Being in the hospital for an extended period of time is really no fun as you can imagine. Some of the lighter moments are the only things that really get you through it each day. The hubby loved to pick out my food from the menu they left us each day. As soon as breakfast arrived and the menu was there he would grab the little wood pencil they left and start making "my selections" for the next days meals. Of course, he asked for my input most of the time, but really he picked what "he thought I should have." So, each and every day seemed like a mystery meal for me. Fun?? Well, it was interesting. I had little appetite so I did not really care.
It was when they moved me to the medical floor that they started to get real about next next steps. They want you up and moving - no lying around. No catheter cause you get to use a "bed side commode" which is such a fun thing. When they got me up the first time I realized "girlfriend you are pretty messed up" as I tottled like a little baby , unbalanced, uncoordinated and able to take a few steps with my new "walker." OMG, I am going to have to relearn "A lot!" I may be able to walk, but not like I use to. Here I was getting to learn to use a walker "30 Years" before I had planned on using one.
For those who know me I am a "Go, Go, Person" I don't sit still much and I was always going and doing something. This new reality hit me like a ton of bricks. I could not even walk the same as I use to. With a SCI (remember my new acronym) my injury was classified as a L2 Asia D which is how they rate and classify injuries. I have what is call an Incomplete SCI which means my spinal cord was damaged, but not severed. What it means in reality to me is that from about my hips down is where I would see the impact of the injury. Yup, they were right.
I have numbness across my lower back, and the sensation if you touch my legs from my thighs down is off, it is just not as sharp as it use to be. I had extreme nerve pain in my feet - imagine when your foot goes to sleep with the tingling and pins and needles and then add pain that feels like fire. My feet were also very swollen so walking on them felt like I was walking on two big fat potatoes on the bottoms of each foot. It was so disconcerting. My right ankle was swollen and it made my right foot tip to the left and it just was not working right. We think not only did I sprain it, but with the SCI I have less movement and range of motion as well as strength in my right leg.
Once the doctors know your diagnosis they are ready to move you forward and have you get better. Rounds start early so if I was going to ask any questions of the doctors about next steps I better be up and with it. Hence I wanted to get off the crazy pain meds as soon as possible so I could think and ask question. On day 3 I was waiting for my ortho docs. I had seen them briefly at one point when I was in ICU, another "Grey's moment," when three of them came in all decked out in their "North Face" athletic jackets, no scrubs for them, and looking every bit of "doctor McDreamy's" - young, athletic and "Wow!" Gotta treasure those moments since hospital life was not exactly thrilling.
So when they came in on rounds next time I was ready, not on the drug pump, just taking the pills and I was going to get all my questions out. Two of them breezed in, different "Ortho Docs," but I am ready. They want to measure my strength in each leg and they do all these pushing, pulling, and resistance tests on each leg. They seem happy with my "over all " leg strength. I tell them about the foot pain and they ask me about rehab. I tell them I want to do "In Patient" cause I know that it will get me off to the best possible start on my rehabilitation. They both like that idea and will be sending down the Rehab Docs to evaluate me. I guess it is not a given. One of them asks about abut the accident, and it turns out he is a polo player. He tells me that he expects I will ride again if I want to based on what he is seeing. Since the hubby is still at "No More Horse Back riding" I figure I won't push it, but hey the Doctor is optimistic. He leaves by saying "of course you were wearing a helmet/" I just smile that little smile that says, "Yeah, right."
So here I am day 3 after a SCI and I still want to ride? It is in your blood when you are a true horse person. You can't stop the feelings that it gives you and the desire to want to ride is such a strong pull that even an injury so extreme as mine cannot keep me from wanting to be back in the saddle.......... Rehab here I come.