So what is it like here in Unit 58? Well the first week was intimidating and somewhat overwhelming. This unit is a short term rehabilitation floor for stroke patients, spinal cord injuries and brain injuries.
First of all, I really don’t like hospitals – that is where all the sick people are you know! I knew coming in that I would have to suck it up and get over being in the hospital part. Second I was told there would be people of all abilities. I thought I could handle it because I used to to work with people of different abilities but that was a long time ago.
Boy I had to get over my discomfort quickly. You sit in a communal dining hall with people at various stages of recovery. There are people who are in wheelchairs who may or may not be getting the use of their limbs back. There are people stuggling to eat, eating via a tube. There are people with canes, walkers and mobile like me. There are so many things that run through your head like “feeling sorry for them, feeling uncomfortable about where to look, what to do, and getting over the feeling of that I was lumped with these people”. Yup accepting that took a day to get used to it.
So why are other people here. There are people who have had strokes & brain bleeds. There are also people that have suffered just dumb luck accidents. For example, a older man was tying his shoes at top of stairs and then fell and broke his neck. He expresses that “he is lucky not to be a quad”. I forget the guys name that told me that and would ask him but he was transferred to an extended care place last week. There are people who have been in vehicle accidents as well. The youngest person here at the moment is a girl in her early 20’s and she suffered a stroke.
I know when you read all the stats about stroke victims and car accidents and every wonder if they are true. Yup they are. Most of the younger stroke patients are woman and most of the younger spinal cord patients are guys.
I think we are lucky to have this great facility especially when you see small miricales of watching a person walk for the first time around the unit yesterday and my neighbour walk down the hall to the dining hall today. I can not even imagine how much happiness they are feeling, but I could see it in my neighbours face.