November 23, 2012

Different strokes

tap tap Is this thing on?

My brother loaned me an old laptop and now I can post here. I'm in rehab and they have free wifi for patients and guests. I've been here for a week, and we're going to have a meeting next Wednesday to decide whether I'm ready to leave. As nursing homes go, this one isn't a nightmare. It almost was; second night I was here they gave me the roommate from hell, but my brother went up to the front desk and got them to transfer me to a single room.

Status: I can talk normally. My face barely sags.

My left leg is very weak, but I can walk with a walker.

My left hand is also weak, but I've been getting back function. Ooriginally I could hardly move it, but now it's good enough so that i can use the bathroom without help.

I haven't been posting here because the Fire doesn't recognize our text entry boxes, and doesn't pop up the keyboard. Don's blog is recognized, so I've left messages there, and my thanks to him for his help.

When I was in the hospital, I tried to use J's blog, but evidentally the Fire's Javascript isn't comprehensive and I got blacklisted.

I get three therapy sessions per day, most days. The speech therapist has been giving me tongue twisters to read out loud. I don't know if it's helping, but I'm not having any trouble making myself understood.

Physical therapy seems mostly concerned with my leg. Lots of stretching and exercise machine work. I'm skeptical about it, but she's the expert. She seems obsessed with the fact that my ankles don't bend much, even though I've told her that they never did.

Occupational therapy is about my shoulder and hand. They're doing good stuff, and it's a joy every morning to discover I can do something new with my hand. I'm nowhere near being able to type yet, and I'm one-fingering this.

The food is mostly pretty good, and I've got some 6-packs of Oreos to get me through if I need more. Lunch yesterday was excellent.

I get two showers a week, supervised by a nurse or nurse's aide. So far it's been women both times. I've decided that physical modesty is a luxury I can't afford as long as I'm here, so I'm not sweating it. Anyway, I'm no treat to look at, clothed or naked.

I can leave the room any time I want, in my wheelchair. Which turned out to be better exercise than I expected when I use my arms to move. I tend to drift left.

Most of the other patients are a lot older than me, but there aren't very many who are profoundly crippled an painful to be around.

I want to go home, but this place isn't bad in the meantime.

I read a bunch of posts about ep 6 of Girls und Panzer, so I know what happened, but I'm looking forward to watching it myself.

That's all for now.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Daily Life at 04:23 PM | Comments (19) | Add Comment
Post contains 511 words, total size 3 kb.

1 Welcome back, Steven.  Not ashamed to say that I'm thrilled to see you posting here. 

The ducks send their best, too.

Posted by: Wonderduck at November 23, 2012 04:59 PM (V/OLv)

2 Glad to hear the parts are starting to work properly again. Fingers crossed for full recovery (and blacklist reset; I'll have to take a look at the Android browser's JS limits, since the button is disabled by the same mechanism, so if one worked, the other should have; sigh).


Posted by: J Greely at November 23, 2012 05:05 PM (2XtN5)

3 Yay for obsessive therapists!  Really happy that you're making a rapid recovery.

And sorry about the problems posting here.  There's code in the system to try to detect if your browser doesn't support the full editor and turn it off (leaving you with a plain text box), but it's hit-and-miss on mobile devices, and unlike desktop browsers I can't just download one of each to try it out.  (I'd buy one of the new Kindle Fires, but they don't sell them down here.)

There's a new version of the editor that just came out last week; I'll check to see if it has an updated compatibility list.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at November 23, 2012 05:23 PM (PiXy!)

4 Thanks for the update.  Very good indeed to have you back.
Hang in there.  Sounds like you have a good attitude towards rehab--not everyone does.  After my motorcycle accident 20 years ago, I went through some pretty painful and frustrating rehab, but got back almost 100% function.  I'm glad I toughed it out now.

Posted by: Toren at November 23, 2012 06:15 PM (QL+V4)

5 Excellent.  I hope you get home soon.  Home is always better.

Posted by: Dave Young at November 23, 2012 06:16 PM (ZAk0Z)

6 Glad to hear of your progress.  One more thing for us to thankful for... 

Posted by: Siergen at November 23, 2012 06:39 PM (Ao4Kw)

7  I will join the chorus of those glad to hear you are recovering.

Posted by: Aaron Nowack at November 23, 2012 07:43 PM (mhNIL)


Great to hear you again!

"I'm skeptical about it, but she's the expert."

My parents have had some repair work done (arthritic hand, blown rotator cuff, cartilage-free knees), and in all cases they thought the stuff the therapist had them doing was a bunch of hooey: stretching giant rubber bands, kneading modeling clay, stuff like that.  In all cases, it worked quite well.  "She's the expert" is the way to go.

Posted by: Mikeski at November 23, 2012 08:35 PM (DU6Ja)

9  Good to hear from you, Steve. Hope everything continues to improve. And if your therapist ask you to try to make pancakes - that would be an excellent test and a good sign.


Posted by: cxt217 at November 23, 2012 08:47 PM (O3Iv6)

10 @CXT, that's deviously clever.

Posted by: Wonderduck at November 23, 2012 09:31 PM (V/OLv)

11 Truly wonderful news. Looking forward to hearing you're back to full speed!

Posted by: Ben at November 23, 2012 10:37 PM (/Mdmg)

12 Welcome back Steven!
Yeah, a lot of therapy seems counter-intuitive or just plain non-productive...It isn't. Good luck on the continued recovery. We're all going to be rooting for you Wednesday.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at November 23, 2012 10:53 PM (vp6an)

13 Chizumatic is not the same without you, Steven. Save us an Oreo, will you?

Posted by: Jaked at November 24, 2012 12:43 AM (YqYGj)

14 Pro tip: most nurses disapprove of wheelchair races. So the trick is to do them when unobserved.

But it's good to hear that you are doing well on recovery!

Posted by: Boviate at November 24, 2012 10:48 AM (L1IVj)

15 Excellent, excellent news.  And I have the cheer you on on the therapy too.  My mother has had her hip done (twice) and my dad was developing a stoop, and therapy absolutely helped both of them.

It's a case of "Use it or lose it" where you've already lost ground.  So if they give you exercises to go through after you're released, you should be vigilant at keeping up with them.

Posted by: Mauser at November 24, 2012 03:07 PM (cZPoz)

16 Good to know you're doing better!  Keep with it!

Posted by: Tom Tjarks at November 24, 2012 08:54 PM (G9eEC)

17 Glad to hear you're making progress. がんばって!

Posted by: muon at November 25, 2012 12:26 AM (jFJid)

18 Glad to hear you're on the road to recovery.  And for an update on the joys of mobile devices.

On the recovery bits, this is recovery after a stroke, so the effects are actually different from the experiences most others have.  He doesn't need to rebuild muscle (though I imagine he can probably use buildings some, most of the population does).  This is to retrain the brain and the nervous system to handle the inputs and outputs properly.  So, if the recovery goes smoothly, the gains should be pretty clear.  Though it'll slow down near the end (when you get, say 70% function back, getting to 80% doesn't "show" much).

Keep up the good work and, yeah, manual wheel chairs (especially the one you're likely in) are hard to move.   If it's a fairly "upright", medical style, shift yourself foreward and push down on the wheel-bars.  Tips of the trade. ^_^

Posted by: sqa at November 25, 2012 02:58 AM (iWwXY)

19 Also glad to hear you're recovering. 

Posted by: Canthros at November 25, 2012 12:43 PM (mrgz7)

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