Yesterday (Monday) I had a visit from my Physiotherapists. We spoke for ten minutes about various things to do with Physio stuff and then we talked over what we would do after what we had done the previous week. The previous week we had taken me as though I had fallen from the chair to try a way of getting me back in to it using members of the public. To do this I transferred from my chair on to the sofa and then on to the floor. I am able to sit myself up now after a fashion, and resemble a whale trying to get back in to the water, but never the less I can sit up. Once sat up I am able to bum shuffle so to that end I could get to my chair. From here then I would need assistance from the public in the street, my wheelchair is laid on to its back in front of me. Once in position I need to get my knees up, hold on to them and roll on to my back. This poses a minor problem as I have no muscles that I am able to use to keep me on my back and therefore run the risk of rolling on to my side. Once I am on my back and holding on to my knees I need to roll backwards while a helper puts the back rest of the chair under my butt. From here I am able to pull myself in to my chair so that my butt is on the seat. Now is when the volunteers help. One needs to stand at the front of the chair and put one foot against the axle while holding on to the footplate, the second volunteer stands behind the chair and lifts while the person at the front pulls down on the footplate. With the two people working together in this way the wheelchair, complete with me in it, it the right way up and ready to go again. We had never tried this before and actually worked really well. So this week we decided to see if I could get from the floor on to the sofa and in to the chair, which again is something we had not tried without the step to first get on and then on to the sofa.
To start with I transferred on to the sofa from the chair, this of course kicked the spasms off and once they had subsided I got myself on to the floor. Once on the floor I had to reposition myself and my legs so that I was in a position to try to pull myself up on to my knees, this is something that I had not tried before. I have in the past gone from the sofa to my knees but never tried to get on to my knees from the floor. After trying a couple of ways of where to position myself and my legs I managed to pull myself on to my knees. I rested with my head on the cushion briefly before trying to get myself on to the sofa. I tried to pull myself on to the sofa but then my shoulder gave out which is so painful it is like someone flicks a switch inside me which shuts me down, it really is that bad. I let this feeling subside for a few minutes and then I tried again to get on to the sofa, not really knowing how I would do it as I had no leg movement to aid me, but even so I tried. The next thing that my Physio’s and I know is that I have somehow managed to get myself on to the sofa. I asked the Physio how much they had lifted me but they both said that it had all happened too quickly and that they had not even been supporting me. I think that this is going to be an unsolved mystery, but next time I think that we will try again to see if I can replicate it. If I am able to get on to my knees and then on to the sofa then with practice I may be able to try to get on to my wheelchair, which is after all the goal we are trying to achieve. A really good Physio session where we also did some stretches and developed ways of me using one leg to hold the other leg down while I reach forward thus stretching the various parts I need to stretch since they no longer get stretched as I am no longer able to stand.
Today then (Tuesday) I had a visit from a young lady who is researching pain in Spinal Cord injured people. How different people cope with pain, what pain they experience and if it is actual pain or phantom pain. I spoke to her for around two hours this morning explaining what pain I felt and how I deal with it. I told her about how my acupuncture had made a huge difference to my feeling, the fact that when I left hospital I could feel nothing from my nipples down front or back and that after two weeks of acupuncture suddenly I could feel the pins going in to my back. I am the first to say that when I was first told to give it a go I honestly thought to myself, “Ok, nothing to lose I suppose”, and so I agreed to it. I was having it on Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s and as I said, after two weeks my vision improved and my feeling came back. I know that you will probably be thinking “Yeah, right” but I tell things how they are. I would never have tried acupuncture but believe me when I say that what I have told you is true. If it was not true, then believe me when I say that I would not still be having acupuncture eighteen months on. I tried to explain what it feels like when I have my spasms that set my stomach off causing such tightness in my chest that I struggle to breathe. How my shoulder feels like meat being pulled from a pork chop bone. It is actually very difficult to explain in words what the pain feels like, trying to help someone understand what you are feeling can only truly be understood by others with a spinal cord injury, this did make my interview this morning quite difficult however the young lady was happy with the information I had given her and the answers I had given to her questions. She has others to interview on the subject and once all of the information has been collected she will be writing a paper for her Masters degree, I wish her all the best with that and look forward to reading her paper when she has done it.
I had a visit from my eldest Son, his Girlfriend and my Grand Daughter on Monday just as the Physio’s were leaving, really great to spend some time with her, she stands up supported now, I let her play with a baby walker that we had for `Pickle` which she was playing with for almost the entire time that they were here, I think that there is definitely a high chance of her using it to walk soon, which will be a fantastic milestone, I am really looking forward to it.