It’s my last day in the National Rehabilitation Hospital today. After four weeks exactly, I have improved my grip strength in my hands, my posture is slowly on the mend to a more upright and healthy position, and my legs now feel more involved.
However I didn’t manage to achieve my main objective for being admitted into the rehabilitation hospital.
Some time before any there were any talks of the NRH, I saw a walking-type machine on The Late Late Show. It caught my interest immediatly and I just knew, from how my situation had panned out, the machine could play a big part in my recovery.
I had no idea where I could find one of these machines, or how I could get my hands on one.
A few weeks before I was to be admitted in to the NRH, I learned that this machine was called a Lokomat. I asked my physiotherapist did she know if the NRH owned one of these lokomats; to which she replied “yes”
From that moment I made it my main goal to sample this machine. I wanted to come out of the NRH knowing whether or not I had a chance of recovery through the Lokomat. My physiotherapist in the hospital had other ideas. With all respect to everyone who was involved in my stay there, I am thankful that I was given the chance of rehabilitation, and to experience their expertese. But the one activity which I wanted to try, I was denied. Why? Because I was there to prevent, rather than cure.
It wasn’t as if I had the option of trying the Lokomat whenever I wanted. I didn’t have that kind of access to one. I had never even witnessed one of these machines before, let alone try one out. The NRH was my opportunity to decide whether or not it could have any impact. In my eyes, my legs had priority to treatment; OK, my spine and hands were important too; but I would prefer to have left with physical progress over the progress I made.
I didn’t achieve my goal to stand independently.
My desire to walk again was now fading further and further into the distance, out of my reach. I knew that within a couple months my self motivation for recovery would disappear; as always, I would work for a week or so, see no improvement and give up. The fact that I had to juggle an everyday life (college, assignments, study) and maintain a healthy lifestyle, always proved to be too much to handle. Working on my mobility was a full time job, and I couldn’t juggle the pressures of a ‘life’ at the same time.
I didn’t have as long a stay as I would have liked and to improve and reach all of my goals. However, I have made a fair few long-term friends, who I hope to stay in contact with.
Although my stay was not all Teddy bears and rainbows, (being told I wouldn’t walk again ), which was false to begin with. (Crazy lady in the bed opposite me ) slight exaggeration, but she scares me so I deem her crazy. I am glad I was given this opportunity because it was once in a lifetime; and evidence that with work and full time dedication, I can improve.