Small changes, big differences

I had both PT and OT today, though I didn’t know when that would happen so it was a bit disorienting. I mostly stayed in my room with a few longish wheelchair rides to work my arm muscles.

In PT I did standing leg exercises, some of which are very hard for me because the legs don’t understand things like “kick” and “march”. But even bad ones get better with practice. After those, we took a walk. Yayyyy for walking! I really missed doing it yesterday. We started down the hall, with the wheelchair trailing behind. This was my first time walking here with a therapist and they needed to see what I could do. Well, I walked 110 feet and took a little rest, and then continued the rest of the way to my room for a total of about 175 feet (I think). It wasn’t very pretty at the end but I did it. Tomorrow we’re starting by walking to therapy from my room when my legs are fresher, which will help, and then walking at least some of the way back after exercise.

Several things got fixed today. One was my wheelchair, which had become a joke by last night. There was a broken piece on the right side that made noise as I rolled around, and the back wasn’t secure so the seat cushion worked its way off the chair through the open space that wasn’t supposed to be there. They did some chair swapping with a very tiny lady who had a big chair she didn’t need and now I have a chair that’s quiet and works. My OT therapist switched the arms around so they stick out as much as the ones I had before, which are a big help for me in standing up.

She also arranged for me to have a raised toilet seat and frame that’s about 2 inches higher than the commode. The frame has arms on both sides, which means I have something to push off of when I stand up – which has been the biggest problem for me in using the bathroom. I know I can’t do it by myself, I need to have someone with me. But I can do it more smoothly and more confidence, which will help me eventually do it alone.

I can have visitors now, and am starting to have them pop in through the day, which is wonderful. If I’m not in therapy or wheeling around for short periods of time, I’m mostly in my room and visiting faces brightens things up. One brought me a pair of my earrings to wear so I feel dressed for the first time in a month. Another brought an orchid. Two more brought a TV donated by another friend (have I mentioned that the TV in the room was a dinky 17 inches?). But there’s no need to bring anything to visit – I miss seeing my friends and hope you will come by if you can. I’m in the Meadow Lake Health Center, Room 508.