OT

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Rehab – Part 1

Published October 19, 2018 by helentastic67

Rehab Part 1

Rehab –  Part 1

Ok, not the NA/AA type. But the physio and OT type.

Being part of a Brain Injury community in Melbourne, like anywhere I imagine, I’ve met kids of people with all kinds of brain injuries. I’ve also heard many different stories of where people were and what they could or couldn’t do when they woke up.

There’s the guy who woke from a coma to a song on the radio, “Stairway to Heaven”

WT Hell?

Great song however, inappropriate.

Don’t know how long he was in this coma; however, he is a bit of the num nut. Likely never be independent despite his obvious ability to walk and talk. His thought process and thinking has obviously been affected.

Num nut

Another woke in rehab, unable to walk or talk. This person can do both now however, both are significantly compromised.

I was really lucky, because of the nature of my AVM and course of treatment, everything that happened to me, I had a say in and everything that happened as far as “fall-out” I was completely conscious for and aware of.

There was that moment when my boyfriend came through the lounge room and saw me in only my nightie, leaning down to do something on my laptop on the coffee table and he mentioned my left calf was (well, not there) compared to my right calf.

Laptop

I had been a little oblivious to that and I imagine I had been unable to rely on that leg for strength or stability. But, I have been lucky not to wake in a hospital bed somewhere unable to comprehend what exactly happened.

Waking in hospital

Now, I’m not saying my rehab has been all fun and games. I did struggle because my left arm worked some days and not others for a little while.

I recall days I struggle to do up my shoe laces an another I cried in frustration on trying to put on a bra. I choose not to leave the house without both and when I actually went to see my main specialist about six months after my treatment, he noticed my left arm, I was nursing on my left thigh. He noticed straight away and asked how long it had been like that? I didn’t know, it had come and gone so even my mum who was sitting beside me couldn’t answer. That day he referred me to physio.

Bra

I did some weekly physio and OT appointments and I was set up with exercises to continue at home. I luckily didn’t lose any of that. I do recall a question being asked of me “How do you manage with opening cans?” I told them I managed fine, because at the time I had a boyfriend. After he left I still managed fine.

Physio

Because I’d put the can opener on the tin, take it off, turn the tin a little and put it back on again. And repeat, until I’d opened the damn tin.

Looking back, how did they not realize this is how I would develop Carpel Tunnel?

My people to arrange this were very lax/lazy because funding requires a lot of paperwork and they know the NDIS was coming (one day), so they never bothered to help me get funding. I got my disc bulge and Carpel Tunnel.

Entering my brief time as an inpatient in rehab, I was an outpatient meaning I would go once a week across town to Caulfield. At the time I lived in Clifton Hill, where I can every Wednesday and I was referred to Caulfield, as it was in the “catchment” of my hospital. (The Alfred Hospital)

Notwithstanding, my mum would drive three and half hours to Melbourne, arriving just in time to scoop me up and get us both to Caulfield.

Long drive

Have I mentioned how much I love my mum?

I digress, where was I?

But I think those early days of physio/OT for me were maybe too soon, or something, not sure. But I struggled with the “make your arm loooong” In an Irish accent to grab that thing. But eventually after about nine years, my walking and hyperextension was being addressed and it was on my side of town. Through a different hospital.

Over the last fifteen years, I think I’ve been to most (not all), but most of the public hospitals for one thing or another.

Hospital visit

Then I found myself at a rehab hospital for two whole weeks as an inpatient.

I’m just saying.

I do not cope well in hospitals where I’m not allowed to go home and seriously I had appointments I maintained out, several days each week and had visitors.

I would often return from my standard weekly appointments with my keep cup in hand and as the lift door opened to the nurse’s station, they would all look up at me. They had insisted with Botox in my calf and a plaster cast on my let.

Calf muscles

Yes, that’s right. Botox in my calf and a cast. They were afraid I would fall over at home. Well, and they didn’t want me getting the cast wet and after two weeks (two different casts) I argued I was getting the cast wet in hospital with the help of four nurses.

So what difference would it make if I was home?

Next

Torture – Part 1

Published August 6, 2018 by helentastic67

Torture Part 1 a

Torture Part 1

There are some posts I put off writing, I’ve had this on simmer in the back of my mind for years and as usual, there are a million ways to address this one. It kinda follows one about the Neuro Angiogram, of which I’ve had two, of and I hated. And ironically, I’ve had two of these also and I hated both of these also.

Angiogram

Firstly, I should premise by saying 2011 was a rough year. Let me start by saying the issues started a few years earlier, but I didn’t piece everything together until sometime later.

2011 problem

By 2011, I had been living one handed for a few years, being fiercely independent and with the ability to keep doing some things one handed. With the encouragement of my physio and OT, I kept doing “things” one handed, ie) lifting a 10kg bag of kitty litter and taking it from the front door to the back door, so it took pressure off the boyfriend. (Yeah! I know, I had one.) Helen now don’t got one. I’ll get to that, it’s on the list.

Kitty Litter

Now, where was I?

