Chit Chat

H's physical therapy

Just wanted to share an update with you guys! H has been in the inpatient rehab facility for about two weeks and we are really happy with it. The care is REALLY great. We have had no issues whatsoever, not even meh, "well at least it's better than the nursing home" care - just all around great, hospital-level care. His doctor is nice and very supportive and he gets 3-4 hours of therapy every day along with regular showers (real ones!) and decent food.

He's been standing with minor assistance for balance since two days after he moved in; he's gotten pretty strong with it and he is doing assisted "stand and pivot" to get in and out of bed now instead of using a sliding board. 

His initial release date is a week from tomorrow; I am pretty sure it will be extended as his need for assistance with mobility is still really high, so we'll see how it all goes with insurance coverage.

We hired a prosthetist last week and tomorrow he will get his first artificial leg! It will have a locked knee joint, no walking yet. Just something to learn to put weight on and begin standing on two legs. H's first two goals (over a period of six weeks) are to stand unassisted for five minutes and to walk 10 feet. Pretty tiny goals, but I feel confident he will meet and exceed them!

The prosthesis is fairly complex; H only has about two inches of femur left which is an exceptionally short stump. He will be treated similar to a hip disarticulation where the entire leg is removed up through the hip joint - so he will have a belt component that goes around his waist for some added support. That's all I know for now; eagerly looking forward to seeing it on tomorrow and seeing how it goes!
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Re: H's physical therapy

  • ei34ei34 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    I love his brave smile.  You're both so strong.  Wishing him a smooth recovery.  It sounds like he's in a great facility.
  • Thanks for the update! I am sure you mentioned this earlier and I missed it, but I thought he wouldn't be able to use a prosthesis - I am so glad he will be able to walk again one day!
    BabyFruit Ticker
    tigerlily6
  • Spock this is so wonderful. It lightens such a huge weight off of your shoulders when you can count on the medical team to provide wonderful treatment. I look forward to reading more good news!
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    tigerlily6
  • I'm so glad that he is in a facility that is providing great care. Feeling well taken care of does wonder for a person's mood and I feel that mood influences abilities and effort. I hope the good news continues!
    OurWildKingdom
  • So glad you guys have gotten somewhere he is happy and treated well. Yay for tiny goals and moving forward (literally and figuratively)!
    OurWildKingdom
  • So happy to read this! H looks great!
  • Thanks everyone! He's so happy :)

    Thanks for the update! I am sure you mentioned this earlier and I missed it, but I thought he wouldn't be able to use a prosthesis - I am so glad he will be able to walk again one day!
    No, you're right. The doctors in the hospital told us repeatedly it was unlikely he would ever be able to have a prosthesis due to his stump being so short. We decided to consult a prosthetist anyway because of the research I had done about people with hip disarticulations - there was one girl in particular who had a hemipelvectomy meaning she lost her whole leg and half her pelvis. I kept thinking, "If she can have one, then H can!"

    The prosthetist did say it will be very challenging and H will have to put in a lot of work, but there are plenty of options and more being developed every day. Microprocessor joints, etc. Sadly, the increase in amputees due to the war is driving a lot of the developments in this kind of technology.
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    OurWildKingdom100yroldblinddog
  • Wonderful news! Hope everything continues to go in such a positive direction.
  • I'm so glad to hear he's doing so well and that both your attitudes are still so great. It's really incredible.

    How's his arm doing?

    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
  • Thanks for the update! I'm glad he's doing well.  You and he have both been really terrific about this. I'm not sure I would be.
    spockforprez
  • spockforprezspockforprez member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited June 2016

    I'm so glad to hear he's doing so well and that both your attitudes are still so great. It's really incredible.

    How's his arm doing?

    We will see a neuro doc soon to get his first nerve test and then we'll know how to proceed. So far he hasn't had any calculable change in sensation. Sometimes he thinks he can feel things a bit better, but it's hard to be objective. 

    Jen4948 said:
    Thanks for the update! I'm glad he's doing well.  You and he have both been really terrific about this. I'm not sure I would be.

    Thank you! Actually, I'm a hot mess. The logistical and emotional challenges are pretty high right now. I just decided to stop talking about it because feedback from others seems to make it worse, not better. (Edit - in general, not on TK specifically!) I've done some journaling, though, and now that I'm working on the yard my moods seem better!
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    SP29ernursej
  • SP29SP29 member
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    AWESOME!!

