weeks in there I had gotten into a routine and knew the nurses and physiotherapists.  Still with a wheel chair I knew they gathered ever morning at patient activity board describing therapies x-rays schedule and training.  They were usually sipping on coffee reading their assigned patients and commenting.  

This one morning I was pushing the wheel chair.  Not yet was their comment.  Sit it.  Joking and laughing at my enthusiasm.  Then for some reason with all of them looking at the board I said whats that.  Several said what are you talking about.  I said under the medical pill cart. When they started looking.  Then as all the carts were being moved I said oh there's a mouse.  Stamping my foot as if to try and get the critter.  Screaming and shrieks continued as I stopped the floor.  The charge nurse came to see what the commotion was.  They were all sounding off there's a mouse.  As the charge nurse looked straight at me I started laughing.  It was a moment that was so funny.  Not that it wouldn't be possible the charge nurse said 20 years ago they did have bats get into the building.  Very funny Mark so now double your work outs.  Still remember how some scampered away.  

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I remember the third day in hospital when the breakfast container came round with my toast and tea. The previous day I'd had to eat dry toast being unable to open those silly little sealed packets of butter and marmalade, today I had prepared a written note which I waved at the server, it said "Please butter my toast". She was pretty indignant having a busy schedule and complained at me , but did it!........ I'd written "Thanks " on the other side of the paper and got a smile when I offered that!

Deigh

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It's kinda quiet tonight, and a little bored so I'll add this story since Deigh mentioned the breakfast container coming around. After being transferred to a second hospital during inpatient rehab closer to home, in the rehab wing they had this rather large fella with a device on a cart that would measure the amount of fluid in the bladder. Much similar to when they do an ultrasound for pregnant women with that gel and device they move around to get an image. I was under doctors orders post surgery to keep track of this. If the bladder registered a certain percentage of fluid he would catheterize to relieve the pressure. That creepy cart that he used when he was rolling it through the hallways had a wheel that would wobble and make a certain distinct noise. I was pretty averse to being catheterized as it was not only uncomfortable but wasn't crazy about having it done in general...by anyone. After being catheterized twice during one night I devised a plan. When I heard this cart with that unmistakable wheel wobble in the hallways, I'd struggle to climb down off my bed and crawl on hands and knees to the bathroom and crawl up on the bowl to relieve myself before he made his night rounds to my room to avoid that catheter. At night it was my routine to ask the night shift nurses to close my door almost all the way and turn off the lights, so if needed I could crawl to the bathroom undetected I could pull it off. At one point I just asked them to catheterize me and leave it in but they refused, so I had to come up with my diabolical plan to avoid this guy with the machine.

 

In the first couple of months I'd have a couple of nurses help me into the bathroom with a wheelchair to do my business and being 54yrs and a very independent guy at the time of the brain event, I certainly wasn't used to a couple of nurses cleaning me up after using the bathroom. I totally understood the necessity of it because I wasn't capable of performing those simple tasks, but it wasn't easy for me to relinquish control over my privacy. I did come to terms quickly with the fact when you're in the hospital under their care and guidelines, you have no privacy, I got it. But still, what an experience.

 

Btw, those folks in the rehab wing were saints, and I made some great friends with the time spent there. Thank God for them!

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My only way to cope with long term hospital and having to give up all privacy etc. was something a disabled friend said to me early on "check your dignity at the door, with a bit of luck you can pick it up again on your way out"

 In other words surrender to the process, its a fight you aren't going to win. I'm not saying there weren't times I hated it or tried to avoid things but overall, Bron's strategy was the easiest and most successful.

 

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The last time I was hospitalized a few years back for a cardiac event, (stent and a valve job) it was the smallest things that hurt the most. A nurse would periodically come in to poke my fingertips for blood sugar analysis and when I saw her come in my room, just the look on my face gave me up. She said apologetically yea...I know it hurts. All of my fingertips were bruised from that tiny needle. The last day I joked with her and said, yea, go ahead and stick me, after all I'm paying for the abuse! We both had a good laugh.:tongue:

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Since they didn't really know what was wrong with me, but treated me for stroke, physio was the WORST. 

I was exhausted, not sleeping due to a night owl in the bed across from me, trying to walk properly, grab things with a very non compliant hand...hated every minute. 

Highlight of my day was when Wayne and the kids came to visit and we went down to the cafe.

 

Also, when you have a baby, dignity becomes a thing of the past!

 

💚👑

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When I was seven years old I was in isolation hospital for scarlet fever plus complications. When I started to recover I took up knitting to overcome boredom. I planned on knitting a pair of gloves but changed it to a jersey and again to a tie. A tie got boring so I changed it to an airplane. It actually flew once when I got cross with the boy in the bed opposite, rolled it into a ball and threw it at him.

Deigh

 

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OK this is a little TMI but I thought I would share since I missed inpatient rehab all together. (They missed my diagnosis) I was at home and my daughter had been helping me. At this point, I was barely getting around and I had severe vertigo. I also did not have much control over certain things (incontinent...I would go as soon as I saw the toilet and I had not even made it to the bathroom yet. I slept for probably about 18 hours per day. One evening I woke up and my tummy was rolling! I got up and Hailey ran around to help me...as i wobbled slowly to bathroom I began to cry...I knew this was going to be an unkind moment. I waddled right past the toilet and into the tub and just stood there bawling as my daughter was perplexed. I just kept saying "I can't I can't". My daughter's eyes got big and she screeched "OMG mom!" as my pajama bottoms began to speak volumes. If that was not enough, I was trying so hard to stop it that a volcano came up through the back and front of my pajama bottoms. My daughter's face was horrified and my dignity went down the drain. Needless to say she quickly helped me remove my pajamas and handed me the hand sprayer before ducking out to breathe. It was a full on shower moment. Poor Hailey had to come back in to help me wash. I cried for ever!!!! Today, this story is something her and I can recall and we both laugh so hard we can't speak. I told her I have no doubt she loves me that's for sure! :blushing::lol:

