Ohh Boy! Was it different! No buzzers to buzz the Nurses, no mate in the bed next door to pick up the paper you drop etc. However, on the upside, it was fantastic to be home, although I thought that Nurse Marilyn would need some respite in due course (her patience is unbelievable!). I learned to use the shower, fiddled around in the kitchen, watch a bit of television, do some exercises and even had a visit to the Office and spent an hour or so at the Annual General Meeting of the Woodend Hanging Rock Petanque Club.
Then the other serious stuff of exercises and repetitive exercises and repetitive, repetitive, repetitive exercise begun.
I was hoping to get into the system supervised by Dr Richard Bills with the Allied Professionals he has around him under a Government Scheme to help people recover from a Stroke (some small benefit of the taxes paid over many years!).
Many asked the question of had I started having a beer, gin and tonic or red wine, the answer was that I tried a couple of glasses of red wine, however I was waiting for my taste buds to return and at that time a good wine tasted like it had been open for a few weeks! I was hopeful that my taste buds would improve as I went!
The journey continues at home and the first category three climb was a social day of Petanque at Redesdale on Saturday 7th August 2010. I managed to be competitive in the climb particularly prior to the meal break, but found the last little bit a fraction too hard and sat in the chair watching people play. The support from my fellow players was fantastic and the mere fact that I was able to play three rounds and stay and watch the final two rounds was an achievement.
The next couple of weeks consisted of ongoing confusion about my physical rehabilitation between the allied health professionals. Suffice to say that as the weeks unfolded I developed a pattern of the physiotherapist doing physiotherapist things and the exercise physiologist directing sensible exercise, it seemed to be working. It’s probably a bit picky but I wished I had started the physiologist a bit earlier. Exercise is very tiring and my frustration levels remained high. However, I looked forward to the next category climb – the Murray Maul Weekend at Echuca on 20-22 August 2010 which just happened to coincide with the Federal Election.
Cutting a long story short, on this weekend I well and truly completed a category four climb by attending the welcome drinks and nibbles at the Star Hotel, pizza at the Steampacket Inn on Friday night, five rounds of Petanque on Saturday, an attendance at the BBQ on Saturday night (although with an early exit) and three games of Petanque on Sunday followed by lunch.
I won’t single out any individuals, but I believe that the fantastic group of all players was with me in marking the “occasion” and I was pushed around in the wheelchair from beginning to end of Petanque playing, although I was able to play the games by walking between ends etc. I was again competitive at Petanque, winning two games and scoring a successful shots from time to time.
On the work front, I had begun attending the office on a regular basis on Fridays and had also conducted my first client face to face conference and looked forward to establishing a firm pattern over the next few months.
It would be remiss of me not to again say thank you to my office staff for their fantastic ongoing efforts as I slowly build strength and a special word of thanks to Maureen Wiltshire for her stewardship of the office as my locum.
My “ major overview” with St Vincent’s was scheduled for 3 September 2010 and I was anxious about their verdict on my progress to date and future plans for further progress.
To be continued…..