Rehab Chronicles: Getting To Know My Therapists

So Monday I started my first full week at RIC and my therapy was typical of the first couple of sessions but during Monday’s session I got a chance to get to know about my therapists. In my first session of the morning I got a chance to meet Allie, a new therapist that just started that morning. We hit it off very well, I found out that she was from South Carolina and had just moved to Chicago just five months so she was still getting use to the city. We talked for a little while and she was telling me that she was preparing for winter and I told her that winter here ain’t no joke so you better have all of your equipment to handle winter in Chicago. Well she told me she was “ready” but we’ll see as we get closer.

My second session was with the torturer Megan who once again put me to work. This time we were doing sit-up type exercises to work on my back and shoulder. Then we did forward sit-ups first with a medicine ball that worked my forearms and then second set of forward sit-ups were assisted by Megan and I’m glad she did because this second set involved bending completely forward (something that did frighten me because I rarely do that) and using my back muscles to bring myself back up, it was rough but I did it. To finish off my session we did a couple of transfers back and forth between the mat and my wheelchair and that ended my session with the torturer. I call Megan that but in all honesty she works me hard and I always feel sore after working with her and that’s a good thing.

My final session was with one of my favorite ladies Grace (no Bridget this time *sigh*) and Christina and for this session we did some simple tasks like working with buttons (buttoning and unbuttoning) and using my hands to roll coins in my hand and put them in a bank. During this session I found out that Grace is originally from Northern California and moved to St. Louis before coming to Chicago. She told me a funny story about experiencing her first winter in St. Louis where she mistakenly used table salt to actually salt the sidewalks. We both shared a laugh and I told her it was an honest mistake but you did learn your lesson the hard way and now she knows. To finished off the session I showed Grace and Christina how I put my jacket on and that was the end of our session.

I put in a lot of work yesterday but I got a chance to know my therapists and I had fun and I look forward to continue my therapy sessions.


Rehab Chronicles: Here Comes The Pain!

Day 2 and they’re already trying to kill me! I worked a lot harder today than my first day as expected. This time I was able to get here thirty minutes early so that really calmed me. I was more comfortable being around everyone and that made me feel good.
This time I started with occupational therapy and met Joanna for the first time to do some arm stretches. I was once again put on my back and I wasn’t hurting like I was the first time but it was still painful. Joanna made me feel very comfortable by helping me relax my legs (which were all over the place). Once that was all over, I had a quick break (still on my back by the way) and waited for the torturer Megan.
I know that when she shows up I’m gonna be put to work and the fun truly begins. Today we worked on rolling on my side and that was tough as hell. It’s difficult for me to roll from one side, then laying on my back and doing the same process over and over.
The torture was just getting started as I was rolled onto my stomach and had my back stretched out fully. The pain was excruciating but as time went on the pain went away little by little. Megan continued the previous stretches from last time and our torture session was over.
After a short intermission, then it was time to work with my two favorite ladies Grace and Bridget. We did some arm exercises that were tough as hell. I was laying on my side and alternating between my left and right arm which made the exercises a lot tougher.
I’ll tell you all something, after my three hour workout I was very sore but I wanted to keep going. I felt like I still had more to give and I want to get stronger. I understand that I have to rest in between therapy sessions. I can’t wait to get up on Monday to do it all over again.

Rehab Chronicles : Start of A New Journey

First off, I am so sorry for not posting anything in a long while. A lot has happen in my life and I just didn’t have the time or energy to write on my blog.

On Wednesday I started a new journey that’s separate from my film. I started my first day doing physical and occupational therapy at the Rehab Institute of Chicago. I’ve trying to do this for some time now and after years of holding off on it, I took a big step in improving my life. After talking to my doctor at rehab a few weeks back, she thought that this would be a good idea to get back into therapy especially after I told her about the pain I’ve been experiencing.

The first day kinda hit an early snag when the transportation was an hour late in picking me up (I learned later that he wasn’t late at all and that they wanted to make sure I was ready early). When I arrived there with my mom, I was really nervous because this was my first time there and I didn’t know what to expect. However, when I arrived I was welcomed with open arms and it helped ease my fears.

When I got there I immediately met my two physical therapists Grace and Bridget, two very lovely women who gave me the tour of the place before sending me into a room. The early part of my time there was spent answering questions (you know the usual stuff when you register for the first time). Most of the questions were kinda silly but I had no trouble answering them. I got a chance to get to know them and explain to them what I can and can’t do.

After the Q&A session was over it was time to start my occupational session with my therapist Megan. It was time to get down to business. After a similar Q&A session, Megan started on a few tests to see how flexible I was. It started off with a simple check of my ankles and then it was time to get out of my chair and lay on the mat right on my back. After getting a few pointers on how to maneuver out of my chair, I laid on my back and experienced a sharp pain in my lower back because I haven’t laid straight on my back in a long ass time. Megan did a few stretches and tests on both of my legs, I was thrilled when it was all over to sit back up and relax. Oh, during that time I met a lovely nurse named Sue who only took my blood pressure and I told her I liked her because she was gonna be the only person that’s not gonna put me to work.

After a quick break and signing a lot of paperwork, it time to work with Grace and Bridget again. Thus they worked with me on getting back in my wheelchair (which was a huge mission by the way). After we got back in the chair we did a couple of interesting tests. The first was the hand strength test. They give you this like gold handle and you have to squeeze it very hard (by the way this thing came in this protective black case for some strange reason like it was some rare treasure). The next test was to see how quickly I could put these tiny round sticks and put them in a hole and take them out as fast as you can. I did it with my hands and it seems that I’m more faster with my left than my right. Once the test were over my first day came to an end and it was time for me to leave.

My first day was a success. I was a little nervous at first and they worked me kinda hard, it was great. I know there’s a lot of hard work ahead of me but if anyone can do this and succeed is me.