Monday, June 30, 2008

I Have Been Busy!

Look what I've made!

I made this afghan using many of my scrap yarns. I saw the pattern on someone's blog and decided to copy it. I am not sure if I did the pattern correctly, but the afghan turned out great! It is very colourful and every hexagon is done in a different colour combination. It was really fun to do! I still have enough yarn left over to make three or four more of these bright things!
Here is another afghan which I have finished. I went to Walmart a couple of weeks ago. It was a trip organized by the hospital. A wheelchair bus came and picked us up and drove us to the nearest Walmart store. I was able to wheel myself around, so I was allowed to just shop until I dropped! And I did just that! After spending so many weeks in a hospital room, it was really great to get out! Along with some other purchases, I bought two big balls of off-white Red Heart yarn and one big ball of country-blue Red Heart yarn. I also bought a book of afghan patterns. This is a Mile-a-Minute pattern from that book. It really worked up a mile a minute! I had it finished in a week. It is now on my hospital bed. Not only does it look homey, but it keeps me warm. I know it is summer and all, but this is a very cool year so far. And this place is air-conditioned so it is always cold!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Conversation With Mimi

Me: Hi Mimi!

Mimi: Meow! Oh, It's you. I wondered who that was climbing up the back stairs. I hardly recognized you! You look so different!

Me: Oh! You saw me on the stairs! Wasn't that amazing? I didn't think I would ever be able to do that again, but I did! I guess the exercises and physio with Kelvin have really paid off! But aren't you glad to see me? It's almost as if you don't want to look at me!

Mimi: It's just that you surprised me. That's all. I had given up on you. It's been at least 50 litter box clean-ups since you were home.

Me: I know. Hope everything is going okay here.

Mimi: Meow! Yeah, yeah. We get enough to eat and everything is nice and quiet - the way I like it. Meow! I have no complaints, but meow! You smell funny!

Me: Funny how? Like funny, haha or funny, strange?

Mimi: Meow! Weird! You smell kind of like human litter box and some kind of strong disinfectant!

Me: Oh, sorry about that. I guess it's a hospital smell.

Mimi: I don't like it! Meow! You used to smell nice, like the outdoors, kind of like plants and soil or fabrics and yarn. I used to like those smells!

Me: I know. Maybe it will not be much longer before I can come home for good. Can I pat you?

Mimi: Okay, but don't be upset if I lick myself clean right afterwards.

Me: I won't. I understand how you feel. You are so soft and sweet. When I come home next time I am going to brush you. I've missed you so much! I love you Mimi!

Mimi: Meow! I love you too, sort of I guess. When will you come home for good?

Me: In a few weeks, I hope.

Mimi: Oh, meow! That's good. Will you smell nice again then?

Me: I promise!

Mimi: Okay. Can I go back to my napping? It's nice to see you, but you are cutting into my nap time.

Me: Alright. Bye Mimi. See you later.

Mimi: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Hydrotherapy Pool

I feel very lucky to be able to exercise in the pool here at West Park. Not every patient has this opportunity. The water is around 94F. I can move my legs in the water and it feels great! It's sort of like I am free for a short time. The exercise is good for my wasted muscles. I go to the pool twice a week. Unfortunately the only way for me to get into the water is by this chair that lifts me off the ground and deposits me in the pool. Looks like fun, eh?

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Gardens of West Park

West Park is a beautiful place. There are lots of gardens and little secluded places to sit in the sun or shade. On Friday mornings a group of patients go out and work in one of the gardens. The beds are all raised so that it is easy to work in the soil while sitting in a wheelchair. I love gardening. so guess where I hang out on Friday mornings? I found some stones in the garden, so I picked them up and built some inuksuks. These are Inuit structures that are used to mark a route or food cache. Sometimes they resemble a human figure, but often they are just a pile of stones to leave a mark on the barren tundra. This one means that I have been here.

The gardens are full of flowers. Aren't these irises beautiful? They make me want to grab a canvas and paint brush to capture their exquisite beauty! More from West Park to follow. I have to take some more photos first.

The Latest Baby Blanket is Finished!

I haven't shown you much of my creative endeavours lately. That is not to say that I have been idle. Just that I wasn't able to download any photos on the computer here at the Rehab Centre. But yesterday I had an opportunity to go home and put the photos onto my home computer. So here is a picture of a baby blanket that I made last week. I used self-striping yarn by Bernat. My sister bought me the yarn so that I would have something to do while I'm here. The blanket turned out very soft. I have enough yarn to make two more!!!!

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.......