Finding a Kindred Spirit

Rehab is a pretty boring place most of the time. Actually, it can be depressing. Therapy only takes up a sliver of the time and for the rest of it, we’re on our own. We’re not all engaged at the same level depending on why we’re here in the first place. Not everyone is able to talk much if at all – and you know me, I’ll talk to a rock. What’s wrong with me is below the waist, not above, so my ability to think and talk and engage is pretty high.

I found a kindred spirit in Charlotte at my last rehab place and having someone to talk to over meals and to encourage one another in therapy made a huge difference. I’ve found that person here in Jan, who also had spine surgery but ended up with post-op problems with one of her legs. We’ve laughed ourselves silly the last two days, and go for rolling rambles in our wheelchairs. We’re almost the same age, have very different life experiences, but both have wicked senses of humor that are helping us deal with some of the weirdness we see every day.

I didn’t do any walking today because the AFO Velcro problem was reported to PT but not fixed. Grrrrrr. Because it’s not safe to walk any distance without this being repaired, my PT time was cut short – and OT never happened. We don’t know why and it blew apart the afternoon, which I’d planned around a 3:30 OT session. On the other hand, I had another night of being able to lift the legs up into the bed, even for an 11pm trip to the loo.

I mentioned to Jan that it’s my job to be able to direct my care, which I’ve mentioned here before. She hadn’t heard that and wasn’t sure what it meant, but as I explained that it required me to understand what I wanted to do and how I wanted to accomplish it, and then being able to explain that to the people who were there to help, she realized that she wasn’t doing that. I think she’s going to try. Every day I realize more and more how fortunate I was to have those three weeks at the Olympic Center with one-to-one dedicated therapists, and specific nurses and aides to help me. I learned sooooo much that put me ahead here.

It lifts my spirits to hear from you friends and family near and far, to know I’m not forgotten while I’m here in this different place. Your prayers and cards, visits and calls and surprises help me be grounded and remember that I’m not really alone. God is here with me as I slog through this valley, and I will get through, with His help and yours.