Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day One of Rehab - a summary

One of the things I learned quickly today is that it is very easy to overtax Meagan. Especially when she is being asked to rewire neurons and learn new pathways to doing old activities. It was frustrating for her and just too much to have too many rehab people. That said, it really wasn't too much for a non-impaired person. But when you've received an insult to the brain, what you or I might think of as easy or normal is not.

We had the lead person come in from Rehab Without Walls, and he had to go through all the obligatory legalese and procedures and process stuff. All Meagan had to do was listen, but even that is challenging. So when he left after an hour and the occupational therapist showed up she was already tired. She got more frustrated when she was asked to do things like type a sentence on a keyboard. That hour ended rather badly, so pity the poor physical therapist up next - she only lasted 1/2 an hour and figured out she better get out of there. So we learned today. Learned we need to space the therapists out with naps or down time in between. That brain rewiring is hard work.

The other thing we learned is that Meagan is making great progress on her own. She doesn't want to feel pushed or challenged. Part of that I think is the brain injury and part is just her personality. She'd rather spend rehab time with friends and socializing than "working" at skills which will come back slowly. There is no real incentive for her to accelerate the process if it means being tired, cranky and not being with her friends. We have agreed to keep doing rehab, but I have to watch the scheduling and spacing. Every day she is showing improvement and while I'm not comfortable having her walk down stairs unaided she is navigating fine around the house. So as long as she is safe, we will go at her pace, for however long she wants.

It does put more pressure on me to be her social secretary since she doesn't have the skills or capacity yet to organize and manage her own schedule. Selfishly I wish she would want to work harder at regaining those self management skills (use of telephone and keyboard for email, Facebook and conversations). But I understand her frustration and learning curve and how tiring all this brain recovery is. So it's a cabana/stroke boy job.

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