It was an exhausting but extremely rewarding day overall. Dan didn’t sleep very well since the room was way too warm. He also woke up with a slightly elevated temperature but this passed quickly, so there were no worries there.
The first half hour of physical therapy included a lot of stretching of leg muscles. The physical therapist was the same one from last weekend; she said she saw a lot of improvement between Sunday and today. After an hour break of relaxing it was another grueling hour and a half, which included doing both a 36 foot and 46 foot walk with the cardiac walker. Dan’s legs are still very shaky while walking, pivoting freely not just at the ankle but at the hip as well at times. He needs to not look at his feet while walking and just trust the staff since he concentrates on getting each step exactly right instead of making progress. They tried tying a gait belt from the walker to the wheelchair to provide more resistance to forward motion as well. He ended PT by doing multiple stretches throughout his legs to get them stronger as well as to measure progress. Dan appears to be improving incrementally but it’s going to be very slow and steady to get to walking where he needs to be. His endurance improves every day.
Lunch was next, then off to occupational therapy where there was more practice transferring back and forth from the wheelchair to the toilet, followed by a new set of arm stretches using resistance bands. As part of that session they also talked about how to use a reacher and how to use that to assist in getting clothes on in the morning.
For recreational therapy Dan met Jazzy Blue, a blue harlequin Great Dane who was a complete sweetheart. He spent a good 15 minutes petting the dog and chatting with their owner. It was a great way to wrap up the day.
Since there are concerns about insurance (as there always are) Dan isn’t taking the weekend off from physical and occupational therapy so he can keep up the improvement. He has negotiated with the scheduler for set his therapy for early Saturday morning so I can meet up with friends in the afternoon and evening. He may see if this is possible for either early or late Sunday as well so he will have more time to visit. Seeing all the friendly faces this weekend is something that Dan Is very much looking forward to!
There are many people in the rehabilitation ward who are leaving tomorrow and more coming in which it will change the overall atmosphere of the place. He has a private room right now, and unless there is a huge influx of patients will hopefully be able to keep it that way for the next few days at least.