March 1, 2012

A Year Later :Rehab Reality

     March 1, 2011 was the beginning of my official recovery.  I moved from the hospital to a rehab facility.  I thought it would be fun to look back at the post I wrote while trying to "adjust" to rehab life.  One quick note on content.... I was spoiled in the hospital by one of the nutritionists who made sure I had a milk shake every afternoon and Miss Theresa was my roommate whose dementia and constant equipment alarms made recovery/rest interesting

Rehab Reality ~ It isn't pretty
All right boys and girls  fun and games are officially over (milkshakes too).  Rehab sucks and I have only been here 8 hours.  There was a big to do about getting me into Brooks Rehabilitation as opposed to a Rehab/Life Center or as we used to call them when I was growing up....nursing homes.
So we get here and I have my own room which is great after the week with Miss Theresa...more about her another time. However I realize that I will eat all my meals in my private room and come back from therapy to a private room ~ which at some times will be beneficial.  But then I start to learn the real reason rooms on the stroke floor are all private.....YOU NO LONGER HAVE ANY OTHER PRIVACY...nothing babe it is all gone.  You are not allowed to use the restroom alone in case you fall. Now I've always said I have not lived a perfect life but even in my worst days I never fell off a toilet!!!  The shower is a party affair as there is not so much as a hint of a curtain. Upon check in they have to examine your ENTIRE body for any signs of bed sores and such. So yes the one bit of privacy is you are alone in a room.
Now when they put you into bed they put your wheelchair on the other side of the room.  (As if I am going sneak into it at night to organize races down the hall ~ been there done that SUFFOLK HALL @ SUNY GENESEO ROCKS) Are you starting to sense the total lack of control going on here?  Yes Yes Yes I can hear all of you worry warts and medical professionals (and I just realized~ man I have a lot of friends in the medical field) saying this is being done for your safety, they don't want you to fall and yada yada yo.....does it sound like that is what I am concerned about at this point!!NO. Remember I have no cognitive issues so all of Bren is in here even if she can't vocally get out yet.
So here's the deal...every time you have to use the restroom this is the protocol you have to follow
1.     Push your call button and wait for someone to answer and ask what you need.  So now at least 2 other people know what's happening (more if any are in the hallway near the nurses’ station. 
2.     They then call your nurse and her assistant.  And if they are in some one's room they hear this call.  So now at least 4 people know. 
3.     The nurse/na then comes to your room when they are done with their current patient (hope you weren't in a rush)
4.     You go through the protocol of properly getting out of bed and into the wheelchair....did I mention you have to wear a seat belt in the wheel chair at ALL TIMES even the 6 foot ride to my private bathroom. 
5.     So now they have pushed you in, helped you stand and wait for it.....
6.     they want to pull your pants down for you until you learn the proper way to do it.  Now I never truly considered myself extremely shy but in the throne room, as my Dad used to call it, yes. I am used to a parade of toddlers and dogs following me there but not in. And this crew~they won't even stand outside the door! The nurses in ICU, the ones changing my bedpan gave me more privacy and believe me I thought that was the lowest point of humiliation...not anymore.
7.     Once you finish you can't flush as it has to be examined and noted. 
8.     They pull up your pants help you into your chair, seat belt on,
9.     finagle you to the sink so you can wash your hands
10. then out to your room over to your bed and finally
11. you are back in bed.
 Did that whole routine 3 times................... I now have a bedside commode.  I figure if I could master one in the hospital when I shared a room and had people coming and going I should be able to do so in my private room.  Oh, yeah, I still have to call someone to watch me use it.

Rehab it isn't pretty and we've only just begun

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