Caroline House Specialist Brain Injury Rehab
Leaving the N&N was a very emotional affair, after five months a special bond between the staff and myself had developed so there was tears, mainly from me, as I faced my next
challenge ‘rehab’ though I wanted to go when the time came and the ambulance drivers arrived to transfer me I could have quite easily said I don’t want to I want to stay here but I knew I couldn’t, however, the thought of having to
learn to trust strangers was daunting.
I arrived at Caroline House mid-afternoon and was pleasantly surprised by the welcome which immediately put me at ease once in bed I was assessed and they immediately started work on me. I was transferred with
a few medical aids such as my PEG to keep me hydrated, fed and give me my medication, I had a plaster splint on each leg which was hurting like mad all the liquid food that would need for a month and the machine to give it and a full months’ worth of
medication. The first thing they did was to take the splints off which exposed angry pressure points which were about to break down; no wonder my feet were sore. My PEG stayed in but they stopped feeding me via the PEG so normal eating and drinking from now
on though due to my swallow problems I had to be supervised while eating and had thickener in my drinks and I had to have penicillin for an affected ingrown toe nail.
The first morning I was hoisted onto a shower chair and was given my first
shower since Austraila. Yazzy and Steve the two nurses looking after me were a laugh making me feel at ease for the first time in 5 months but they to made me work by sticking a flannel in my good hand for me to try and wash my face which at first was really
difficult they washed the rest of me, there are many things that I will never forget one of them was my first shower.
Each patient had their own weekly rota with specific times for physyo, gardening, relaxation classes, group meetings, rest periods
cooking etc. and they kept to it. In my first week Matt the Physio started putting me on the ‘Tit Table’ I hated this at first as I kept feeling faint when approaching vertical though I don’t believe we ever got to vertical and I always felt
I was tipping forwards. After a week or so I was managing 15 to 20 minutes which gave confidence so I stated pestering to use the gym which didn’t happen for about a month.
Barry the staff nurse was next, in the first week or so I was given my
medication as usual through my peg when one day he came in and said that I had to try taking them orally, I thought “who do you think you are telling me that don’t you know I have difficulty swallowing” but he persisted and I succumbed and
found that I was able to swallow tablets after all and I ended up managing my own daily doses.
Gardening was good we had to help Jane to either sow seeds or thin and pot young plants this to was quite difficult as my fingers were not working correctly
it didn’t stop me nicking the radishes though.
Jane also did the relaxation sessions every Friday afternoon I would lie on my bed and Jane would darken the room put some watery music on and quietly read to me a therapy tail, this actually worked
at one time they checked my pulse before and after a session and it dramatically reduced during the course of about 20 mins.
After about two months of intensive and sometimes painful therapy involving various machines, psychology, memory tests,
strength tests you name it I did it I was up on my feet using three wheel rollator at times it was torture getting up and standing as I was still very week but I was determined to walk out of the hospital on my discharge which I did on the 28.08.11.