Tuesday, 16 August 2016

I'm coming home, tell the world I'm coming home!

Ok so it's been give or take (hand gesture) 3.5 weeks since I've been in this rehab, I was sooooo hesitant when I first arrived here with the 'dorm' style set-up and being with people that looked so sick to me at first, but oh my God has it opened my eyes and taught me so much.  I can honestly say I'm a different person because of it and this I will forever be thankful for. 

Among the other things that I have been lucky enough to witness, I see compassion and kindness in measures that you just don't see 'in the outside world'.  I now fully understand what being fragile and vulnerable is.  It's anything but easy and your life can change in an instant and suddenly you could become completely reliant on other people, as with every single person that is here. 

My friends (naturally I made friends with pretty much everyone!  You'll be amazed what a block of butter and some honey will do!) are so brave and are all facing their own demons, each persons story is different and when you sit and listen to them, you realise that this could happen to you to.

I have the utmost respect for each one of them and I can't explain the elation you feel when someone like Nick, the 21 yr old boy who fell from the 3rd floor of a parking garage moved his legs and arms for the first time or said 'Hello Wendy'.  Everyone is so encouraging and there is so much positive energy here, you can't help but get sucked in!

Another amazing guy, I can't remember his name now, but he and his wife were at a car race and they were standing near the finish line, the driver lost control of his car and it ploughed through the barrier and into him and his wife.   Both of them lost both of their legs.  How fucking tragic is that? I've never heard anything like it and I don't think I ever will.  Yet you'll never see him without a smile on his face.  I won't bang on about this for much longer but people in general take SO MUCH for granted, the fact that you can brush your own teeth, that you can get up out of bed in the morning, that you can speak your mind when you need to or enjoy a cuppa chai.  Basic things like this are a MASSIVE struggle for some people.  I'll say it once now and once again at the end just so it sinks in, instead of thinking about what you don't have rather "COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!".

From my side, my healing is going very well.  The stitches are out and the wound is healing beautifully - they do say I'm a good healer so there you go!  The next step is shaping the stump.  There is hope that I might get my first draft prosthesis by end of September!!!  Very excited and nervous about this stage of the process as I REALLY REALLY want to be able to walk and just be NORMAL again.

Tomorrow I am released back out into the real world, I don't think it has really hit me yet.  I'll tell you one thing that I'm supes stoked about is that the infection in my leg has well and truly gone now and we are FINALLY getting nearer to the end of this fucking story!  298 days later....

I find it difficult to put into words what this whole experience has done for me so far but I have really made some life long friends.  I will miss the nurses calling me Mrs. Reid (my worst), the therapists, the kitchen staff, the cleaners but most of all the other patients and their families.  Each of them plays their own role in each patients recovery.



Friday, 5 August 2016

Things can ALWAYS be worse!

Where effing hell did I leave off?

...Ok so.  Came out of ICU, went back to 'suite' at Oak Ward, asked Ortho to apply for rehab so I can recover with the proper help this time.  None of this fucking around business...March's exit was all a bit daunting and cost me a fortune (not gonna use the arm & a leg joke as it's been used before), roughly 45 mins of Physio is R500 and I was having 3 x land and 2 x hydro per week.  Don't call me Rockerfella, call me the other Fella (weak).  This on top of medicine & Uber all adds up and don't forget the Sponge {Taylor} of course!). Kidding that child of mine has been amazing, he can make me smile on my darkest days :)

Pam (Discovery) in the hotel (hospital) called me and said application was approved and I would go across to the Life Rehabilition Center.  HALLEFUCKENLUJAH!  Everything would be free and gratis this time.  Cha Ching! Just one of the many many perks of having a missing limb.  One also gets pushed to the front of any shop queue, not sure why coz I'm in a wheelchair, so if logic prevails I should be at the back coz I'm seated innit....Anyway.

