"Our soul must perform two duties. The one is that we must reverently wonder and be surprised. The other is that we must gently let go and let be." Julian of Norwich

...Cancer teaches both!!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Rob in Rehab!

Greetings Family and Friends, Far and Wide!

In the past week I have been transferred from Vancouver General Hospital to G.F. Strong Rehab Centre.  This is a significant move and indicates that I am sufficiently healed from the surgery so as to be ready for a rehab program.  G.F. Strong is a residential rehabilitation facility where people, like myself, with spinal, neurological, muscular, or skeletal injuries go through intense therapy towards regaining as much function as possible.  Rehab programs may be from 6 weeks to 3 months depending on the nature of the injury.   

A look at my Thursday schedule will give you a snapshot view of the kind of rehab therapy that happens at G.F. Strong.
  • 08:00  Breakfast
  • 08:45  W.O.W. :  Walk on Ward (15 minutes)
  • 09:30 Dressing Change and Doctor Consultation
  • 10:00 Physio-Therapy (30 minutes)
  • 10:30 Home visit with Occupational Therapist (2 hrs)
  • 12:30 Lunch
  • 13:00 Meeting with Social Worker (1hour)
  • 15:00 Doctor Consultation (30 minutes)
  • 15:30 Physio-Therapy (30 minutes)
  • 17:00 Supper
  • 17:30 Taoist Tai Chi (1 hour):  Optional Program
Thursday was a little busier than a typical day but it does give you an idea of the range of of activities and programs that I am engaged in.

The Rehab Centre is staffed by a wonderful team of therapists, nurses, doctors, social workers, dieticians, care aides, and support staff who work together in a well coordinated, integrated approach. I have both an Occupational Therapist and a Physio-Therapist who will work with me for about an hour each day during the course of my program. 

Whereas in many medical institutions you feel like an anonymous number, at G.F. Strong you feel like the staff are honestly getting to know you.  This "patient centered", personal, and holistic approach is essential if true healing and wellness are to be realized.  I feel very fortunate to have this type of rehabilitation available to me.

Getting Around

I took my first steps last week and have been walking for short distances with a walker every day.  I have significant "nerve pain" in my left leg which limits the amount of walking I can do at this time.  Yesterday I was only able to walk for 4 minutes before the pain in my calf did me in.    In the meantime I mostly get around in a wheelchair, in which I am becoming more proficient each day.  I am most grateful for the memories of my paraplegic Aunt Shirley McFeat who I am reminded of daily.

Home Visits

One great advantage to being at G.F. Strong is the benefit of being able to go on home visits.  I am home on a day pass today (Saturday) and will be home again tomorrow.  Next weekend I hope to be able to stay Saturday night at home as well!   What a delight it is to be home.  And so much easier for Pam too!  I hope to be able to come home each weekend while I am in the residential program.

Thank You!  Thank You!  Thank You!

Pam and the Girls and I can not say or do enough to express our thanks for the many cards, notes, prayers, and expressions of love and good will we have received from so many family, friends, and colleagues.  We truly do feel held in the midst of a large community of caring and support.

Peace and blessings... Rob; in Vancouver

“I wake each morning with the thrill of expectation 
and the joy of being alive. And I'm thankful for this day.” 
Angela L. Wozniak