Am I prepared to return home?

Bill talks about regaining his strength after being hospitalized.

When you’re in the hospital there’s extended periods of time when you’re in bed and there’s nothing that causes debilitation and tiredness and weakness, it seems to me, than lying in bed. And the recent hospitalizations that I’ve had, in every case, they say “we need to get you up and have you walk so that you maintain some strength” and in every case, the hospital staff is busy and it’s difficult to make an arrangement. But they won’t let you walk by yourself to get a staff member to walk with you.

So when I was released from the hospital, I was scheduled for physical therapy. And a good part about the physical therapy was that I could have it at home. And the physical therapist came twice a week and very rapidly I began to regain my strength. A gentleman who was the physical therapist took an assessment of my weakness. I have a motor neuron disease and I have spinal stenosis, so I’m already disabled and have weakness issues. But, on top of that, I have these extended periods in the hospital where I’ve gotten even weaker. Anyway, he whipped me into shape. And he had a series of exercises which he devised. And he would come and I would do the exercises while he was here.

And then he gave me a set of exercises which would be ones in which I would not have to worry about falling down or losing my balance, to do when he was not here and on the days that he did not come. And I regained my strength pretty quickly. And the physical therapy, I think, was key to my getting better as quickly as I did and regaining my strength so that I could go on with to attending to my own issues like preparing my meals and taking care of my toilet and all of those things that we need to do on our own, but we need some strength to do it.

And since I am disabled, walk with crutches, I need to be sure that I’ve got strength where I really need it. Because I use my arms to walk, I need a little more upper body strength. And because my right leg is much stronger than my left, I need certain kinds of exercises to be sure that there’s a more nearly equalized pressure put on my legs. And he was really good about that. And it made a huge difference in the speed with which I recovered. So, the moral of that story is listen to the people who are providing therapy for you and do what they tell you to do. Because, I think, the worst thing you could do is for example, to break a bone and say, “Ah well I’ll get okay,” and not do the therapy. You won’t get okay without the appropriate therapy.

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