Today I left home at around 10.45 this morning to travel to the spinal unit at Stoke Mandeville. I have been trying to teach myself everything since I left Frenchay hospital in 2011, as the spinal unit I was sent to were teaching me nothing with regards to skills I would need, from dressing myself to transferring in to and out of my wheelchair and all of the other things that go with it. I am proud of what I am able to do but with my spasms the way they were and the difficulty I was having in doing the things I could do, I pushed to get in to Stoke to be taught better ways of doing things and help me manage my day to day activities and life. Finally I have been given the opportunity and today I arrived at the unit with an open mind and hope, hope that things may be different to the unit I was in before.
We arrived a little before 2 this afternoon and I was immendiately shown to the bed space I would be occupying. A short time after this I was greeted by a nurse who started to ask questions and fill in forms, immediately this was better than the last place as I had not been left to wonder what was going to happen. With the forms filled in the nurse then asked what I could do and what I would like to achieve while I was here. She asked me questions about how I got in to my chair if I fell out and if I could get up stairs on my butt. The floor to chair thing was one thing I had wanted to learn anyway but to be talked to about going up stairs on my arse and down stairs in my wheelchair were above what I was hoping. Already they have given me two different catheters to try and have told me that they can change the prescription if I get on ok with them. The alert card I carry for my Autonomic Dysreflexia is being changed for a much updated one and also I am being given an electronic one which any Ambulance crew or Hospital can scan to know exactly what to look for and what to do, right down to what mattress I use.
I am not getting hopes too high as I have been let down repeatedly in the past with various things I have been hoping to be able to do, but I am more optamistic than I have been since my injury left me paralyzed. I am in the bed next to my new “roomy”. He is a really nice chap who has shown me around the unit and told me how things work here. We only have bays with two beds in each bay which is nice. The big wards in the last place were ok but I do prefer the privacy of the new place. So the Blog entries will be of varying length while I am here, some days I will have more to say than others and some days I will have accomplished more than others. What ever the accomplishments, failures or things learnt while I am here, I will write about so I can share my “journey” with you. Tomorrow I have my first physio session and I intend to jump in to the advanced wheelchair skills lesson in the afternoon, hopefully I will have some good things to tell you and maybe some pictures too. Until tomorrow though.