This morning I woke up and had a nice breakfast - a bagel with cream cheese, cereal, two milks and an OJ. I got dressed in bed with a PCT's help so I would be ready for my first class at 9 o'clock which was practicing dressing and undressing. Diane, my occupational therapist, came and we proceeded to undress my sweatpants, t-shirt, and shoes and then redress. This is probably one of the hardest things I have practiced for moving my legs and bending over to grab them is really quite difficult yet. It is a combination of my weak torso, weak finger grasp, and fat heavy legs.
After that I transferred with a slide board into my wheel chair and headed to physical therapy group. Here, a PT had set-up four different obstacle courses to go through and work on with your wheelchair driving skills. From slaloming cones to working on wheelies, which I cannot do alone right now at all, again due to low hand grip and balance with my torso. Sally (the PT) would basically lean me back while I practiced balancing in a wheelie. We also practiced 360's on a blue athletic mat. This created a much different surface and a lot more tension. This was also slightly above my strength level. I was really only able to get about 3/4 around. This kind of class is good for me and allows for me to have several goals to get stronger in many different ways. Sometimes, when the tasks are presented and I do them on the first try, sure it feels good to know that I did it right away and it was an accomplishment, but it also makes me wonder how much harder should they have had that task so that it pushes me more.
After this class we went into the day room where the director of the program, Dr. Chen, did a presentation on spinal cord injuries 101. I learned a lot, but unfortunately, slowly started physically feeling quite crummy, sweating a little, bit of an achy body, short of breath and quite tired. After about a half hour, I began realizing that my binder, a huge white piece of elastic that goes around me, was larger than what I usually wear and placed really high up on my chest, over my ribs (where it should not be) restricting my breathing to the point where I think it was really wearing me out. We informed a PCT named Mary and she swapped it out for a shorter, better fitting binder. After getting the new binder in place, I slowly started feeling better and up next on the schedule was one of my favorite classes - OT workout. OT workout, like usual, was hard, sweaty, plain old physically taxing, but at the end of it I always feel so good - loose and awake.
Before OT exercise the plan for the end of the day was to go take a nap and try to fight the crummy feeling I was dealing with, but after OT exercise I was feeling way better so we decided to go outside for some fresh air. Kalli and I tossed a bean bag back and forth and Joey (my roommate) decided to join in the catch game. After being outside for an hour or so we went back in. Joey and I did a couple laps in the hallway and then hung out in the day room.
Around 5 o'clock Joey, Kalli and I went down to The Red Tomato (the 2nd floor cafeteria)for dinner. After dinner I came back upstairs and Kalli and I looked through my schedule for tomorrow; it came kind of early tonight. There were five activities planned with several half an hour breaks in between. I do so much better when I stay active, one activity after another, so there is no time to sit and get tired, so we took the schedule and filled in several of our own activities such as leg stretches, nerve-mind connection, bean bags, and exercising (like OT exercise bc I don't have that scheduled tomorrow). Then it was time to get started with my nighttime routine, shower night again tonight! Another great day at the RIC! Again, with its ups and downs, achievements and failures and hope for the future!