Measuring Progress

Today was a very quiet day and I did almost nothing except for a few wheelchair rides and a walk around the neighborhood. My feet are swollen and puffy, and wearing the evil AFO’s with the velcro straps around the calves make the lower legs unhappy, too. So I’m using a down day from therapy to sit in bed with shoes off and legs raised.

I went back through my therapy notes today to see what I was able to do when in my recovery. Things seemed to move really fast when I started therapy, even though at the time it felt like the mountain was impossible to climb. But because I was in such rough shape then, it was easier to see progress than it is now, when it seems that I just do the same things all the time.

Standing: August 21st, stood up for 90 seconds on the paralel bars with two people holding me up. Sept. 3rd, stood at the bars and let go of one hand at a time. Standing endurance of 8 minutes. No longer counting to three to stand up, just “nose over toes.” Now: Standing is easy as long as the chair isn’t too low.

Walking: August 23rd, walked 10 feet on the bars with two people holding me up. Sept. 7th, walked 100 feet without stopping, without people holding me. Sept. 13th, released to walk 75-80 feet on my own in my “pod” at Meadow Lake. Now: Routinely walking 175 feet to therapy. Starting to practice with a rollator.

Transfers: August 17th, mostly picked up and moved by two people. Spent a week in therapy learning to use the wooden transfer board; gradually able to use it with just one person. Stopped using it by Sept. 3rd; doing walker transfer instead. Sept. 10th – first day to lift legs in and out of bed. Now: Do multiple times a day; able to pull covers up.

Toileting: August 17th, put on Depends or diapers. Used bedside commode with two people transferring me. Four days later, began transferring with wooden board and two people. August 31st, made first transfer to bathroom commode using walker. Sept. 15th, released to use bathroom on my own (with shoes on). Now: Released to use on my own even without shoes. Still needing help with cleaning, but doing better.

Dressing: August 18th, got my reacher and sock aids and learned how to use them to get dressed, a skill set that took time. Sept. 4th, able to stand up with walker and use one hand to pull up clothes. Now: getting fully dressed on my own – except for the shoes. They are still a mystery.

I’ve reached most of my personal goals for going home, but shoes are still a problem. So is cleaning up sometimes in the bathroom, though I’m working on that one. I need the OT folks to come up with a way for me to get those shoes on; the new assist device that looked so promising is very hard for ME because of angles? deadness of the foot? Not sure but it’s a problem. Instead of working on random arm exercises, I want some practical help.