Outpatient Physical Therapy After TBI: Lori Part Eleven
Our discussion continues with the outpatient physical therapy after TBI and what little success Lori had with it. When asked how long she was kept immobile:
So you were still not really ambulating, not walking well, that first months. How long were you in the crib?
I don’t know. So if I think of seasons, that was June when I got there, and it seems not long, because it seems like by the time fall had begun I wasn’t even in a wheelchair. And I don’t remember being in a wheelchair but I know I was. Does that progression help?
That means after you got home to your parents, you went back and got a considerable amount of physical therapy, outpatient physical therapy after TBI?
What do you remember about that?
I remember when I was in outpatient therapy I was doing all kinds of physical movements. And at first it didn’t make sense to me, at first it made me mad because, I don’t know – like they were having me reach for things that were just silly, that I would never reach for anyways.
And they would have me stand on one foot, which was silly because I was 25 and I was not going to stand around on one foot, but later Donna, my PT that was about my age that I befriended, she helped me to understand. I don’t know how she did that, but she helped me to understand that I needed to do these silly little things so that I could get back into being an adult.
And so she tried to find the best way, the most interesting ways for me, so I remember playing basketball with a bunch of crumpled up paper and throwing it into a wastebasket. I remember being in the parking lot at the hospital, which is where I had outpatient therapy, and Donna had drawn a hopscotch, whatever you call a hopscotch thing, and I remember trying to do hopscotch.
I remember being outside with therapy in the hospital parking lot and trying to walk on the, in front of parking, where people park in parking structures there’s often a cement pylon thing and I remember trying to walk on those.
So the pylon things would be like balance beams?
Yeah, yeah, very much so. And I remember jumping. I remember that I wanted to jump and I remember learning how to jump. And I remember, for some reason and I wrote this in my book, it was very important to me to be able to stand up and put my pants on.
I just somehow thought that everybody did that, so I remember saying to my physical therapist that I wanted to be able to stand up and put my pants on. That might’ve been in the hospital when I first started that and Donna helped me. But I remember continuing that in physical therapy. You know, it got so that it, it just became very important to me. I don’t know, it took a long time before I could do it, but I could do it.
Outpatient Therapy was vital. When I began outpatient therapy I began living in the world of the non-brain injured. I would not have liked it at the time but in hind sight I wish I had a guardian angle on my shoulder to help me re-learn the non-brain injured world