Sunday, August 5, 2012

Moving on Out...

Following my maiden voyage on September 3, each day (except Sunday) I was met by two therapists in my room for another session of walking. Each day we took my steps a little further and a little further to show progress. Each day my doctor would stop in to read my charts, see me and check on my incision. He would talk with me about how I was feeling and how therapy was going. After the start he and I had when he talked with us about options and his cold delivery of them, he was beginning to warm up slightly and I was feeling much more comfortable with him.

Every once in a while during this time, his nurse would come with him. Her name is Helen, and she always seemed to look me straight in the eyes with a look as if she understood me more than I knew. What I didn't know at the time was that Helen was also a Christian and had been praying for me ever since we met in July to hear the options. She saw how intent I was on proving everyone wrong and knew that I would put my mind to it and walk after surgery.

Each tim they had come in to see me, I told my parents I just couldn't place this feeling I was getting from Helen. It wouldn't be until after I was released from the hospital that I would finally understand the connection we had.

Several times during each day, I would either get a phone call from my insurance company or my hospital case worker would come in and talk with me about what the insurance company had called and talked with her about. I was fairly upset that I was trying to heal and I was being harassed  by insurance. I really found this to be a contradiction to what they profess. They say they want the best for me and to get better, yet they call every day and harass me or my case worker. I even asked the lady if she knew what I had done while in the hospital. She quoted me what she knew (which was correct) but told me that they had a standard of time where I was supposed to head to rehab. Only a couple of days after surgery and they wanted me in rehab already?

I begged for a way to stay in the hospital just a little longer. I knew I was not supposed to leave yet. But, on September 10, I was transferred to a rehab hospital closer to my parents house because the insurance company forced us to. It was nearly dinner time when we got me settled into a room. I had an elderly roommate here, but she was going to be released to go home tomorrow. It was too late in the day to begin therapy, so I would start tomorrow.

Front entrance of Tustin Rehabilitation.
This place is called Tustin Rehabilitation. They specialize in traumatic brain injuries and hip replacements with the elderly. My parents had taken a couple hours one day to look at a few different rehab facilities, and this was the closest one which my insurance would cover me for. So, we had decided it was best to bring me here since my dad was going to be leaving soon for a business trip. I settled in for the night when my parents left at 8 pm. Visiting hours were over and this was a new place to get used to. Here, change of shift takes place at 6pm instead of 7 pm like the hospital.

Unlike the hospital, this place required you to wear full clothing and NOT a hospital gown for therapy and pretty much all the time. That was going to be a hard thing since I still had some issue with drains and then there was the brace. The rehab hospital had a huge problem with the drains, because they didn't want to be responsible for draining them or measuring the output for my surgeon. But, they were ok with the back brace, until they saw it. At that point, they were really freaked out at the potential issues and my lack of complete body mobility. We made it through the first day of occupational and physical therapy sessions. My parents weren't really allowed to help in any way. I talked with everyone about it. They would be part of it once they knew the routine because they were going to be my caregivers. Because of that, we waited until they allowed my parents to participate.

After dinner hour, I was introduced to the primary physician for my case in rehab, Dr. Alex Zand. He was a very nice man, very gentle in speech and demeanor. He asked a few questions of me and of my parents. He looked at my incision and didn't really say much. He said that he would be back in to see me in the morning and that he would send a nurse in again to redress my incision.

All seemed relatively normal at the time. He left and my parents and I just finished out our conversation. They left early this time so they could get some sleep. It had been a long 11 days, and I was tired too. I was glad to send them home so they didn't need to worry about me any longer today. My roommate had gone home and I had the room to myself. At least I could get some sleep.

The next morning, my parents arrived just before occupational therapy was to begin for me. The therapist came right after my mom got me dressed for it. The therapist, Lisa, was very outgoing and agreeable with having my parents come along so they knew things to do for me when I was released. We did some sort of game so she could test where I was at with my upper body strength and with my mental capacity. I did well and she was very happy. We ended our session because she didn't have anything else for me that day. When we got back to my room and got me into my bed again, she was gone in a flash.

The doctor then came back as he had said. He took a look at my incision and was not happy with what he saw. He didn't really say anything to me or my family. He said that he wanted me to take it easy the rest of the day and not worry about rehab. We didn't really know what to think about this. I was a little scared as to why he was doing this. I needed to get up and walk. I prayed to the Lord and asked Him to intervene in whatever this was. I really needed to get up and be strong, but I wanted to be sure that was what He wanted. We were pretty quiet the remainder of the day.

The next day was Saturday, and I was told that I was still to stay on bed rest. We knew by now that things were not good if the rehab doctor wasn't letting me do rehab. He had called my surgeon to have me sent back to City of Hope. So, on Sunday the 14th, I was transported by ambulance back to City of Hope into the original ward of the hospital. My surgeon took time from his family that Sunday to come back and see me. He told us what was going on.

I had developed a staff infection on my incision. I was going to need to be taken into surgery during the week to have the incision cleaned out, check to insure it had not gotten all the way into the prosthetic and place a new piece of equipment on me, a wound vac. This was not really what I had envisioned as in intervention. But, I was not God, I did not know what would have happened if I had not been transferred back to the hospital and have this taken care of. Maybe this was God's way of making sure I was still going to walk like I was determined to do. So, we'll do what we need to do. Right?

Next, "The Wound Vac Nurse."

"'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord."
Isaiah 55:8

Has there been a time when you thought the Lord would answer your prayer one way, and He chose to answer you another? What was that experience like for you?

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