With no further delay, I finally transferred to the rehab floor,and began the ever going saga of Therapy on February 1st,2012.This time around I was assigned to a roommate,but that was short lived. Due to the fact that I had logged in so many visitors on the ICU Floor,I was granted a Private room and was moved there only after two days with a roommate. Rehab in BELLEVUE was a three tier Attack on Speech,Lower Left Extremities (Foot and Leg) and Upper Left extremities. (Arm and Hand).
My Speech Therapist was a Cherubic gal,who left the ball in my court by providing me with Speech exercises to work on during my own time, instead taking time out of her twice a week visits to work on them. With that being said,I reviewed my worksheets, lips, and Tongue exercises twice a day, every day.The primary goal of BELLEVUE Physical Therapy was to get me walking again.
I made a pact with myself that I would out of the Hospital doors,not be wheeled out of them.
But that was still weeks away,so the first order of business was teach me how to use my Wheelchair.
Considering that I had a healthy and able body up until two weeks prior,tooling myself in a Chair was a new wrinkle for me. The hardest part for me was locking down the rhythm of my right foot with my right hand. Most people have either their hands or feet in sync when pedalling and navigating,but I only had my right foot and right hand. In those early Post Stroke days my left side was kind of useless. It some time for me to get the kinks out by crashing into Doors and walls,but I eventually became a seasoned pro in my Wheelchair. In fact, doing laps around the rehab floor and Hospital Lobby became my go to Exercise routine during my Residency at BELLEVUE. That first day in PT was difficult because I had to stand up,try to balance for the first time,all the while trying to tune out the other patients who were doing their thing in the PT room. There was an Older woman in the opposite corner of the room,and she would begin to shriek off the the mere thought of being touched by her Therapist. The Therapist wouldn't even be next to her,and the screaming would be in full throttle.If I didn't see her reflection in the mirror,I would swear that a Banshee was in the room.
It was quite distracting and took laboured effort to ignore forty five minutes of racket. I think it was safe to say that I was the youngest person in PT during that time slot.
Being that is two turns down the hall, the trip to the OT room was the ideal distance for me to practice my Wheelchair skills.. Unlike the patients in physical Therapy,in Occupational Therapy I was surrounded by guys close to my age. Ramen was a slightly built Indonesian cat in his mid twenties. His partner in crime was D'Angelo,a mischievous ,young, Black man. Both of them suffered from some sort of Brain Injury and now had deficits similar to mine. Given our closeness in age,I was assigned to sit next to them during our Group,Occupational Therapy sessions.
The first moment he met me,D'Angelo told me that I looked like I listen to Eminem. I interpreted that as meaning,I look like a white guy with swagger. In our daily time together,I'd like to think that I brought the best out D'Angelo.