On July 10, 2001 I was taken by ambulance from Central Hospital in Wenatchee to the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, WA. This is where I would start my rehabilitation.
On Mondays around 8:30 my team of doctors which was made up of my rehab doctor, my resident doctor, my occupational therapist, my physical therapist, my main nurse, a psychologist, a social worker, and a vocational counselor would come to discuss my goals for the upcoming week and my accomplishments and lack there of from the prior week. The mornings would start around 7:30 - 8:00am for breakfast and my morning dose of tons of pills that I could not even pronounce. At 9:00am after the doctors meeting,the work began. My therapy's would go until 4:00 pm. It was very exhausting. To do the littlest of things was a monumental under taking, like trying to roll from my back onto my side and lots of other mat work, weight lifting, band exercises, hand cycling, trying to learn to transfer from my chair to the bed and back, pushing myself down the hall in my manual wheelchair, and hand dexterity exercises which consisted of American sign language, arts and crafts and several others. Everything I tried to do for myself took so long, and was extremely frustrating! At the end of the day when all of my therapy's were over, family and friends would come to visit. I was so fatigued from a hard days work, but they are what kept me going!!! I was so blessed to have so many friends, co-workers both past and present, neighbors, and of course my wonderful family continuously by my side encouraging and supporting me every step of the way. I joked my way through it all so that I wouldn't get depressed. I joked through every therapy and doctor that visited me, sometimes to the point that it was embarrassing for them, but hey it's what made it easier for me. Each and every day I tried to bring a smile or big laugh to whoever I was in contact with, even the technicians in the xray, catscan, and mri areas of the hospital, My sense of humor played a big part in helping me cope. I felt like I will be fine. It's the first time since I was a teenager that I won't have to work, I'm losing some weight, and I get to stay home and sit on my butt and eat bon bons, or work out all day." Prior to my injury,working out was a big passion of mine and I did it on a regular basis.
My rehab was short lived. Just 10 days later on July, 20th I started experiencing sever shakes, and chills. I became seriously uncomfortable and scared. I was put through a gamut of exhausting scans and blood draws. My temperature spiked to 102 and no medicine or the ice bags that were placed on my head, under my arms, and on the bottom of my feet would bring my temperature down. I was already really scared for what my life had turned into, and for the unknown of my future, but this scared me to death! The bad news came about 3 hours later. I had 3 dvt's/ deep vein thrombosis, one in my left calf muscle and 2 in my right. My rehab had now ended, and I was transferred to what I call, " Sick bay!" I honestly don't remember what floor it was, but it didn't matter, this was my new home for about 45 - 50 days. ( to be continued)