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Tracy, you brought up a point in my past recovery that many overlook because they would rather be left in the past. I can imagine that in most recoveries that there are both moments of successes and exhilaration as well as the failures and feelings and agony of the defeats. I've definitely had my share of both, and took what I could benefit from either. You mentioned crying at one point. I've had my share of those moments, shared by none, alone, frustrated and felt hurt and defeated to the core. I cried out to God as a child would to his Father. The one that really sticks out is I had a fall in the dark, alone and hurt, I desperately tried to upright myself on the hard tile floor but could not. I laid on my side and let it out, I cried out loud, pleaded, asked why..what did I do to deserve this. Nobody was home at the time, I trembled, shuddered, I really needed to let it out, all the pain, the frustration, what I have lost. My future, everything that could not be regained, a normal marriage, my job, my future..it shook me to my core. In that moment it was all inescapable, I had to let it go, all of it. 

 

When the emotions subsided, I was still left with my dilemma, my left side is much to weak for any support to lift my body for stabilization to push myself up off the floor, and nothing to hold on to pull myself up. I just laid on the cold tile floor until I crawled much like a worm over to a piece of furniture that I could basically crawl up on and sit upright until I felt I could stand up from that position. I worked my way to the bedroom and dropped down on the bed, rolled onto my back and thanked God and asked forgiveness for my lapse of weakness. But, it was therapeutic to let all that anger, frustration, pain, hurt out, I really needed it in order to move forward as I knew then, there would be more days ahead like this..I felt better.

 

Thanks so much for sharing your experience, it helped me as a reminder of my frailties, were so human after all.

 

 

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So true Will.  Sometimes it helps to lie on the floor and howl for a while.  Whether that's from despair, frustration, horror or hysteria I never could tell. But the reality is eventually you pull yourself together, crawl up out of the "slime" and carry on, and for a while the burden is lighter.

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Will and Heather... So true. I am better these days than I used to be (PBA/CRYING/UNSTOPPABLE). I still have ongoing PBA and it rears its ugly head every so often maybe more often than I'd hoped. I have been in the thick of it on numerous occasions. Wailing, defeated, angry, tired, confused, terrified, sad, alone-alone-alone! Yes it is so true... Sometimes you just have to let it all out! 

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17 hours ago, heathber said:

Absolutely Will, nothing like a four legged listener.

Heather, yea he's a real "first world problem solver"...:2thumbs:

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On 7/19/2021 at 10:30 AM, will2 said:

"When I need a good listener, no really...as long as I can keep his attentions!"                                                         Quoted from 3 posts back (it wouldn't do what I wanted it to do so I typed it myself 🙂

 

 

Will that is so true for me too!!!! LOL do you know that I have told my daughter and others close to me "OK... maybe you aren't really listening as intent as I may be sharing but nodding and saying yes, uh huh, I understand (you know signs of someone listening) I'm good." It's very unlikely that I will rehash what we discussed specifically I just need to feel I am heard and the people I love and who love and my support system are well being supportive even if passive. It's almost 100% likely that if I go on a long venting story doing these things will be enough to feel validation without being shot down and I will no know the difference. I totally get zoning out while someone is reeling, pining, venting, etc etc. I sure hope I engage/aknowledge their words enough to validate their importance and their words importance. I know if I get that I am a calmer crazy Tracy who can get through a lot of things. I hope this made sense. 🙂 

 

 

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My two four legged furry listeners make all the difference in the world!

 

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Tracy, what excellent buddies to keep you company! I have a few Chewy boxes scattered about in my house too:tongue:

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On 7/23/2021 at 7:46 AM, will2 said:

Tracy, what excellent buddies to keep you company! I have a few Chewy boxes scattered about in my house too:tongue:

Thank you Will. My children look forward to the box with the blue on it :biggrin:!! 

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6 hours ago, heathber said:

A house with one or more cats HAS to have empty boxes scattered all over, it drives my Mum nuts, but...

I couldn't agree more Heather! The first thing Bella and Kitty do once the box/boxes are empty is jump in to claim their box. They play for a good while and return to play many times after. Chase, Hide and Go Seek, Pop goes the Kitty, Peek a Boo, Tag You're It!, or an afternoon nap... Or all of the above! I usually take to recycling after a day or two... by then they are bored until next month's box. A box is the universal best toy for pets and kids! :tongue:

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Box, or bag, mine enjoys them both. Though a word of caution about getting your feet too close to the bag when occupied.

 

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Oh yes the bag ambush has got me on more than 1 occasion. Although Jade does seem to enjoy when you "tickle" the closed end of the bag, any excuse to rip a hole in it 🙂  Use a stick not your fingers when going for that tickle.

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  • 4 weeks later...

 "not have much control over certain things (incontinent...I would go as soon as I saw the toilet and I had not even made it to the bathroom yet"

 

 

Tracy, these are your words.

 

I'm pretty sure that most of us could say exactly the same thing!!

 

I came off baclofen as I discovered that it didn't really make a difference to my spasms. Not being on the tablets certainly made my incontinence better!!

 

I still have trouble, and I agree, just have to think about heading to the loo and the urgency increases 10 fold!

 

Will, hugs for you, my friend 

 

💚👑

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