Sunday, July 19, 2009

Thursday July 16th

I woke up got dressed, ate breakfast and hopped out of bed to head to hand group with Kalli. Kalli had a pile of thank you cards that she wanted to work on from her birthday while I joined the hand group. I began working on my putty, pulling each and every bean out of it that I could find. The putty is really starting to do the trick for I am noticing more and more things that I can do with my hands. This is encouraging me to think that I will get full use of my hands at some point or another. I definitely still have a very weak grip and a long way to go on this road towards fully functioning hands but I can see progress and that is just a wonderful feeling. Adrian, one of the assistants - who I have definitely not talked about enough throughout this blog, she is such a wild character and really creates a great energy throughout the entire 7th floor. She is the only therapist assistant on this floor and has worked here for 29 years. She has the funniest laugh that is more like an explosion than a giggle and you can hear it coming a mile away. Adrian brought over a bag full of cloth and string for me to work my hands by sewing. Mainly, just to be funny, I grabbed some beautiful pink silk material to match my pink thread and began to sew a small hand purse. I really don't think the hand group expected me to go as far as I did and actually produce an entire beautiful little purse that Prada will soon be after me for the design. I cut a red rubber band to use it as a very stylish handle, which really completed the small hand bag. As silly and metro as it may have been creating the bag, it really was a good exercise for my fingers.

After hand group I had an hour break so I ran to my room to fill the cute little bag with M&M's so that I could give it to Carey, my PT as a thank you gift. She of course loved it to death and asked me where I got it for the craftsmanship was exquisite.

Next I had exercise group led by Katie, a floater, fill-in OT that has been filling in for Diane while she has been on vacation. During exercise group we worked our arms with many different movements and then gathered around in a tight circle to play catch with a beach ball again. This activity is really fun and involved everybody quite well, working your shoulders and arms all together.

After exercise group we went into the canary room to throw down some lunch where I came close to losing my life. In the canary room they have these very heavy tables that are oval shaped. We all sat down to have some lunch and sitting with us at the table was a gentleman we have come to know as Crazy Larry. Larry must have at some point bumped his head a little along with his spinal cord injury. He pretends as if he is a child calling all of his nurses "mama" and in general always just a bit strange. So, on this special Thursday, one of the PT's came up with this crazy idea that Larry was ready for a power chair; even though by no means should he ever be trusted in a powerful vehicle like that. So, every time they park Larry in some place or another, they go and turn the power off so that he doesn't try to take off by himself. But, at lunch, whomever parked him didn't throw the off switch that's down below that he cannot get at. So, we were just sitting there eating lunch while Larry is getting more and more impatient and upset that no one had come to feed him yet. It also didn't help that he has this enormous obsession with snacks and Joey's mom brought a couple dozen cupcakes for everyone to share on Joey's last day. These cupcakes are sitting at a table next to us and Larry is just dying to have another one, for my mom had already fed him one because she felt bad that no one was coming to feed him. So, in Larry's rebellion and frustration of not being fed he began just pushing any buttons he could to try to make his chair work. Well, sure enough he figured out how to put himself into a pressure break which is where the chair tips backwards and lays him on his back. Now, Larry is sitting on one end of the table and I am on the other. He's underneath the table just like I am. So, as he leans back into this pressure break he begins picking up the entire table pulling it probably about two to three feet into the air. Meanwhile, smashing my legs and dumping my entire food tray into my lap trapping me under the table. As he goes up I am yelling "Larry, stop! Stop Larry! Stop! Larry stop!" but of course, being Crazy Larry he just continues to yell "no! no! no!" Kalli quickly jumps up and helps pull me from the table to my rescue, like superwoman. Luckily, the table, which is literally at least 200 pounds, didn't bruise me at all and I was fine. But, it definitely frustrated me a little bit that they put Crazy Larry in a power chair and didn't have someone to feed him. All in all I was just fine and looking back at it it is kind of funny and really crazy.

So, next I had a one o'clock OT with Katie. We created a pair of leg loops which are straps that you velcro to your ankles and thighs so that you have loops of webbing to grab and help move your legs around during different types of transfers. I don't think I will need the leg loops very long but there are definitely certain things they will come in handy to help me do. So, after the leg loops we ran upstairs to the fifteenth floor where they have a humongous sewing room where a couple people sit and create different tools and devices to help out patients. By the time we came down from the 15th floor, it was time to meet up with Carey for an hour long PT session.

For our session of PT, we decided to do several different kinds of transfers practicing all over the 7th floor. First, I did a floor transfer and then Carey taught Kalli how to help me back into my chair if I was ever to tip over or fall out. It is a fairly interesting process and it takes pretty much two people to tip me back up. Next, we went into the canary room and I practiced transferring on to the yellow couch they have in there. Lastly, we jumped back into the gym and I got on the mat to do some side crunches and stretch myself out.

After PT we went back to my room to make some calls to HR Direct for we had a couple different questions for insurance and disability. We then ate dinner and after that jumped into bed for that night I was going to try doing my bowel program directly over the toilet for the first time. The process was extremely successful and a great step towards an independent nightly routine which I will need in order to really feel independent.

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