On the 6th January that year, I lifted my small suitcase from the floor to my bed. It was full of my laptop, hard drives and other tech stuff and I didn’t want my mother to lift it, so I did it. In hindsight, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Suitcase

Weird things started to happen like, it hurt to sit, but not my “butt” I had shooting pain down my right leg. Reminder; my right leg is my good leg, really don’t need anything going wrong with my good leg. I couldn’t sit on the couch in the evenings and watch TV.

Pain in the butt

Trips to my GP, had new medication added to my diet. I think we started with muscle relaxants.

DID NOT HELP!

Can’t recall now, what medications followed that, but I started getting Ultrasounds to my legs and other things.

What felt like forever, later we found what worked. The Silver bullet came in the form of Oxy and what I refer to as ‘Oxy, Oxy and Oxy.’

Oxy Oxy Oxy

Slow release, short release and don’t bother me with that because it’s just not going to help.

Oh yeah, eventually the diagnosis was a disc bulge and another crappy side-effect. I felt I needed to pee. All the time and of course if you have ever been on any serious Opiates, you know you have the added trauma of Constipation. Super!

Constipation

So, as part of the process to get better, is medication. Some people can walk it off and it just gets better. Some people require surgery, but while brain surgeons (Nuero Surgeons) do brains and backs, they prioritise brain.

Brain surgery

Now my happy place that year was lying on my bed, my laptop now lived on my bed so, I just spent more time there. My happy place with Opiates, was 20mg of Oxy Contin during the day and 10mg at night. If I had to go out, I would take 5mg of Oxy norm, it works fairly quickly, but gives you only three hours of taking the edge off.

Lying in bed

I caught the taxi to my local appointments, because I struggled to even scooter to them.

My ‘shrink’ I saw over the phone, paying using online banking. I saw my GP while lying down on his bed, you know, that table thingy? So, saying all of this, it was a long year.

Shrink on phone

The ironic part was all the medical people I saw that year, couldn’t diagnose me, until an MRI told me what the cause to the pain was.

Dr Diagnosis

After diagnosis, a lovely Indian woman who dropped over, I told her I had a disc bulge and she asked “do you have pain down your leg?”

Seriously.

Seriously

Stop Helping

Published October 28, 2016 by helentastic67

stop-helping

Stop Helping

I’ve just writing this post in my head, so despite not finishing my admin for the week past and coming or starting to wind down and it’s midnight, I’m going to smash this thing out.

Did I mention I’m a night person?

Some of the worst advice I’ve not been given for how to manage my disability and maintain independence one-handed has not been given to me by an OT!

ot

Remembering an OT is an Occupational Therapist!

Early days an OT asked how I managed to open things, particularly in the bathroom or kitchen.

I replied, I use my teeth!

how-not-to-open-a-bottle

I was smartly told not to do such unless I could afford to fix my teeth!

Um, FYI. No I cannot.

The end!

Yeah! No! There is no great wisdom on how you otherwise do that! While I’m still waiting so can you!

Done!

Botox

Published September 23, 2016 by helentastic67

botoks_allergan_ilac

Botox

I’ve had Botox! Four times for free! Ask me how!

Okay, this is how I like to break the news to people because the only thing people have heard of Botox being used for, is to pump in the lines on their faces to get rid of the wrinkles.

But people get it for other things.

They might get it injected into their scalp, armpits or even a woman’s bladder. http://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/news/20150515/botox-overactive-bladder

sweat-glands

The bladder, I’ve not heard much about, but the first two I hear it helps with perspiration problems.

Keep in mind, in no way, shape or form am I doing a sales pitch for Botox (botulinum Toxin)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botulinum_toxin

Hear me when I say this; it is the MOST TOXIC THING YOU CAN PUT IN YOUR BODY.

But anyway, I haven’t been lucky enough to want/need it for vanities sake!

I’ve had it out of necessities sake.

Twice in my arm and twice in my calf for what’s called Spasticity!

bent-wrist

People who suffer ‘stroke’ or ‘stroke like symptoms’ like myself will have an arm that won’t relax and straighten. In extreme cases, some people will have a hand that will not open.

Imagine what happens if you can’t wash or dry your hand. It can lead to other problems, like a stroke is not enough. Broken skin conditions don’t help.

They are very careful with where and how to inject exactly the right muscle for the best effect…

In the correct muscle in the arm, it relaxes other muscles lower down in the arm and ideally the hand. It’s ideal to have a good STRETCH OF THE hand to be able to work on the hand.

It’s every important to do a lot of OT at this time to maximise the benefits of the Botox.

Because after 3-4 months the Botox wears off and hopefully when the muscles that were ‘relaxed’ by the Botox wake-up there is a better balance between those muscles and the ones exercise have been working on.

You generally don’t have Botox all the time because you can build up an immunity to it.

I always like to use the example that one day all those faces in Hollywood will simultaneously drop. Sad face?

I might do a You tube demo to show what Botox in the calf is for…………………………….

injection-sites

injection-calf-muscle

 

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