    Glad to hear your H is doing so well- he's making great progress! I hope H is able to extend his time in rehab- he has many achievable goals he can reach.
  • Sounds like amazing progress! Thanks for sharing! I really hope that having him permanently at home will be a sigh of relief and the next stage in his recovery. It sounds like you are being a fantastic support for him. Don't forget to support yourself too!
    spockforprez
  • So exciting for both of you!!  It's amazing to me how much he is walking already.  

    spockforprez
  • Such wonderful news that he is doing so well. Here's to continued accelerated recovery!
    spockforprez
  • SP29SP29 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    Awesome!!

    Can he go back to the hospital for a visit? Just to say hi to the doctors and nurses. And he can show them that YES, he can use a prosthesis! Not to shove it in their face, but as a reminder to have hope and be encouraging to others that there are options. At the ICU I work at we will often have some of our spinal cord and trauma patients come back to visit- it's really nice to see them doing so well :).

    I think you are being very smart about the home improvements. Hope for the best and plan for the worst. The biggest thing, is that you don't want H to have a day where he needs something, and it not be there. Like you said, better have something and H never use it.

    As for driving, is your insurance company aware of H's new physical status? If not, they definitely need to know. One of three things will happen, they will say A) Ok, thanks, carry on. B) Ok, he can drive with a doctors note stating he is capable or C) They'll want him to do another driving test. The big thing here, is that if they don't know and H ends up in a car accident while driving, even if it isn't his fault, the fault can be very easily placed on him because he has a medical condition/disability.

    Do you have an occupational therapy contact already for the home improvements and car adaptations? If not, the rehab clinic should be able to connect you to all these services.

    Glad to hear he is doing so well and has maintained such a positive outlook. I'm sure he'll be zipping around with a new prosthesis.
    OurWildKingdom
  • SP29 said:
    Awesome!!

    Can he go back to the hospital for a visit? Just to say hi to the doctors and nurses. And he can show them that YES, he can use a prosthesis! Not to shove it in their face, but as a reminder to have hope and be encouraging to others that there are options. At the ICU I work at we will often have some of our spinal cord and trauma patients come back to visit- it's really nice to see them doing so well :).

    I think you are being very smart about the home improvements. Hope for the best and plan for the worst. The biggest thing, is that you don't want H to have a day where he needs something, and it not be there. Like you said, better have something and H never use it.

    As for driving, is your insurance company aware of H's new physical status? If not, they definitely need to know. One of three things will happen, they will say A) Ok, thanks, carry on. B) Ok, he can drive with a doctors note stating he is capable or C) They'll want him to do another driving test. The big thing here, is that if they don't know and H ends up in a car accident while driving, even if it isn't his fault, the fault can be very easily placed on him because he has a medical condition/disability.

    Do you have an occupational therapy contact already for the home improvements and car adaptations? If not, the rehab clinic should be able to connect you to all these services.

    Glad to hear he is doing so well and has maintained such a positive outlook. I'm sure he'll be zipping around with a new prosthesis.

    Thanks for the awesome response! Had to color code so I made sure to respond to everything! :smiley:

    Purple - we will be going back for a surgical follow up soon so his ortho surgeon will see him then! I would love to go see the ICU nurses and residents, but I'm not sure how. It's a locked ward so I don't think we can just go back to chat, haha. How would you recommend I go about that? One of the nurses is my facebook friend, should I ask her about coming to visit? 

    Blue - we just got new car insurance because his parents gave us their old car. We switched companies so it was a completely brand new policy, no history there at all. They asked a lot of questions, but none about any physical driving limitations. Should I call and volunteer that info? Maybe I can have H's lawyer check the policy language for that. I will be the one driving H for awhile so I really don't want the policy to be canceled.

    Green - when H was at home before going into inpatient therapy we had OT at the house several times per week and got some feedback from them. We have a pretty good plan in place; my uncle, who is assisting with the renovations, is an ADA certified builder (owns a custom home business) so hopefully his expertise will help us get the best for what H needs. Re: driving, I think H said they teach adaptive driving at the outpatient facility, so he can get some good info there. I hope everything works out the way H wants! I just want to be realistic and safe!
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    SP29
  • SP29SP29 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    @spockforprez

    Our ICU is locked as well, with a phone outside the door. I think the patients usually do get someone to bring them in. Such as calling in and asking to speak to the social worker, or their favourite nurse, and that person brings them in. If you have a nurse on your FB already, good idea to ask her if she's in working the day you have your appointment. Or if they have a policy about it.

