Chapitre 69 The rehab…

As you have read in Chapter 68, I got transferred from the main hospital to the rehabilitation location as the doctors decided that I could start the « rebuild » phase. Meaning that 22nd June I did get put in an ambulance to move closer to home in a place that focuses on rehabilitating folks with stroke but also all types of traumas e.g. car/bike accidents, …

My goal before leaving rehab!

At that point in time, I thought I could only crawl and was resigned to stay in a wheelchair for a long time. This was till I spoke to my neurologist who gave me some hope…
I amazed myself by doing some steps in my room for the first time when he insisted for me to do so.
That gave me some perspectives of what rehab can bring me…

When I arrived, I simply had no clue I would spend there and what could be the outcome as my status was definitely not brilliant 😔.
Looking around me it looked like it could several months stay and fortunately in a nicer environment and closer to home.

Fortunately I could get a bed in the rehab location 15 minutes away from home allowing easy visit for Isabelle. Am not sure I would have done that well without her daily visits.

To get out of there, I did set my own goals (more optimistic than the ones from the different therapists) meaning that I wanted to be able to visit friends in Brittany early August (as planned).
The consequence of this goal is that I have to not only walk with a support (rollator) but most importantly able to use stairs both ways…

Ok let’s talk about the progress first then we’ll talk about the human side of the stay as it was a story in itself 😂.

I have been lucky to be chosen to be a case study for a physiotherapist student so that I got extra focus and regular assessments, exactly what I need to measure my progress.
I have been there through a rough patch as I was coming from far and my goals were optimistic but my worst enemy was me as I thought I could not make it… but as soon I realised that even if I vomit, fail, fall, … it does not matter, just hold and keep trying.
This is what I did, full focus on my physiotherapist and it paid off.

In five weeks, I could move from a bed to a wheelchair then using a rollator. The next big step before leaving the hospital was to go up and down a staircase…
Amazingly, while I planned one week to achieve this milestone, in reality it took a couple of hours to feel comfortable enough to do it.

So in short all this together could make me leave on 29th July i.e. one seek before my most optimistic plan. So right on time to get ready for my little recovery trip but of course more work is needed on the longer run to clear the potential sequels.

Physiotherapists’ work is one but in the meantime I had to go through the neuropsychological assessments and here, I was so glad to hear that I was doing good and no further work was needed.
Then let’s not forget logopedology where I decided to keep working to get more consistence in my voice to avoid going too high or too deep as ataxia may make me from one to the other. Fortunately, some fine tuning will be needed after I leave the place.
Thirdly you have ergotherapy for which more work on balance will be required and will then support physiotherapy to get it all right.

Another big pain point is the driving licence being on hold due to the stroke and waiting till mid-December but this will come in Chapter 70 about external rehab…

As mentioned above, there is also a human aspect to the internal rehab time. I consider myself lucky to have met high quality therapists who helped me a lot in my recovery journey.
All of them have been positive and supportive to make me progress and provided me with enough energy and understanding to achieve my goals even faster than planned!
I think that I will never thank them enough for their dedication and way of communicating their enthusiasm so that I keep progressing. This team is phenomenal and all the ones I work with since I left the hospital are the same…

The other side of the rehab coin is the relationship with the other patients. I must admit that after the weeks in the peri-stroke services in the hospital, I had high hopes to get a room for myself… Guess what, got a neighbor and at first, I would say not an easy one.
For privacy reasons, no name or details but as time was going on, mutual respect then friendship took place and I did not even ask to get a room (insurance allowing it) for me alone.
We reached the point to spend long hours talking and helping each other in our “bad karma” type of trip and how. To best behave in this environment to eatable better progress and see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Interestingly enough this process came through bad food experience as my wife did start bringing food once a week from nearby restaurants 🙏😉. That was the best ice breaker ever!
This experience helped to enhance relationship with nurses and other patients as well so it helped me to get a much better experience than planned and also try to support my “colleagues”.

I was so glad that all the key therapists who supported me to already get back home for the weekends, now recommended to let me go home full time.
I ended up going back home but with an external rehab schedule. Three times a week at the hospital for psychology, ergotherapy, logopedy and physiotherapy… on top of this I also added two extra physiotherapy visits so that I have five every week for a total of three plus hours.

But this will be the content of my next chapter…

2 replies »

  1. Power of influences and goals.. These chapters are just that and much more to those reading it.. please keep ✍️

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