Strokeman taught me early on in our relationship to appreciate a good summary of a given topic. So let me at this point summarize a few things before moving on to our outpatient rehab experience. In the last few days of inpatient rehab:
We began our saga of the wheelchair, which deserves its own entry. Here I will just say that it was a long time and several companies before we finally got something close enough to what the therapists recommended to give up trying for something else.
I went to the courthouse annex to get the handicap placard for my car. This was such a difficult thing for me. The form I had to take from the hospital to the tax office had the words, “permanent disability” on them. It was so hard to read those words! I went in and sat down at the desk across from the woman who would be helping me, and I began to sob so uncontrollably that I could not get the words out to tell her why I was there. She was patient, but obviously perplexed at why I was in such bad condition over a parking placard. I could not pull myself together. I did not have all the information they needed to process my request, and had to leave empty-handed. By the time I got back to them, I was able to be a little more rational.
The physical therapist worked with me to teach me how to help Strokeman transfer to and from the wheelchair, bed, car, etc. While they had managed to get him to the point of being able to take a few steps, he would not be able to walk at home. Their goal was for him to be able to do 75% of the work to transfer from one location to another before we left.
The occupational therapist informed me that there were many things that she would have ordinarily been teaching Srokeman to do for himself which were impossible, because he insisted I do everything for him. I truly wish she had shared this information with me at about week one, so that i could have excused myself and forced him to learn what he could. She was his least favorite therapist, and he would probably not have been willing to learn any of these things from her anyway, but my goodness, why didn’t someone tell me I was shooting myself in the foot? As it stood, she taught me how to do the things he had not learned to do for himself.
The case manager made an appearance and tried to order the equipment we would need for home, helped me set up doctor follow up appointments, find a place to do follow up blood work and get prescriptions filled.
One of the deacons came over and built a wheelchair ramp into the house from the garage. Women of the church came and cleaned my filthy house, and got together a plan for providing meals for us for the days ahead.
We made arrangements to be admitted into the Brain Injury Transitional System outpatient program. Again, we made our decision to stick with what we knew, instead of trying to find something closer to home and maybe better suited to our needs.
I have to say that I was scared to death to go home with Strokeman. He needed so much! And because we were doing the outpatient therapies, insurance would not pay for in-home healthcare. What choice did I have but to take him home and trust that the Lord would give me the strength to endure what was to come? And so we left the Friday before Memorial day to return home.