    As for driving, the policy would be fine with you driving. It's for when DH starts driving (since he mentioned wanting to drive one handed with cruise control :smirk: ). I'd recommend he wait until the adaptations are in place and he's had some time to practice. Even then, it's not that they'd cancel the policy on you, they may just want a doctors note or proof you've had the adaptations made. Or they may not care at all. Just for your own piece of mind, *should* anything happen, you know they've got you covered.

    That is awesome your uncles is able to do those modifications for you.
  • I am so happy to see this! You two are amazing!

  • edited June 2016
    Wow! That made my day!
  • I'm late, but I'm popping in to say it's awesome that he has a prosthesis now! I was just at an Amputee Coalition conference this past weekend and it was amazing. People with all levels of amputations, missing multiple limbs, etc. I watched a woman with no prosthesis hula hooping like a pro (I think she was a hip disartic).  Everyone helped everyone else, there were basic classes and advanced classes for different things, there was a dance party on the final night which was fun and hilarious. Really I'd recommend any amputee attend. I've gone two years now and it changes me each time.

    This advice may clash, but hear me out. Can I suggest not being the voice of reason? Let him be ambitious. I'm sure he realizes that things will be a challenge. Yes, it's good to think things through, but planning for the worst day is depressing. I mean, for example, I live in a house with stairs. My bathrooms are not adapted. I live alone. Even on my worst days I found a way to adapt and he will too. It takes creative thinking but adapting happens! Talking to other amputees really helps too.

    You all are doing great!
    ******************************************************

    spockforprez
  • wink0erin said:
    I'm late, but I'm popping in to say it's awesome that he has a prosthesis now! I was just at an Amputee Coalition conference this past weekend and it was amazing. People with all levels of amputations, missing multiple limbs, etc. I watched a woman with no prosthesis hula hooping like a pro (I think she was a hip disartic).  Everyone helped everyone else, there were basic classes and advanced classes for different things, there was a dance party on the final night which was fun and hilarious. Really I'd recommend any amputee attend. I've gone two years now and it changes me each time.

    This advice may clash, but hear me out. Can I suggest not being the voice of reason? Let him be ambitious. I'm sure he realizes that things will be a challenge. Yes, it's good to think things through, but planning for the worst day is depressing. I mean, for example, I live in a house with stairs. My bathrooms are not adapted. I live alone. Even on my worst days I found a way to adapt and he will too. It takes creative thinking but adapting happens! Talking to other amputees really helps too.

    You all are doing great!
    We really wanted to go to the ACA conference! We just weren't ready yet, logistically, with rehab and everything. I hope it's fairly nearby next year so we can go!

    Regarding the bolded, if he didn't have a paralyzed left arm I wouldn't worry as much about his safety. It really affects way more than you'd think, both in the sense that he doesn't have that arm to use for balance/pulling his weight, and that it hangs down sort of limp and in the way (even in a sling). Thankfully, he is a very rational and logic-oriented person, so discussing these things with him doesn't bring him down too far - just enough to make a reasoned decision together. I am very open to his feedback as well! And I do trust him to know his own limits. It just helps to see all sides of something before making a decision. Part of it too is that I am not an athletic or strong person, so having adaptive bathrooms helps me help him (if needed). And while he has gotten SO strong, oh my god, even just in the last week, bathrooms can still be dangerous even for those who have not lost a limb. I just get so scared thinking of him all slippery and falling! I will do my best not to let my fears get in the way of his success... thanks for that remind! :) 
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    SP29
  • I love your positive updates.
    If you were my DIL, taking such good care of my son, I would worship the ground you walk on. Just saying.
    Ditto!

    I'm always so happy to read your updates.  :)
    SP29drunkenwitch
  • I am wishing you the most epic, spooniest, cuddliest snuggle of snuggles.

    Just for a laugh, when I curl up to BF in the morning or evening I don't ask for snuggles, I just yell "incoming butt".

    OurWildKingdomMairePoppy
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