On Friday, I had two goals; one - to get home for the weekend, two - to make progress in the ppam aid!
I knew that on a Friday the day starts with a "game session" in the rehab gym as a fun, end of the week treat! I totally understood why this is a good idea in terms of moral etc but I was a little concerned that it meant my first goal might be unreachable as the afternoon physio session was balance class, a core circuit training session. Much to my relief, the game session was just the first hour (or half hour as the Ward were not entirely on the ball with the drug rounds so no one was there on time).
It was quite fun having a game of Wheelchair badminton though I had to continuously remind myself to curb my competitive impulses to make sure I let my teammates get involved. This became all the more important when I came unbelievably close to hitting someone in the head with the racket when going for a shot, thankfully he didn't notice, the physios on the other hand winced!
So from half 9 until 12 I was in the ppam aid practicing getting some weight through the leg. The goal was get walking outside of the parallel bars. Goal complete! After a lap in the parallel bars my physio got the crutches for me to practice in the bars. I did a lap, and then kept going. I was satisfying to be out on crutches wandering around the gym and as time went on I upped the anti and started doing a step, slalom and rough terrain. In many ways, it feels so incredibly natural to be up walking and in many ways it feel so wrong because the foot isn't there. It's all going to take some getting used to, although an actual prosthesis should feel more natural as I'll be able to bend my knee!
So goal one, to get home! Now roehampton aim to get people home for weekends as its good for the psychological side of rehab, it's beneficial for discovering what life skills you might need help to relearn and nothing happens in hospital at the weekend anyway so I was all set to be going home on my first weekend. However, dispite the above, the blanket rule on your first weekend there, so soon after surgery, is no way - you don't go home. The issue is that the wound is fresh and still held together with stitches. My consultant made it very clear, if you fall over, it will split open - how grim would that be! It took a lot of
pursuasion and some slight exaggerations on the wheelchair accessibility of the house for them to be persuaded but ultimately, they relented. I think they read between the lines and realised what I was really saying was "I AM going home, but I'd rather do it with your blessing than without!"
As I told them, if I go home I'll be chilling out with Morgan, if I stay in Hospital I'll get bored and think of stupid things to do or go and explore the area in my chair...
They gave me a few rules which I've (pretty much) kept to!
So physio was done by 2:30, I was in the car with Morgan and Mark (Morgan's dad) by 3 and heading home!
Weekend at home has been absolute bliss!! We've done very little but my little family (me, Morgan and Poppy dog) were fully reunited! Poppy was both outrageously excited to see me and a somewhat perplexed by the Wheelchair but it's crazy how pleased I was to see her. Week and a half away from the pooch was far to long! Also had the pleasure of having some good friends around for a Chinese on Saturday night which was great. The rubbish bit of going home for the weekend is the knowledge that tonight I travel back to the Hospital where I'll stay for another week but that's most of a day away so we are ignoring it at the moment! Instead, I'm just snuggled up on the sofa with my wife who's the best - happy days!
In other news I'm trying to move off the oxycontin, dropped down to 10mg twice daily. Stump pain, generally good though its a little tender. Phantom pain is very weird when it happens! Like having an electric shock put through your foot (which no longer exists)! At times it can be extremely painful. It's interesting though, if I'm busy it won't happen, if I'm in the ppam aid or doing physio, nothing! If I'm not doing anything is when it's likely to play up. It's as though when I'm using the leg in some way I con my brain into thinking nothing happened. Phantom pain is really common in the early days after amputation and for most people it settles down over time. It's encouraging that I don't get pain when the leg is being used though, definitely a promising sign.
Final thought - blog is really long. I must be more concise! Sorry if you got bored...