INDEPENDENT!

I met early this morning with the Occupational Therapist, a fairly common time for us to get together.  The difference today?  I was awake, clean, and dressed.  That sounds quite simple, doesn’t it?  It was, today, but up until yesterday, I was being supervised through the entire morning routine — sometimes by a CNA, sometimes by the OT.  She was overimpressed, and I felt as though she believed washing and dressing myself was sometng I’d never accomplished before.  Of course, for her, it was.

We got a nifty little gadget called a rollator from therapy room, (I tried first a link, then an image, but WP for Android SUCKS!) We walked twice down the longest hall and back, and then to my seat here in the dining room.  Before she left, , the OT told me the happy news.  I am completely independent — including hallways and the kitchenette; no more waiting on someone to answer the bell.  I know I had to be   here in rehab for a couple of weeks to appreciate this change this much — and I certainly do.

I am six days from home; next Wednesday, to be exact.  I’m sure I’ll be followed up by home nursing, but that’s okay.  My path to wellness consists of only two steps:  be careful, and walk, walk, walk.

My time spent here at Horizons has brought me face-to-face with one of the bigger mistakes I’ve made in my history of self-care. After my sternectomy, back in 1998, I was asked once if I wanted to go to rehab. I remember the question, so I must have been conscious; I don’t remember anyone explaining rehab to me — I was scared and sad and worried about taking care of myself. I said no. My own decision. But no one explained the value of rehab, or encouraged me to go. I know now that I made the wrong decision — perhaps if I’d been told what I would gain from rehab, I might have changed my mind. This is one of those times when nothing I do can change anything now. At the same time, I can’t help but wonder what life I might have lived.

Now I know better. Here is another of my recommendations, based solely in my own experience: If someone offers a time in rehab, please, please say yes. For me, any fear I had has been swept away by the staff here, who obviously want nothing but the best for me. This service is made available for many post-surgical patients, and for many others besides. Use it. Please.i

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