I felt like I was days away from having a baby. My bags were packed and I was waiting for the phone call. I was placed on the hospital list for in-patient rehab. What a mix of emotions. Like everything else on this fast paced journey, the treatment plan seemed to be a suggestion rather than a plan. Just like the due date of having a baby. My treatment plan said at six weeks I would be going into hospital to begin my gait training – fancy words for learning to walk on the initial prosthetic leg. Yet, on the same day I am getting my stitches removed (4 weeks), my post amputation team declares me ready to get up on my prosthetic which they were casting the next day. They were so convinced, they thought they might be doing my initial fitting at the hospital and not at their business.
I went into panic mode. I had no clothes for rehabilitation. I needed my nails done. Thank goodness, my hairdresser had just come to the house and coloured my hair.
Mostly I was scared. I was not ready. My stump was too sore. I was not ready to be away from the children.
It turned out not to be the case. I actually was fitted for my prosthetic on the Tuesday and walked for the first time at the business clinic. I went home to my usual routine and suitcase remained packed for a week with my new loose fitting exercise clothes. Then we got the call on a Thursday for admission on Friday. I had been told to expect this possibility. It was essentially a formal intake of all the practitioners including physician, pharmacist, nurse, occupational assistant, and physiotherapist. Once complete, I was able to have a pass for the weekend and return Sunday evening. Ultimately I only started four days earlier than planned.
Saturday was a bad snowstorm. My wee family snuggled together, made baked rice pudding and stayed very quiet watching shows.
Sunday the anxiety began to build. We had printed out pictures of the girls and laminated them to tape to the wall. I brought my own comfortable bedding and pillows. My stay is anticipated to be 2-3 weeks but I get out by noon on Friday.
We were greeted with glee by our nurse as our convoy of two little girls and blankies; and suitcases arrived. “Andrea”, she said, “you have been my easiest patient all weekend!”
We set up my room and unpacked clothes where I could reach them. My young daughters got to see where I am when I am not at home.
There is a good system with the whiteboard system so that I know exactly when each therapy is occurring and can be ready. I work for my company in-between. The rehabilitation staff are amazing and motivating. I did some walking on day one and a lot more on day two.
Most importantly, the medication in-hospital is better managed. Last night I finally slept because in hospital they can adjust to address your needs. I must say, I truly am feeling cared for by professionals who know what they are doing.
I am recognizing that the more intense the rehabilitation becomes, the less I will be working daily, as I fell asleep this afternoon for a while. It is quite a juggling act. Self-employment with no safety net is not desired in this situation but you have to do your best. I love the work we do and we are very grateful for the clients who have always stood by me over the years and for my staff working under duress.
And all my worry about my children so far is for nought, they are doing well seeing me an hour or two daily knowing I will be home on Friday.