Saturday, June 3, 2017

Once I Started Eating,

my days at the rehab facility had two more "events" to fill my chart.  I was already spending large chunks of time in therapy sessions.*

ADL: Activities of Daily Living
PT:  Physical Therapy
OT: Occupational Therapy

These activities were scheduled from as early as 7:30 am to as late as 3:30 pm. Each morning, the (random) timing of my activities would be jotted down (by a nurse) on "the board" (my own private agenda) hanging on a wall near my bed.

So now, I had lunch and dinner to fit into the list.
DD: Dysphagia Dining

(Breakfast, Reader Dear,  was very often out of the question--far too early in the day!)

Starting out, I was wheeled to the dining room, but that soon evolved into me walking to the dining room, begging or borrowing a wheelchair in which to sit, and then being pushed back to my room.

It was a long haul (hall) from my room to the eating spot; consequently, it  took a few days for me to manage to walk both to and from the dining room unassisted
(however, upon performing this feat, I did receive the impressive title of Wonder Woman!**

**Self-awarded, Reader Dear
[and kept strictly private (I had no wish for news cameras, or the rehab facility to have to deal with crowd control)])
DD:  Dysphagia Dining

Just as in my walking, I progressed in my eating.  Each time I reached a new level, there would have to be an "assessment" of my ability to chew and swallow--1. Mushy 2. Tiny chopped 3. Large chopped (These, Dear Reader, are not the official terms.  I am taking liberties here and calling things the way I see them!)  While I aspired to reaching level four and eating  4. Not Chopped, I discovered upon reaching level four, that it was, in fact: 4. Even Larger Chopped!  (I never made it out of the Dysphagia Dining Room, not because of my inability to chew and swallow large chunks, but because time ran out for the "assessment"!

*Between all the activities, there was the on-going struggle for sleep.  I'd sit in my reclining chair with a pillow and a blanket, and I would tell myself how lucky I was that I had a whole two-hour stretch until the next activity.  Twenty-six minutes later I might be asleep.  Twelve minutes later, when awakened, I'd think, Well, I've still got an hour and twenty-two minutes...still time for a very fine nap.  Alas, thirty-five minutes later, I'd be pondering the fact that I'd managed only a few more minutes of sleep and now there was only a forty-seven-minute window of time remaining. (Reader Dear, it kept my brain busy doing the math!)

Now that lunch and dinner were added to my schedule, I sometimes had to ask myself, Which is more critical to my health--food or sleep?  (Due to the fact that I had no good, honest, intelligent answer, I had to go with my gut .**

**[I never missed lunch or dinner]).

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