Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Buns of Steel and a Six Pack
Getting back to the buns of steel and the six pack, my Physical Therapist, who has started reading the blog, pointed out to me that I have not given her, or any of the others who have helped me, a name. And they certainly deserve that! People that I will mention from time to time are Dr. Sood, the Plastic Surgeon, who oversees the burn unit at Wishard. I see him every couple of months and he is ultimately the one in charge of my case. At least, he was over my case while I was still an inpatient. While I was in the burn unit several nurses took very good care of me. I don't know all of their names but Rebecca, Ashley, Megen, and Brenda stand out in my memory. Rebecca specifically for taking care of me during the nights (which was when my paranoia was the worst), bringing me a Christmas Tree, and visiting me when I was transferred to the rehab unit. Ashley took care of me during the day, bathing me when I couldn't, getting me ready for surgeries, and taking me to the waiting room so that I could look out upon the world I had left.
After I left the burn unit my care in the Acute Rehab Center (ARC) was overseen by Dr. Carbone, the Physiatrist, who immediately cut me off of all the major drugs and the feeding tube. She still monitors my case and is the medical director of the Outpatient Therapy unit where I receive my therapy now. While in the ARC there were many nurses who helped me. I can't remember their names because I did not see them as often as my nurses in the burn unit. This is because the focus there was to get me independent enough to be home. This goal was achieved through the hardwork of Sarah, the Physical Therapist, Liz, the Occupational Therapist, and Miranda, the Recreational Therapist. Through their assistance I was able to return home in just 10 days! Though I no longer see these people regularly they will always be dear to my heart and I look forward to the day I can walk through the doors of both the burn unit and the ARC to thank them all in person.
Now that I am in outpatient rehab my care is overseen by both Dr. Carbone, and Dr. Stewart, the Orthopedist who performed the amputations, monitored the healing of my wrist, and ordered the carpal tunnel surgery. Dr. Sood continues to monitor my progress as well. What makes all of these doctors great is that they see more than just the broken bones and skin grafts. Even though I only see these doctors on a monthly or bi-monthly basis they are completely focused on my needs as a person.
The actual progress however has been achieved through the efforts of the staff at the outpatient therapy unit at Wishard. Elena was my Occupational Therapist who helped me regain the use of my right hand. She achieved this through some very painful exercises and a lot of encouragement. My Physical Therapist, whose name is Renee, says that you can't even tell that my wrist was broken. See Renee, now you have a name and, by the way, your lucky it's your own. I was considering calling you Dalilah!
It is Renee's job to ensure that I get the buns of steel and the six pack. She keeps reminding me that the six pack is not beer and even accused me of having a gut! I'm not entirely sure what she's thinking. After all, I've been either sitting or laying down since October! But, with the aid of tech's like Hot Amy, who religiously cleaned my wounds each week, and April who entertains me with toys while I stand at the parallel bars Renee is gradually helping me acquire the buns of steel and the six pack that I will need to stand and walk.
One of the things that I have learned throughout this process is that you have to listen to these professionals, who want nothing more than to help people like me get their lives back. I've been given a lot of exercises to do that I don't enjoy but I do them because the people I've mentioned above say that I won't be able to walk unless I do them. I go to therapy each week not only because I enjoy it but also because it is helping me. If I didn't have the help of these people, Mike, the Prosthetist who helps me get my "magic legs", wouldn't be meeting with me tomorrow to give me my second leg. Keep your fingers crossed that this one will fit and check back for an update.
Now, I've gone on for far too long, but these people deserved some recognition at last. Thanks for your ideas on future postings. Rest assured that I will use them in the coming weeks. Please keep the ideas and the comments coming. Oh, and I enjoy hearing from the people who I've never met but... Please, let me know you're out there and what questions you have. Take care and have a great week!
I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you for later that the 2nd leg fits.
I too check everyday for any updates, and to read other people's comments, partly because im nosey ;)
Good Luck with Majic Leg Man Mike today! :)
Lots of love Annie x
P.S when I get married to I become Queen Annie, or remain priness Annie?! Especially as the US doesnt have a Royal family, hehe.
We're anxiously awaiting the news of your new leg fitting. Can't you post again sooner than next Wednesday this time? That's a long time to make us wait!
I admire your courage, sense of humor, and determination. I know it won't be long before you are enjoying life to it's fullest again. In fact, I think you already are. Who needs legs to laugh and it sounds like you do a lot of that.
I'll be looking forward to your next installment and wish for you the best at your next fitting.
Glad to hear you are progressing toward the second leg. Thank you for letting us know about some of the professionals helping to make all this possible for you. As remarkable as all these "people behind the man" are, I am even more impressed with you - THE MAN HIMSELF. Keep up the good work, cousin. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Lisa Kuper Lusk
By the way-I check the blog each day too-it's turned into quite the addiction!
I have a true confession - I'm addicted to your blog. I find myself reading it everyday at least twice sometimes three times a day. I'm addicted to your progress. I'm afraid if I don't read it I am missing something. Thanks for mentioning the people behind the scenes that are taking such good care of you. I'm with everybody else, why are we waiting for your weekly updates? Why can't you post everyday? It certainly helps to get thoughts down on paper. Again, I'm addicted to your blog so, I'm having withdrawals on those days you don't write!!
I'm glad you are doing sooooo well my friend and your attitude is so refreshing and encouraging at the same time. One question is that Annie that used to work at Marriott downtown with us? From Great Britian? Getting married to Jake? Just curious....anyway, sorry keep up the good work!!!
Can't wait to see you :-)
Marsha - yes it is Annie from Great Britain :) I dont really want to post my email on a public thingy, but Id love to hear from you. I dont realy know how to go about it, haha.
And Jeremy...its a definate addiction!
Jeremy keep up the good work and I can't wait for that dance!!!