This is Thursday, by the Friday I was being shipped out. I was not prepared for this, I had only had the surgery a week before for KERRIST SAKES!  I was expecting to spend another week lying around healing. WTF!  But thank goodness Emmie-Lou came to visit me, she wheeled me over for a little rekkie so I wasn't anxious and got a little feel for the place before it was thrust upon me!  We could kind of work out which bed was mine because it was the only empty bed in the female rooms.  The place looked more like a morgue than a rehab centre and not quite the solitary rooms I had become accustomed to.  We're talking 5-bed wards, with only a curtain for privacy, other woman of all ages, all of whom had faced some kind of trauma that they needed rehab for;  as Emma and Taylor know, I can bang on about these people for hours, they just amaze me and what they have to face on a daily basis is ... kind of cruel but when you see them making progress it's amazing and it's a real heart warmer.  It's amazing how quickly you get attached and you just want them to recover 100% so badly!!! 

Am I boring you now or are you still listening???  Tough, Wendal will bang on regardless.

I have always felt that there is always someone worse off than you so you should be grateful for what you have blah whatevs etcetera but FUCK ME, there are some people in here that struggle to perform even the most simple daily tasks, let alone roll from their back onto their side.  Can you imagine that?

Or what about the mother Jean who sits daily at her teenage boys side,  he fell off the 3rd floor of a parking garage and has been pretty much brain damaged and paralysed for 5 weeks, but this week has been moving his legs and is looking more awake than ever.  He also has the best room in the house which makes me happy.

Christina my friend, who wears the brightest pink lipstick you've EVER seen. One day she was going about her business as a happy as larry retired bank manager and the next she's had two strokes in one day.  Thank goodness her dog was barking so loud the neighbours heard and came and called the ambulance.  She's really lovely and I spoil her loads. I like her sarcastic sense of humour.

Oh ja, funny story, so if you know me, you'd know I HATE an injustice, towards me especially but towards somebody else even more.  When I first arrived I started to notice little things like people's bells ringing and the nurses not responding quick enough (for my liking), patients in pain and not being attended to etc.  The one night the lady next to me was writhing around in agony and after 30 mins, nobody had come and I couldn't take it anymore so I wheeled myself over to her bed and held her hand and rubbed her leg to try and help her cope with the spasms that she gets in her legs.  Just so she didn't feel alone you now.  She also, was living a very full life and slipped and fell after brushing her teeth one evening and is now paralysed.  She's also making lovely progress.  Her name is Linda and her bed is opposite mine.  We have good chats her and I.  She's a bit of a tree hugger.

Ja like I said I can go on and on ... oh yes the point of my story.... so ANYWAYS....the Matron called me in to say that the nurses have complained about me and I mustn't interfere with the patients!  HAHA I was like er....well you shouldn't hire crap staff then innit.

Some of the nurses you can see were born to do this and they're following a calling where others are completely useless and have no bedside manner whatsoever.  DRIVES ME MAAAAAD!!!!!  I am currently not actively interfering, I get Linda to do it now. I don't want to get kicked out!

I try


It's the only way :)
For my friends & family that are so supportive

I did my nails quite well if I may say so myself!
My lovely dinner!

All my junk food from my colleages!
Back to my happy self!

Leroy my old physio guy moving me to rehab
My porzie at rehab
 From my side, I've been focussing on everyone else practising my Pollyanna theory (going around and being glad and just trying to make everyone's stay a little nicer).  Things I have been doing that have really gone down well.

1.  Making peeps avo on toast in the mornings
2.  Sharing my magazines
3.  Buying / Sharing my sweets with the nurses
4.  Doing the menu's for the kitchen staff
5.  Buying things for people who don't have any visitors or family
6.  Sharing Chelle's delicious home-made 'sweet ol' lady' marmelaaaade! (very apt...)

In closing, I will say that besides the actual physio side, this place has been more of an eye opener in terms of a whole other world that we all tend to ignore unless you've got someone in your family that is disabled.  I wasn't here for a lot of the time after my Mom's strokes and I have to say that I have a new found respect for my Dad who has been looking after my Mom since her strokes began.  I only wish that she could have been to a place like this.

 I think I've said enough now so, that is all.