11 April 2007: LET'S GET MOVING!

Category: Photos
Posted by: erin
NO PAIN MEDS. For the record, he did all of the following (except the bandage change) with only the residual pain medication: no boosters.

Dad had a fantastically exhausting day in therapy. It all started around 1:30p, when the nurses and I got to help him get out of his hospital finery and into some clothes. The nurses were pretty creative in creating a case of absorbent pads to wrap around his stump so it wouldn't drool all over the place. It was kind of haphazard and reminded me of bloomers. Once the stump was padded, we got the T-shirt and pants tucked over the whole thing, and then it was up and over into the chair, with him helping.


I got to wheel him around for about a half hour before PT started, so we went out across the floor to the visitors waiting room. It has a spectacular view of downtown Cleveland, and I wanted to give him something BIG to see--something beyond hospital rooms and hallways. I was so excited I kept wanting to cry. Since I was pushing the chair, I couldn't see Dad's face, but all the people we passed started smiling...

So, after doing some laps around the floor in the chair, it was time to go to PT! We rolled our way into the gym, and straight over to these mat tables: 2-3 feet off the floor, with a thin layer of padding on top. The PT gave Dad some strategies for getting from the chair to the table, and spotted/assisted him in making that transition. He got to do some rolling around (all the way over onto his belly!) and some stump exercises before learning some options for transitioning back to the chair. The transitions to and from the chair were done well. I think Dad is getting the hang of it. They certainly aren't graceful maneuvers, but they worked, and it looked like he had a little more confidence than he has thus far, which is progress!

From there, we rolled him over to the parallel bars. The wheelchair didn't fit in between the bars that well (this is a rather bulky interim piece), but it was enough so that Dad could practice standing! He stood for a whole minute. The thing he has to learn at this stage is where and what to push off of or grab for: e.g. push off the railings of the chair before reaching for the bars, and find the railings of the chair with both arms before sitting down.


He was doing really well through all of this--he got light-headed once in awhile, for very short durations, and usually when he turned his head fast. Even the standing went really well. Then came the weight lifting. Yes, my Dad lifted weights today. It was pretty standard gym equipment in some cases, and in others it was obviously shaped to accomodate a person in a wheelchair. 3 sets of 10 reps for 8 different activities. By the end he was almost crying with tiredness. He was still excited, still happy to be out of that room and that bed, but he was TIRED.

The transfer from chair to bed in the treatment room was fine, even with his workout (I think he was showing off for Tammy--he really thinks she is great). I didn't stay in the room for the treatment part, per Dad's suggestion (he said to Tammy, "If this were my other daughter, maybe.. " ink ). His dressing this time was done a little differently, mostly because he was able to show Tammy that he really could get his whole middle up off of the table without getting too tired. Since he could get his torso and butt off the table, she could bandage him all the way around in one fell swoop. I went back in afterwards to help get him back in the wheel chair, and Tammy was smiling to beat the band--he did a really good job, and he stood up--she was as excited about it as I was. Once Dad was all settled back in the chair, we headed back up to his room.

So, for those that are counting, it is now after 5pm, and Dad is still sitting up in a chair. With the exception of the time he spent on the mat-table and standing with the bars, he'd been sitting up for 4 hours. We get back to the room just as dinner arrives. Do you think he wanted to get back in bed right away? No way. He ate his dinner sitting up in a chair. Yee-haw!

Even as he finished his dinner, he was obviously VERY tired. I felt like a diligent little helper--I got to help his nurse (Gary) get Dad back into bed and adjust the pads, etc. I left the hospital (before 9pm for a change!) once Dad was comfortable in his bed.

As Bonnie mentioned in her comment, Dad did get a visit from Domino the "therapy dog". I saw Domino coming onto the floor as I was on my way out--I half wanted to stay, and half knew that I needed to get home and get some rest, too. ink Dad is a dog person, so I'm sure he and Domino had a good time.
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erin wrote:

Side note:

Dad and I are waiting in his room to head down for the bandage change. He's still in the wheelchair, but it's tipped back pretty far to shift weight onto a different part of his backside. He's tired already, and holding his head up is just making it worse. So, being the nice daughter I am, I go stand behind him so he can lean his head on me. He did so, and was snoring within seconds.

He felt much better after only 10 mintes of napping. He didn't know that he'd fallen asleep, or how long he'd been asleep, "Must have been a power nap.."
-- 11 April 2007 23:44:48
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