Thursday, October 6, 2011

Therapy and Rehab

Yesterday afternoon I went to the Rehab Institute in St. Louis for some physical and occupational therapy. I used to go to PT/OT twice a week for about eight months after returning home to St. Louis after my accident. Then I decided to stop going in January 2005. I really hated going because it made for a long day with two 45 minute therapy sessions sandwiched in between a 45 minute drive to and from the Rehab Institute. I wasn't making any progress and there's only so much the therapists can do, so I didn't figured there wasn't really a point to continue going since I could do everything at home that the therapists might do at the rehab facility, like my range of motion stretches.

When I went to my doctor that deals with spinal cord injuries this past August I asked her about getting some therapy in hopes of strengthening my neck. My neck has been quite weak on the right side since my accident because of the way the break happened. My neck is much stronger now than it was right after my accident*, but it still tends to lean towards my right shoulder and it's hard for me to turn my head to the left.

*After my accident I couldn't move my head at all. No shaking my head, no nodding… nothing! Gradually I began to get movement back little by little. I still to this day have very limited head control compared to a normal person (for example, I can't hold my head up if my wheelchair is sitting up too straight, so that's why I tilt my chair back), but I'm grateful that my neck has gotten stronger over time.

Being back in a spinal cord rehab facility brought back memories of when I was in rehab in Atlanta, Georgia. The Rehab Institute in St. Louis doesn't take patients who are on ventilators (I'm not sure why, because they really SHOULD), so the closest rehab facility that did take ventilator dependent patients was Shepherd Center in Atlanta. I'm SO glad that the rehab chapter of my life is over! I spent some of the darkest days of my life in rehab. It's truly as if I were caught in an awful storm that had the power to drag me down and ultimately destroy me, but I was kept safe in a little bubble where the Lord provided me with the joy and peace of mind I needed to get through each day without crumbling, despite the bleak outlook that was my future. Although I was fully aware of the fact that I would spend the rest of my days living as a quadriplegic and that all of my hopes and dreams were dashed, I managed to survive without becoming depressed. Even though I got through that time of my life without too much difficulty, I would never want to go back and relive those days again for anything! Each year gets easier (at least, so far), and my hope forever grows as I look forward to the opportunities that will come my way in the future.


Kim @ Stuff could... said...

I hope the rehab does help strengthen your neck muscles...I am going to Shepherd today (they have a MS Clinic) I love the place since it knows so much about the Spine

Colleen said...

Hi, I'm a new follower. I heard of you thru Miss Wheelchair MN...thx for sharing all you do on your blog. I GET IT!. I have a blog too.
Nice to meet you!

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