Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Fork in My Road - The Elk's

Well, after ten months of trips back and forth to Boise, that road is closed for now.

I am SO thankful for my time at the Elks. The seven weeks I had as an impatient started me full speed down the path to my finding my independence. When I went to the Eljs, about the only thing I could do was feed myself and brush my teeth and hair. After leaving I slowly continued progressing. First to be able to do my own transfers, then cathing, the dressing, some basic cooking, transfers got quicker, pushing my wheelchair got easier, soon after I got into a room I was able to get my own supplies as well as clean up after myself, get my own clothes, foldinv laundry, and even change my kids diapers. They have help me opened up a whole world of possibilities for myself. So now I'm onto an even bigger endeavor to find my independence. Driving. Now my thoughts are filled with ramps, hand controls, driving tests, seatbelts. It's going to be scary and amazing and change my life as well as my families. The world will be opened up to me again. Mostly I think of all the things I can do with the boys. Go to the park, get some ice cream, go to church, go to the store, the movies. It will all be so much easier and I look forward to it every day.

I was blessed not only by going to the Elk's, but by the talented people who work there as well. The nurses and CNAs made my days bearable and always took great care of me. Dr. Cox was motivating and always had such high expectations for me. My OT's were experienced and knowledgable. They helped me get equipment I needed to be independent as well as helped me trouble shoot many things such as dressing, shoes, transferring in a bathroom, splints, leg straps, and much more. My Rec Therapists helped spark my live for the outdoors again. It was nice to feel proud after a silly art project or how far I could bike. Pool therapy was were I spent most of my time and there is such a freedom I remembered in the pool, where gravity isn't my enemy ( only drowning :) ). It was exhausting but beneficial and I look forward to learning to love many other things again, in a new way. My PT's were tough and encouraging. I was always reminded of the hard work I did when my muscles ached from head to toe. My PT classes were filled with transfers, depression lifts, quadruped, scooting, and PNF exercises. I have such a sense of accomplishment with my PT. Transfers are quicker, daily skills are easier, overall I feel stronger and I thank them for always pushing me to do more. Not only did they help me physically do things, but their attitudes and encouragement are burned into my memory. Even the therapist I rarely worked with could brighten my day and seem proud and concerned for me and my life. Then the wonderful techs, who are probably often overlooked. They always got stuck with the brunt work. Blocking my ever week elbow so I didn't collapse on my face, or helping me dress after pool, their jobs were often very up close and personal but everyday I looked forward to seeing them.

Before I get more teary eyed, here it goes. Thank you to my nursing/CNA staff, Shawna, Louise, Rachel, Mary, Eric, Sheila, Kat, Elton, Big Matt, Kristin, Bri, Byron, Jamie, and SO many more I know I'm forgetting! To my OT's, George and Cassandra. To my Rec Therapists, Kourtney and especially Christine who spent many hours up close and personal in the pool with me, days with questionable lunch choice ;), and you so willingly took the good with the bad. Now to the PT's Amber, Kathryn, Ryan, Kyle, David, Jackie, but especially Joe and Kristi. Joe pushed me harder than I ever thought I could go and Kristi has become more than a great PT to me but a great friend. And last but not least, to the techs, Manuela, Sarah, Sam, Kyle, and Allison. You always made my day. So hopefully I didn't forget anyone, but I hope you all know how grateful I am to you and you knowledge and talents. My life is better because of you. Until next time Elk's.

1 comment:

Jayme said...

Stephanie, I am so proud of you. I am so thrilled that you are finding some independence. It is SO important. I hope to hear of you driving very, very soon!