Rehab: Let’s Get Started

was now in physical rehab at Loma Linda. I had a private room and
everything I could ever want to enjoy that I could not actually
enjoy… I think at first I did not realize just how bad it was, I
was not thinking about how long I may be there, how difficult my
recovery would be, or how much I actually had to recover. I
was a bit distracted by the fact that I could not really move and I
was in horrible pain. They did some MRI’s to see what was going on,
my brain, neck, and upper spine. The disease had moved to my spinal
cord which was why it was hitting me so hard. It had also gone crazy
in my brain, I mean, check out the before and after pictures, you
don’t need any kind of education to know that something was not right
started me off slow, I don’t remember with what exactly, but I know I
rested for a few days and then started my rehabilitation program with
various occupational therapists (OT’s), physical therapists (PT’s),
and speech therapists. Everyday a group of doctors (or students)
following a neurologist walked in and checked me out, poked at me,
lifted limbs, etc. It was a teaching hospital so I had to get used to
all the students using me to learn. Eventually it was second nature;
they walked in, I showed them my heel to shin, tested my clonus and
spasticity. “Can you feel this? How about this? Sharp or dull?”,
the basic routine. After they left I would see one of my therapist
for about an hour or so, then they would leave, I would have about an
hour brake, then another one would come in and we would resume basic
stretching or practice putting on my socks or brushing my teeth.

(Top) Before – August 2010
(Bottom) After – February 2012

first we did everything in bed, all my stretching, learning how to
get dressed, etc. All from my bed. That was pretty hard believe it or
not… Trying to put on a T-shirt? I remember it being so difficult
and ting my shoes? I could not do that, they had to do it for me… I
did a lot of work with the “thera-bands” and “thera-putty”
which was like silly putty for exercising your fine motor skills and
building strength in your hands. I hated that stuff but I wanted my
hands back pretty bad so I did my best to master all that I
could, no half-assing here… All the bands and putties were color
coded, certain colors offered more or less resistance than others,
yellow was the easiest and I remember when I could barely stretch it
out with my arms. It’s so thin that now I can snap that band with a
couple of fingers, that’s how weak I was at the time!

eventually got me into their gym where they had lots of
rehabilitation equipment, bikes, stairs, parallel bars, benches,
walkers, hand therapy tools, vision tools, small weights, bands,
balance tools, etc. Everything. They had everything. At the
time they had to wheel me around to and from the gym (in the
wheelchair) because I did not even have the strength to push myself
around… Again, I felt like a vegetable, especially when
being wheeled around, it was like I was a salad on a serving tray
being rushed to a hungry customer in some hotel, I had no control
over my direction, I just sat and watched the walls rush past me.

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2 thoughts on “Rehab: Let’s Get Started

  • February 6, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Sent you a Facebook message today. Stay on your Tysabri and keep on feeling amazing! I wish you the very best Matt! You can follow Vern Beachy for what's ahead for Tysabri infusions, he's had 81 consecutive infusions, so he's been on it for almost 7 years straight! So glad you're now in this place!!

  • February 7, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Haha did you send it to my page's inbox? I will check in a bit! I have seen Vern on Youtube, Lauren Parrot loves him haha!


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