Hydrotherapy Rehabilitation | Stephen’s Story

Hydrotherapy Rehabilitation | Stephen’s Story


Trying to get back to normal well it won’t be the old norma, it’ll be a new normal but to get back to a stronger and more agile state yes last Christmas, Christmas eve I was just clearing up after dinner and I started feeling a bit funny and I sat down and then said I’ll just go to bed and lie down the family fortunately had a better idea and they called and ambulance they thought I was not right so very fortunately even on Christmas eve all the health services were fully functional tha ambulance was here quickly and I was whisked into Geelong Hospital the neuro team were waiting for me in Emergency and they said they’d keep me in overnight next morning I woke up on Christmas day and they said “Happy Christmas. You’ve had a stroke” I couldn’t breathe I had to tell the kids and I still can’t breathe when I think about that moment I just got on the phone to Tim our son and he said “Mum” I said “Tim” “I just can’t breathe” and he said “What has happened?” and I said “Just give me a minute” and then I tried to tell them I didn’t believe it I mean I rang the hospital the next morning and said “Can I come and get him?” we’d just had dinner it was all fine and he couldn’t put his cup on the coffee table and that was when it started and I wasn’t sure. I’d never experienced a stroke before His speech was slightly slurred but nothing too much you know it didn’t I mean if he’d had several drinks you’d have assumed he was just slightly wobbly But you know when Steve when we saw him next day I went in and he was you know not very well When I woke up then on Christmas day I just simply could not move my right side I could not move my right leg, my right arm couldn’t lift a finger or anything Her immediate reaction was “We’re gonna beat this thing” and it was a sense of we are gonna beat this thing and she’s been with me all the way usually you know quietly managing things and making things easy for me but also encouraging me to do things for myself After five days in hospital I went to McKellar as an in-patient I stayed there for five weeks Initially I would need two nurses to get me out of bed and onto my feet I’d have regular sessions with physiotherapists and then you know by the time I left I could move around I could dress myself, wash myself I could walk from the ward through to the gym which is two or three-hundred yards so you know that was something I felt really pleased and I felt then by the time I could do that I was ready to go home so I was doing the physiotherapy most days I was also doing work with a speech therapist occupational therapy primarily around you know different hand actions and so on so my hand-writing is fairly slow and laborious you know I think it’s as good as my eight-year old grand-daughter’s but it’s she’s rapidly getting better than me I was doing aqua-therapy three or four times a week but initially that was just hobbling into the pool and they’d put all sorts of floaties around me and I’d just float there and they’d push me around and you know I’d do a few excercises but then more recently I’ve been working with a physiotherapist, Emily who’s also a swimming instructor and she’s been you know trying to get me to swim properly with my particular special exercises and all aimed at getting me swimming and one stage as a flippant remark I said “Oh I’d like to go snorkelling” and she seized on that and you know encouraged me to think that was realistic which I didn’t really think it was so we’ve now accepted that as being a goal that I need to achieve and that now has become important something I have to do Stephen’s been a terrific person to work with he clearly expressed a goal that was close to his values of what he wanted to get back to as a result of his stroke he showed lots of enthusiasm towards carrying out the exercises and the program that would help him move towards his goal he’s progressed amazingly well over the last few months and he’s well on track to achieve his goal of returning to snorkelling at the beach The idea was to do it on Christmas eve which would be the one year anniversary of my stroke I realise that Christmas eve there may be other things going on so that may not be the ideal day but you know certainly sometime this summer I love snorkelling you know the sense of freedom exploring a different world the sense of being privileged to join all of the marine life in their environment I feel elated it was fantastic you know just to get back in the water and to all the seaweed moving with the waves it’s another section of my life that I’ve got back to feel that I can you know go into the water and swim it’s tremendous I won’t be able to keep out of the water I just want to say thank you so so much thank you, thank you very much