LET’S GET BACK TO BUSINESS!
In the summer of 1989, I saw a neurosurgeon, at Kaiser, who agreed to send me to rehabilitation so that I could try to regain the use of my legs. I had mixed feelings because I wanted to be on my feet and be able to move around, but at the same time I didn’t want to leave my baby. But I checked into the rehab hospital and I stayed there, during the week, for five weeks. Luckily my physical medicine doctor would give me a pass to go home on the weekends. After the first couple of days, Greg would come out to see me in the evenings and he would push my wheelchair across the street so we could eat a real restaurant, instead of the hospital cafeteria. If you’ve ever eaten hospital food then you will know that there is no comparison between that and the restaurant food. My mother would sneak a visit in, from time to time, with the baby and Lindsay. I remember that the girls would get up onto the hospital bed with me and I would hold Brittany while Lindsay would be quite happy playing with the TV remote control. I had my Bible there and pictures of Greg and the girls, on my hospital tray, which helped me through each long day.
In rehabilitation the nurses and I got along quite well because they usually didn’t have someone like me in the program. Surprise, surprise, they had never seen anyone like me before! Most of the people were stroke victims or amputees and here I was, a young mother with a newborn. So I could relate to the nurses much easier than most of the other patients. The days in rehab were quite busy with P.T., O.T., and R.T. which is Physical, Occupational and Recreational Therapies. Luckily I didn’t have to go to all of the sessions and could eliminate those pertaining to the stroke victims.
SCARLET HAD THE RIGHT IDEA!
Then I went to Casa Colina in Pomona as an outpatient. This is the Cadillac of hospitals which specializes in spinal cord injuries. They had an adaptive gymnasium filled with all the latest equipment. The theme of the Physical Therapy department was, “work it out!” You could buy tee shirts that supported the saying, and of course, I bought one. There was even a bathroom that was completely accessible, including a raised toilet seat. Another big advantage was that the cafeteria restaurant was completely set up for wheelchairs. (Besides that, the food was good!) I was fitted with A.F.O.’s on my legs to help me walk between the bars. I was learning how to cook with special equipment and using little tricks that would enable me to manage to put a meal on the table. They even wanted me to bake a cake using a mix instead of from scratch. I told them that I had stopped canning fruit and making jelly and jam, but I wasn’t ready to give up everything! I started painting ceramics, figurines, etc., and that was enjoyable but with children at home I wasn’t sure I’d ever have time to pick up a paint brush. They showed me how to use the sponge like extenders that helped me put my eye liner on. The O.T. would look at me like I was crazy. Why did I even want to bother with eye liner!? Thank goodness with all the nurses, health aides, doctors, and therapists, through the years, I haven’t spoken unkindly to one yet… even if I did want t
WHY DO I KEEP ENDING UP ON THE GROUND!?
About a week later I developed a cold and started having difficulty breathing. I was becoming weaker and weaker and finally I told Greg that I thought I should go see the Doctor. Once we arrived at the hospital, Greg tried to get me out of the car and into my wheelchair. He didn’t realize how weak I had become and I ended up sliding down onto the cement in the parking lot. That’s been the only time he has ever ended up with me on the ground. Of course at that time, I didn’t much care if he would have just walked away and left me right there. Thankfully I can talk to Jesus sitting on the cement in a parking lot just as well as I can in church. “Lord, please give Greg the strength to pick me up and get me in my chair.” Sometimes he answers my prayers very quickly and Greg was able to pick me up and very shortly we were seeing my neurologist.