I thought the session would be like the others I had that week, using the Ross Return. We headed off to the big gym, then transferred from wheelchair to plinth. I sat on the edge whilst a rehab assistant bought over a hoist. I was confused because I hadn’t used a hoist for a few weeks now so why did I need it now?
Then i realised, I was going to try to walk.!
The team helped me to get ready by putting all the support/safety gear on me. Once all the belts and straps were fastened, the hoist was lowered. Before everything was put in place I could feel my stomach tensing up. Whatever happened next was crucial, to me. My PT signalled for me to slowly stand as the hoist was raised, whilst holding on to the hoist bars for dear life! I stood up OK, kept my balance even though I was a bag of nerves inside.
The hoist then moved forward…I took one step, then bought my other foot forward. 2 steps. My PT and a rehab assistant had to support my feet as due to my Ataxia, it would cause my feet to be all over the place. 2 more steps, then another…I was doing it! I was walking!! 😁
After a few minutes my PT advised me to have a break, as soon as I was lowered back into my wheelchair I burst into tears. All the pain, sweat and tears I had experienced up until this point was worth every second. I was adamant that I would never walk again and consultants could not say if I would either. I just wanted to shout from the rooftops that I had done it! My PT and I shook hands, you could see how happy he was 🙂
I went back to my room and sat in silence as I was trying to process everything that had just happened in physio and that I might have missed the chance to say goodbye to Rachael.
A few minutes later Rachael came in and sat next to me. She asked how physio was and I explained everything that had happened. She was beyond pleased for me 😊 I said to her “We will be friends forever and ever right? “, I really did not want Rachael to go, she replied “Forever and ever”, I knew the moment she said this that it would help me mentally. It would give me hope that I would bump into her one day. She had tears in her eyes and I could not stop crying. I gave Rachael a wish bracelet, just a little token to say thank you, in return she gave me a friendship bracelet which she made herself.
We spoke for a few more minutes and then the time came where we had to say goodbye. We hugged and through my tears I said “Please don’t go”. As she stood back up, we both took a deep breath and smiled. I turned my wheelchair around and watched her walk to the door, we couldn’t say goodbye, instead we waved to each other and smiled. She closed the door as she left and instantly I put my head in my hands and sobbed. I’ve experienced loss in my life but knowing I probably would never see her again broke me. Rachael will always be special to me and I know she will be a fantastic nurse.
A few days later, my PT was happy for the Ross Return to be my new transfer. I was very happy!! To think back to when I first woke up in critical care…I couldn’t move. It caused me excruciating pain when nurses had to roll me on to my side. But now, I’m a boss with the Ross 😂 (Ewan’s reaction to that line was 🙄)
Every Friday, all the patients would receive a timetable for the next week. I always check mine before it is put on my wall. As I scanned the paper, I read ‘Home visit with OT’. I gasped and covered my face. I hadn’t been home since this had all happened, we were now in August so 5 months away from home…this was the longest I had ever been away from family.
Tuesday arrived and I really did not know what to feel. It is a long journey from rehab to home so this did not help with overthinking everything. Once we were all set, we headed home. When I started to see roads that were familiar, I thought I would cry but felt nothing. Grace pulled up outside our house, I just stared and again felt nothing. I sat in my wheelchair, in my living room and my dogs, Max and Molly were so excited to see me as I were them. Molly is the smallest and the more she kept trying to jump onto my lap the more she looked like a penguin jumping haha bless her!
Aside from cuddling my dogs, I was baffled as to why I felt nothing about being at home. I got to see my 3 nieces too which always makes me happy 😊
On the way back to rehab, I was lost in my thoughts. I just could not pinpoint why I felt nothing. I tried not to think about it over the next few days as overthinking is my worst enemy!
Next on the agenda…shopping with Grace!
I love Primark so I begged Grace if we could go there, she was hesitant haha! Because I have poor grip I am unable to fasten my bra, so Grace recommended a sports bra. Worth a try. We were not ready for the events about to take place in the fitting room…all I will say is, who remembers Carry On Camping?
Check out Rehab Antics Part 3!