So I had organised for Simon to take off work the morning that I was relocating from North Shore Private to Mt Wilga Private, up Hornsby way and he was having trouble getting up in time so I just thought I was going to be sitting around for awhile waiting to head up. I sat down to eat brekky and tuck into some Netflix when a very tall paramedic rolled a stretcher into my room and said it was time to go. I had a little giggle and thought it was a joke but no. They literally wanted me to get going RIGHT THEN and I had to take an ambulance transfer for liability reasons. Couldn't believe it! Luckily my bags were already packed but had to skip brekky - devo. At least they let me walk to the ambulance, then they had to strap me in and load me in the back. I had never been in an ambulance before and I have to say it was actually so comfy and they gave me a warm blanket and I passed out and had the best nap ever.
When we arrived at Mt Wilga, they took me to my room to drop me off, where Simon was waiting with flowers to brighten up my new pad. SO sweet and thoughtful! I got settled in and we watched a movie until he had to head off. The rest of my day and evening was spent speaking to about 3000 nurses and doctors, not dissimilar to the following day but just add in physios as well.
Mt Wilga was pretty secluded, food was decent and they had outside areas, which was a nice change from being way up high in North Shore with no access to the outside world. I had loads of freedom to enjoy the outdoor areas at Mt Wilga.
It felt like way longer than a week that I was up there. I had group physio once a day, where I was pretty much in a room with 3 - 15 very old people who required constant monitoring so I was told what to do and left to my own devices. Learned how to walk up stairs and lots of core and glue exercises. Secondly, I had pool therapy once a day, which was pretty awesome. The first time I walked into the pool, it was the WEIRDEST feeling; like all this consoldiated pressure in my lower back, making it uncomfortable and very heavy. The feeling became less obvious but was still there; getting out of the pool felt like there was a bowling ball in my lower back and lifting my feet was sooo difficult. Being in the pool was fun, albeit a little cold due the the air con, but the exercises definitely worked and made me sore each day thereafter. At the end of each session, we were instructed to float with a noodle. For me, it was very uncomfortable and felt like a trust fall. I couldn't exactly get it right to the point of totally relaxing and letting my body hang, but I also think that I potentially thought about it too much and that was my problem there.
Usually, I would roam the halls and outdoor bits on short walks 3-5 times per day, depending on pain level and the physio would never be pleased - always said I was doing too much, but the physio at North Shore said I should be building up my endurance to be walking more and more everyday until I could get up to an hour walking at once. I still haven't been able to get to that point but I think I can walk for a solid 30 minutes.
A few friends visited which was SO nice since it was really out there, far from home, and Simon came as well, more often than I think he should have, especially on work days, but he is an unwavering sweetheart.
My progress was exponential and I tried to almost slow it down to avoid the doctors concern for too much activity. I have gone through all this pain and suffering so the last thing I want is to compromise my new and improved spine.
I'm glad I took the week to go to rehab, do exercises under supervision, learn what I was doing right and wrong, and do pool therapy, all under doctor supervision, especially after the painful, drawn out process of weaning off Ketmamine at NSP. It was good to be in the hospital and rehab under doctors supervision when I was on a cocktail of painkillers. Despite the mundane life in rehab (the most exciting part of my day was when they had a rad dessert on the menu at dinnertime and I could eat that while watching the Bachelor), it was beneficial in my recovery process and I'm glad I went.
Finally (only a week but felt much, much longer) I was released into Simon's open arms, after passing the car test (can I get in and out of a car like a grandma, bum first hehe) which I smashed twice, naturally. Paperwork was signed and off I go, with a soy chai latte in hand.
Part III - Rehab at home coming soon...