A nice surprise.

Hello, hello, hello and welcome back to those who have returned to see what I have been up to today, which indecently was a very good day. It started this morning when I was woken up bang on the time I had requested, this would give me plenty of time to get up and square my admin away before having breakfast and getting down to my physio session at a quarter past nine. I actually felt a little chilly last night and had kept my tee shirt on to keep the chill off. I don’t want to have a blanket as I don’t want to be too comfortable or I won’t recognise that I need to wake as I will be in too deep a sleep so the tee shirt was the way to go. I woke and sat up, dropped the sheet away and….bugger that, it was a bit chillier than I thought and so covered back up again for five minutes…and five more….and five more until I had acclimatised and got rid of the covers. No need for a shower this morning as a good wash will be more than enough, maybe a shave will be order of the day today and so I dressed my bottom half and got in to my chair for my wash and shave. For some reason known not to me, the time went and before I knew it, there were only ten minutes before my session at the gym. Time to get a shifty on!

I rolled down to the gym where today I would be working with James, he found out a little about me and what I had been doing with Jo, (who had left me for a holiday abroad. I mean. REALLY!), and then we set about my practicing of the lifting I have to do. I am still finding it unnatural to be lifting where I have to position my hands to lift. I want for the hands to be further forward but then I do not achieve the lift. I am like an accordion, (sometimes I make noises too!),  when I push down with my hands, lock elbows straight and push down with my shoulders my torso will grow six inches or more and then when I slowly release the stretch and lower back down I shrink back down. For all of this I may get my arse an inch off of the deck if I am lucky, so I need to find a way to stop the back taking up all of the slack. Idea. Tip head forward and tuck chin in as I have been taught and then lean forward to stretch the back. Then position hands next to your pockets on your tracksuit bottoms and lift the ass up…here we go…tuck head in…lean forward…hands down…lean…tuck…count yourself in…3…2…1…2…1…push…overbalance and face plant the plinth in front to catch my fall. CRAP!

I am sure I will appear on YouTube or Facebook at some point in time. James came over and gave some ideas and demonstrated to give me a visual aid as to what I would try to achieve. There is one problem with this being shown thing though as I have probably said before. I can lean forward and I can push down to create the lift but unlike the able bodied physiotherapist I am unable to use my toes to prevent me from falling forward. I am unable to push with my legs or even tense my leg muscles. I am unable to use my stomach muscles to support my trunk. I have no muscles that are operating to hold my back together to stop the stretch, and it is IMPOSSIBLE for them to replicate as the body will not allow you to switch it off. To be fair to them though, they will openly admit this to you; they are merely trying to demonstrate to you what the people without the muscles are doing. I spent the hour trying different positions of my hands while lifting, moving them a little in various directions and trying to find the place with each lift. At a quarter past ten it was time to leave the gym as my session had ended. I headed up to the ward to get a quick drink and then I had an appointment with a Sister from the out patients department with regards to some personal issues, and they are not going to be discussed on the Blog so forget it!

After my appointment I returned to the ward to drop off some paper work and then headed off to see Andy, the wheelchair technician with regards to some adjustments on my wheelchair and then headed to speak to the representative from the Spinal Injuries Association who is in the main foyer for us to speak to. A really nice chap, who has some very interesting things to say. Whilst in mid conversation a familiar voice shouted, “Daddy!” and `Pickle` came running up to me closely followed by my Son and then not too far behind him was my Wife and my Mother in Law. I had told her not to travel up to see me as it is a long way and I would be back in a few weeks but to be honest I was glad that she had after yesterday’s events. She was still a little upset which is understandable; she doesn’t like the thought of people thinking bad of her. So it was good to be able to give her a cuddle and reassure her, before heading off to show the tribe around my temporary accommodation. The first stop was the cafe as it was lunch time, a snack lunch while I ate my salad, (SALAD, I’ve changed!). With the food and drinks consumed we headed off to look around the unit, as we were walking around, I was handed an envelope addressed to me. It was heavy, it was….my casters that I had ordered for Andy to set my chair up to make me more comfortable and so that halted the tour before it started and we headed back to my bed space to swap me in to the power chair. My Son was responsible for the first leg of the trip to physio to drop the chair to Andy, then it was the turn of `Pickle` which got some looks and finally my Daughter rolled in to the department and delivered it to Andy along with the casters. Three o’clock was the time we were given to check on its progress and so we continued with the tour.

With the tour completed we decided to go out to the car and see if I was able to get in to it from the power chair, which was successful. My Daughter drove the chair back to the ward and parked it up by my bed and then rejoined us in the car, we were off out to see a family member, Aunt Iris who lives not far away and to whose house I had certainly been to as we had never been up here before. It was clearly a shock for her to open the door and see my Mother in Law standing there but the look on her face was a picture. I stayed in the car as I had no chair to get in to and we stayed for about twenty to thirty minutes, until Aunt Iris came out to see me before we said our “Goodbye” and drove back to the hospital. Once my power chair had been driven to me by my Daughter, I got out and we headed off to physio to see how Andy was getting on. The casters were on and it had been lowered! Check me out with the anodised blue wheels and lower ride height, real boy racer! Andy did tell me though that there were still a couple of issues that needed addressing but he had run out of time; also he would need a couple of screws which I would have to get before he could attempt the remaining adjustments. I would need to call the wheelchair people up the road who supplied the chair to see if they could help as Andy would be unable to help further until a couple of days before I leave and I have to get used to the chair in its newly adjusted form. I called the shop and it is booked in for nine o’clock on Monday morning so I will be back before my sessions start.

I cannot believe the difference in the chair, I am lower and I know it. I am angled more naturally forward and I know it. It is so very much harder to tip on to the rear wheels to balance and I know it. It is very hard to push along on the back wheels and you had better bloody believe I know that! I need to practice and the place to practice is in the relative safety of the Spinal Unit which is why I have booked in to the wheelchair place down the road as time is of the assents! My family left at around four this afternoon to go and see more friends before the long drive home. They would visit the friend’s at their house to let the traffic on the M25 die off and then head back to Somerset, (where the cider apples grow!). It is `Pickle’s` Birthday on Monday for which I will obviously be here and so I gave her a present and card to open here today that my Wife bought up for me, it was nice for me to give her a Birthday card and present up here as it meant more to me than it just happening at home. My Sister Andrea came to visit tonight which was nice. She has got me playing a game called Rummikub, (I think that is how it is spelt), she brings it with her when she comes to the unit and we play until it is time for her to go home. Tonight I won one and she won one, there was not time to play a decider tonight unfortunately but I am going to her and Lara’s place tomorrow to see if I can get in to it, and if I can we will have some lunch. I have never been up to their house before and so it would be stupid of me not to try while I am this close.

So a really, really, good and positive day today. The weekend should be good, tomorrow (or what is actually today it would appear), will be good to go to Andrea and Lara’s place and have some lunch and I would imagine a few games of Rummikub and then I am shooting for classification on Sunday which I am looking forward. I have received an e mail also about attending a sailing try out for the Olympics too which I am looking forward to. I am unable to do this one but I have been put in for March or April next year, should be interesting.

Thank you for reading and thanks to those who have come back after last night’s Blog entry. It has worked though as I have been a lot more relaxed here today. It’s good to talk about things and vent once in a while. Well, I am struggling to keep my eyes open so I am off to bed. Until tomorrow then.

Goodnight all.

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