Sunday 18 August 2013

Sunday 18th August - Standing up, and sitting down

This is an update about my mother. Just saying, so you can skip this post if you like.

I watched my mother's physiotherapy session last week. I'd post pictures of it, except that I like to respect their privacy.

this is the type of hoist used to raise
someone from sitting to standing.
It is currently in the "standing" position
During the session, I watched as she managed to control her back and legs while the hoist assisted her into a standing position, without the aid of the belt around her back which usually does the lifting work for her. Once she had got her balance, she was able to let go of the handle and stand without any support other than the pads which brace her lower legs and knees. This is a major advance.

After practising standing (who would have thought that the simple act of standing and balancing is such hard work, and needs so much concentration!) she was able to control her body as she lowered herself back to sitting on the edge of the bed.

Indoor powerchairs

She's also been given an indoor electric wheelchair. This has taken a while to get the hang of. To begin with, my mother was inclined to misjudge the left-hand-edge of every door or piece of furniture that was in her path. If it had been just left to the normal process of bringing the chair, giving her an hour of instruction and then testing to see if she was safe, they would never have been given the chair. However, circumstances were in favour of managing to be allowed to have the chair for two week's practise (the wheelchair technician was going on holiday, and was persuaded to leave the chair with them for the duration!) and so in the end my mother passed with flying colours.

This means that she now suddenly appears behind us when we are standing around. The wheelchair is almost noiseless on the thick carpet, so the only warning of her arrival is the faint click of the little lever that you use to drive the contraption. 

The final bit of news is that her bed (and all the associated paraphernalia) has been moved out of the dining-room end of the living room back into her own bedroom. When she first came home, she used to spend more time in bed than in the wheelchair, as she was really not strong enough to sit for more than a couple of hours at a time. So it made much more sense to put her bed in the living area, so that she was always included in daily goings on. Now, she still has an afternoon nap from time to time, but not every day. Reclaiming the dining room, and having a proper dining table again is another real milestone.

This is all immensely encouraging; after nine-and a half months progress is still happening, and we know that people continue to improve their rehab for several years after the date of the stroke.

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