It’s been 14 weeks since the injury and the journey has been successful but tough thus far. Since being here at Royal Rehabilitation Centre at Ryde my shoulder and hands have continued to cause me great concern. Not to mention those 2 chicken legs that don’t work so well either. It has been an adjustment going from a brand state of the art hospital like the Royal North Shore Hospital to a rundown 100+ year old building. I share a room with 3 people (the honeymoon period was over very quickly when I was moved out of my original single room), who also happen to be quadriplegic and between the wheelchairs and the hoists it is like Spencer street station at peak hour!
The upside of the journey has been the recovery I am making. I feel I have defied the odds of where I thought I would be at this point. When you have this type of injury it seems that people don’t expect you to get much in the way of recovery. I suppose the most famous quadriplegic is Christopher Reeve aka Superman and it’s as if he set the benchmark for quadriplegics. To start with I too had no movement at all in my hands and legs and then slowly small movement started coming back. I had no strength as I couldn’t lift a feather at first but now I can clean my teeth although it is pretty dangerous for anyone within a 5 metre radius.
They weren’t sure I would get any movement back in my right arm as it just hung there for the first two months but now after 3+ months of therapy it is getting some movement back so there is still hope there. I have had movement in my legs and they appear to be getting stronger every day and I have been able to take a number of steps with assistance in a hydrotherapy pool. But to give you the real picture it was like watching Woody from Toy Story learn to work….very sloppy.
ABC Compass came out and filmed over a couple of weeks as they are doing a story on me and another lady who suffered a tragedy in bush fires 30 years ago. Its focus is on how people deal with adversity. They filmed my family, Twiggie and my mates helping me with my underwater pool shuffle and all aspects of my day to day life in recovery.
With 8 weeks until I finish my 6 month long hospital fun times and then I’ll be packing my bags to head to America (Atlanta), where I will start a 3 or maybe 6 month intensive rehab program designed for Ninja’s. This will hopefully get me to the stage that I will walk out and have enough movement in my hands to live an independent life!
The support I have received from my friends and family has been amazing. My sisters and Mother are here around the clock and this makes this tough journey a lot easier. My Mum turns up with a new exercise gadget that she has bought on line each day and we could start our own physio supply shop with the amount of stuff in the cupboard.
A Fundraiser is being put together to help raise funds to support my recovery by 4 amazing people, Leigh and Tania Collier, Quentin Sale and Richard Glynn, these guys have worked tirelessly to pull this together. The generosity and support shown by people in these times leaves me speechless and very grateful. Missing Twiggie has been the hardest part of this journey and not being able to see her everyday breaks my heart, this is what brings me to tears… I have been so lucky that my family have been going down every 3 weeks to Melbourne to pick her up and bring her back. I’m about to see her today! Can’t wait.