Saturday, June 07, 2008

Life at West Park Healthcare Centre

When I found this picture on the internet, I was reminded of myself, as I tried to get up onto a low step the other day. Just like this little guy, I landed on my backside! Crazy as it sounds, I am relearning how to climb up a flight of stairs, starting out with small baby steps.

I promised you a post from West Park. So here it is. This is an excellent hospital. If I can learn to walk again, this will be the place to make that happen. I go to Occupational Therapy every morning. They make me do silly games and stuff, but I have to do them standing up. They are also working on strengthening my upper body and increasing my endurance when I am on my feet. In the afternoon I go to Mat Class. There are usually four of us with an instructor. We lie down on beds, not mats (I'd never get myself off the ground if I had to lie down on a mat). Then we do exercises, like leg bends and lifts etc. When Mat Class is over, my physiotherapist, Kelvin, takes me to the gym. After all those months of sitting and not doing much, I have to learn to walk again. It's a strange feeling. My brain doesn't seem to be connected to my body sometimes. I want to lift my foot, but it doesn't want to go up.

On Thursday Kelvin was doing 'stair' exercises with me. He had me step onto a 1 1/2 inch box, to simulate a low step. When he was convinced that I could do that, he brought out a 4 inch box. I could get up onto it with my left foot, but not with my right. He had me practice stepping up and down. Each time he had me bend my knee a little more. On the fourth try, I lost my balance, my legs became rubber and accordion folded under me. Luckily I was holding onto the parallel bars and did not hurt myself. But it took a couple of people to get me back up into a chair. Not only had I lost my balance, but also my confidence. So on Friday, Kelvin decided not to take any chances. He put me in a sling and 'hung' me from the ceiling. Then he had me try the step again. After a long session, with lots of sweating and moaning and groaning on my part, I was able to step up and down, with my left foot while bending my knee. I could not fall because of the sling. On Monday I will try again. My confidence is slowly returning. Till next time.......


Opal said...

Oh Hetty, my heart breaks when I read of all your struggles. But I know you will get through this because you're such an incredibly strong woman. You're in my thoughts. *hugs*

Winny said...

Hetty I love the little ducky. I am sure it got up and walked away just like you will.

John said...

Learning to do anything can be
difficult. Hopefully relearning
to walk will be quicker since it is
something that you have done before. The fact that you are making progress is a great sign.
A wise person once said, "Even the longest of journeys begins with one first step".