My first Monday at West Park and boy was I in for some hardwork. Outside my room was a board with a timetable detailing when everyone (other patients on the ward) were going to be doing their physio, or their OT (occupational therapy) sessions, or speech etc. And there was my name listed: Sandy for an AM & PM physio session. I was part relieved and part exhausted, on one hand I knew that this was going to be good for rehabilitating my body and then on the other I knew how much focus, strength, energy and determination this was going to need to take, but it was a challenge I heartily and readily revelled in taking on.
When I got there, it was a lot slower than I'd imagined, it was more about them identifying my specific physio needs. They had to assess how well the movement in my leg was and I was fast learning that my initial thought that I was on the fast track to being able to walk again was a long way away yet. Proven further, when they attempted to get my taking steps with assistance from them. My leg was more than unresponsive, I was so sure that I'd be able to walk on my own but that was mostly down to me still being indenial.
Anyway, we worked some more on getting some responses back from the arm, but sweet fa. I honestly had given up hope on regaining any mobility in the arm and had decided not to warrant the arm any time to fix because I felt like I'd been trying for so long and now felt it was pointless. After a swift (but very much needed) talk from the physios, I soon realised my attitude needed to change and that I would need to balance out and provide as much time to my arm as I was giving to my leg. I was told that just massaging/rubbing it would help to regain feeling and then trigger off some movement. I decided it was worth a shot and it gave me something else to focus on trying to improve instead of wallowing in this pathetic state of negativity.
Those two hours soon went by and now it was lunch time, 'see you after lunch' they said with a big grin. I went in expecting a sort of miracle session with me walking by the end of it but instead I was dealt with a massive reality check and whilst it was definitely something I did not want to hear, I needed to be told so that my expectations were more achievable and that I'd be less disgruntled if I couldn't walk after ONLY 2 hours physio. So, in that sense I was starting to get more patient with the whole process. The only thing irking me now was the amount of hair loss I had, every morning I'd wake up and my bed/pillow would be covered in my hair, I'd be walking and my hair would just fall out and not just falling out strand by strand, sometimes there'd be clumps of hair falling out. My hair had gotten so thin that once again, I felt like something was being taken out of my control, I mean it was bad enough that I couldn't wash it or style it but, now I was not being left with a lot. These side effects of the Warfarin really wore me down at times. My eyes would be so blood shot, my skin blotchy, it was really taking over my life. And if those side effects weren't bad enough, the blood tests every day to determine my daily dose were the icing on the cake. Trying to remember if I was on a 4 or 5 or even 3mg dose each day was so testing at times.
Back to my afternoon physio, I walked in and Jenny & Linda were stood there smiling as the nurse wheeled me in. 'We've got a surprise for you that we think is going to make you happier', and right beside them was an electric wheelchair. I tried to feign an interest in it as they seemed incredibly happy at being able to help me get around more. I was completely distraught and broken inside, 'is this what my life has become now' I thought to myself. If I thought my identity was being taken away before, this was the real test, I felt completely dehumanised.