Gait belts, yellow non-skid socks and a walker… the tools of the trade for stroke patients in rehab. The gait belt was worn around the middle and was an assist to those working with patients. It wasn’t so much to keep a patient from falling, but rather if they did fall the nurses, aides, and therapists were trained in how to use the belt to help a patient to the floor without getting hurt. Any time you were up and about, you had a gait belt around you. The walker is self-explanatory. The yellow socks were the latest fashion in rehab. Everyone had a pair. There was one man up there who was a cowboy and former rodeo rider. Kinda funny seeing such a manly man working out in the gym in shorts and bright yellow socks. Lol. A far cry from cowboy boots. I’m sure he wasn’t too thrilled. I still smile when I think of it.
I didn’t really get to know many of the other patients except from a distance. However, there was one lady that I took many meals with in the dining area. She was in her mid-80’s. We talked about many things. A sweet soul that wasn’t sure how she was going to care for her disabled son now that she’d had a stroke. I couldn’t help but take her hand, and tell her I’d pray for her. I don’t know whatever happened to her. I miss her.
In Rehab, all patients had approx three hours a day. 45 minutes each of speech, occupational, and physical therapy. Even though it would seem like it should be the easiest, speech was the hardest. It worked my brain more than the others and left me drained and exhausted. My therapist was a believer and we had some good spiritual conversations and sang hymns together as speech practice. Occupational therapy was all about learning how to take a shower and get dressed by myself and brush my teeth, and so on. My therapist was the happy, cheerful type and I enjoyed seeing her each day. I had three different ones for physical therapy, each one taking me farther in progression.
God kept taking me back to the verse “I die daily”. Oh my, how it was true. There wasn’t anything at all the way I wanted it, and I just had to die to that, surrender it and give it up… or go crazy. I needed help with everything. Showers. Getting dressed. Getting out of bed. Bathroom. While I was there I started my period and the blood thinners made me flood. It was a nightmare. There was no room for modesty. No place for being independent. No taking care of myself. No place for hiding my imperfections and problems. I truly died daily.