Which means it’s quiet here in rehab. There aren’t many of us in our “neighborhood” now, with two people having gone home, and we’re all coming out to share at least breakfast and lunch. Two of us got to talking about how little we were told about how things work here at the time we arrived. I rolled out in the chair to an administrative office later and asked if I had a case manager who I could talk to about preparing to go home. Apparently I do – who knew? – and I was told by the administrator that I can stay here until my therapy plateaus. Then Medicare will decide not to pay for me anymore and I’ll get 2 days notice before I’m moved out. Or, of course, if I master the things I need to know before I hit a plateau place and move back earlier. Next questions – which of the nurses is my case manager and how can she do the nursing work and do that at the same time, and how many of us does she manage? I also checked the transportation schedule to be sure my Wednesday doctor appointment was on the books, since I didn’t trust that it would be. Much to my surprise, it is. Of course, the return ride is a different issue, but I’ll cover that with the driver on Wednesday.
The other far more important and useful thing is that my PT approved me to walk around the neighborhood on my own using my walker, without a gait belt or anyone trailing along behind me dragging a wheelchair in case I have a sudden need to sit. This is actually really huge, since obviously this is what I’ll be doing in my apartment. The neighborhood has both carpeted and smooth surfaces, as does my apartment, so it’s good practice. I almost don’t know what to do, walking on my own. I’m not allowed to walk OUT of the neighborhood yet because those are longer distances and I might need to have a seat along the way. But I can get plenty of practice in with the space I have. Just 11 days ago, I walked 100 feet for the first time holding on to the walker for dear life and with someone trailing behind me. It does get better. The steps are small, but they’re there.
As my sweet friend Jane said today, there’s a dot on the horizon that’s still far away but I can see it. And it looks like my cat Ellie, who is waiting for me to get home to them. Soon, baby girl, soon.