physio

All posts tagged physio

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

Real

Published July 28, 2017 by helentastic67

Get Real

Real

Let’s talk ‘REAL’ for a moment. Will I ever get the use of my left arm back?

My Radiologist, who did my treatment, told me yes, I would. The Physio specialist upon my returning to him wondered why I was back and asking him to help me get the use of my arm back, he kinda expected me to read between the lines, when he told me he had been doing “this” a long time.

Physio

A few years ago, I saw a younger OT chick who didn’t sugar coat it when she said “Yes!” You will get the use of your arm back, but you will never get the strength and dexterity back you had before.

OT

Ironically, I didn’t have much “before” as it was…

I think realistically, if I do every exercise I’ve ever been told to do every day, several times and the other one’s I’ve been shown to improve, if I do all the computer/gadget based activities, commit to extra tiredness and migraines every day, it will improve some.

Realistic

Someone suggest – why not have my arm amputated? To be clear, I couldn’t be offended. She was a double amputee and she had, had to choose to have both her legs amputated!

Apart from the obvious, that I wouldn’t ever know if I could prove that specialist wrong if I had NO left arm to rehabilitate, I imagine my clothes would not sit properly. I will get even more weird questions and I would instantly go on a diet and lose 5 kilos (I don’t know how many kilos does one of your arms weigh?)

Specialist

It’s the wrong way to lose 5 kilos.

Weight lose

Retirement

Published March 19, 2017 by helentastic67

retirement

Retirement

I had a day off yesterday! I know, right? It’s nice to imagine being retired every day, is a day off. But alas, no! I do not have that kind of retirement; my weekdays are often filled with the appointments that help keep me going. Maybe, I’ve mentioned previously, chiropractor, acupuncture, shiatzu, myotherapy, GP appointments and the list goes on. I’m not even seeing a physio or an OT at the moment.

So, as I said, yesterday I had a rare day off. I confess, I slept until 1pm, with a false start at around 9.30am when my Mepacs alarm woke me. Damn blast-it. I blame Facebook for my late night… Oh, early morning the night before.

Facebook

You know Facebook, you see a cute cat post, (yes, I’m that person) and the stupid thing won’t share it, so you spend 2 hours going through your newsfeed trying to find it again.

Case in point why I only get on once a week or so to do more then return messages and daily pokes. Yes, I’m that person trying to keep it alive, but when I finally surfaced I spent the afternoon making and returning calls, often both phones at the same time, emails.

And I still didn’t manage to put it all together to have lunch until 5.30pm.

Late lunch

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