As I mentioned last week, I have not had a fantastic January. On Wednesday I was discharged from the hospital after a two week stay for a broken femur. I left St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, NY, and was admitted to Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital in Schenectady, NY.
I have lived with a life-long disability, but this is my first stint as an inpatient at rehab. I have worked as a speech-language pathologist at rehabilitation facilities, which gave me some idea of what I would experience. But doing the work is a different story.
To qualify for my stay, I must be able to tolerate and participate in three hours of therapy each day. Three hours may not sound like much, but trust me – it is work.
Each morning, patients receive their therapy schedule for the day by 9:00. It lists when you need to be at therapy and the name of your therapist. For example, yesterday (Saturday) I had Physical Therapy (PT) for an hour with Steve at 10:00. I had Occupational Therapy (OT) for an hour and a half with Margaret at 1:00. Then I had another half hour of PT with Steve at 2:30.
It has only been four days, but so far I am enjoying my stay. I can see small progress already. I have more bed mobility and am able to hold myself up on my side better than I could on admission. My pain is not gone, but it is managed better. I am diligently taking my pain medication prior to therapy sessions. I am sleeping soundly for longer stretches at night.
The atmosphere in the therapy gym is positive and encouraging. Everyone is here to get better, to improve in functional ability. Progress is celebrated and people are quick to offer support.
I am blessed with a wonderful roommate. MF is a former teacher who had a stroke a few weeks ago. She is hoping to go home after another couple weeks of physical, occupational and speech therapy. My first night, she asked if I minded her practicing her speech exercises, not knowing of my clinical background. I’ve been helping her practice for the last two days.
This is just the beginning of a long road. I am still not able to put any weight on my left leg, and the right one has some healing to do. My stamina has taken a hit, but my will to succeed remains strong.
Thank you for your notes of encouragement. I am inspired by your faith in my ability. I am exhausted at the end of the day, but it is a good tired – knowing I have done my best to put myself into a better position for full recovery.
Current status: ice pack on my knee, prayer shawl on my shoulders, chamomile tea next to my phone.