I have never been to a Rehabilitation Hospital before. I have gone to physical therapy a couple times but in the end couldn’t do much because it made things worse at the time. When I had my surgery, it became necessary to be involved in intense physical therapy as well as occupational therapy. I frankly had no idea what all is involved in trying to rehabilitate from this type of surgery.
The surgery was to remove my left foot below the left knee. I had been fighting injury and infection in the left foot for more than two years and it was just time to do this.
After the surgery at OLBH and a few days recovery I was transported to HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Huntington. It is much like a hospital with very intense forms of therapy. It is much more difficult that what one might expect. There are several types of therapy and as an incoming patient I would suspect each person is screened by each department. I can’t remember last names, but I have had a cast of wonderful caregivers from techs, to therapists to nurses as well as folks who prepare the food.
My primary therapists are Pam, Kelsey, and Kristen. I have had some others but most of my time has been with these three. I also had my first visit with the speech therapist. We went through the routine and I only had to pay one visit to her.
If anyone ever had any doubts that I could talk they obviously haven’t been around me very much. I can talk way more than most. One of the most interesting parts of the speech therapy screening was that part where they give you three words to remember. My three words: apple, table and penny. Amanda told me I would likely never forget those three words and in that sequence, and that so far has proven to be the truth.
The next screening came from those in occupational therapy. It has its own unique blend of exercises and deeds to accomplish. I have done occupational therapy almost every day. It is designed to help you accomplish day to day challenges. It also assists with agility. I have worked with a hand bicycle along with other tasks such as working with bolts to tighten and loosen them to allow me to have agility and strengthen my hands. There are several tasks with weights of various size along with working with a group passing a ball or other basic movements.
From there I spend half of my three hours per day with the physical therapist. She has helped me learn how to stand on my right leg. Sharpened my skills of being able to get up and down out of the chair and learn how to use a transfer board. A transfer board is something new to me. It is designed to help slide in and out of a wheelchair, in and out of the bed, and in the bathroom to use the facility or work your way onto a transfer bench designed to use in a shower. I have been very lucky with these boards... I had been lifting myself in and out of chairs for quite a while so these exercises have only made it easier for me.
I do want to share the nurses and techs in this facility are amazing. I have not had one nurse that has not been top notch. They are very skilled and compassionate. That have made it so much easier to be here. I am not going to take a chance of offending anyone by omitting their names I just want to say this is top shelf.
The plan is to go home this next week and settle into a routine. Hopefully before too long I will be able to get an artificial leg and learn to walk short distances with it as well.
- Hank Bond, The Greenup Beacon