Today was my first full day on the ward. After a slightly uncomfortable nights sleep I got myself up and dressed. Breakfast was a total failure. The GF bread was full of poppy seeds and I’m allergic. They’d run out of soya milk so my breakfast options were dry cornflakes or a banana…I went for the banana and once again requested to see the dietician.
Our first session of the day was a group stretching class down in outpatients so I got ferried up there by the porters with their electric chairs and they brought my wheels up afterwards. Some of the corridors in the main hospital building are beyond crazy, they slope off at odd angles and one hill leads to another one, at a few points the floor is really not level!
The stretching class was pretty basic but it catered for everyone in the group and helped me loosen up my stiff back. I stayed up there and chatted for an hour before my first physio session.
My physio is brilliant, we decided to work from the head down so my first assessment was of my shoulder function and my scapula control. I’ve made a lot of progress with my left shoulder and my problem scapula over the last year but I still have a long way to go. My physio painstakingly assessed the muscle control, joint stability, posture and strength of my upper body and worked out exactly where my weaknesses were. Over the course of my life I’ve seen a LOT of physios over the course of my life and I’ve only had one other examination that was this detailed, my private consultation with Rosemary Keer!
After being poked and prodded and mocked for my lack of strength on the left (and my slight difficulties standing on one leg) we got to work withy first two exercises.
I’ve been given two exercises to help build strength in the weak spot on my rotator cuff and the weakness in my deltoid. My physio explained that I’d been overusing the my pecs to cope with the rotator cuff weakness and my general joint laxity. He showed me how to check if I’m using my pectorals for each of the exercises, if I’m not using my pecs then I must be doing it right!
We also discovered that my shoulder movement is much smoother and less difficult when I stand on my tippy toes. This means I’m not engaging my core enough so guess what? More core exercises!
By the end of the session I was knackered but my muscles in my back and shoulder had really woken up! I really felt good!
After I got back to the ward I was payed a visit by the dietician, she was very kind and we went through all my safe foods. She’s agreed I can’t go on eating the food on the ward so I’m going to get meals from the small on site kitchen. I’ve been warned the food will be pretty basic and probably quite boring but as long as I dont end up with an IBS flare I’m sure I’ll cope! I can bring some safe tasty snacks next week.
She seemed concerned about my weight gain over the last few years but as soon as I said Pregabalin she dropped any hint of argument and just seemed pleased I was getting my weight down now I’m off it.
We discussed the pain relief Vs weight gain issue and she seemed to think I’d made the right decision to come off the meds and lose some weight.
Lunch arrived shortly after a jacket potato and more salad.. As much as I like salad 3 in two days is too much.. Hopefully my IBS won’t be too angry!
My first afternoon session was with my lovely OT. We talked a lot about how I’ve coped at home and at university. We also discussed the genetic stubbornness that runs in the family.
Our plan for the next week is to look at how I use my laptop, I work best with my feet up so I often lay back and type with my computer on my lap, she’s concerned I’m going to be putting strain in my neck so we’re going to look at positioning alternatives. We discussed the benefits of chunky grip cutlery, I hadn’t really thought about using it since I don’t find eating a problem but she explained the cumulative impact throughout the day being added too with skinny cutlery, she admitted phrasing it badly with another patient! “everything you grip needs to be thick” lol!
We’re also planning on having a cooking session next week, I’m going to make carrot cake so I’ll have to go ingredient shopping at the weekend.
After OT I was whisked back to the ward for a well deserved rest. My back and shoulders still feel really awake so hopefully that will continue for a long time!
After a nice long rest our final session of the day was a talk from on of the physios on the basics of hypermobility syndrome and other connective tissue disorders. We also covered PoTS briefly. After the session I showed the ladies and the physio my stickman communications books and communication cards, they all loved them so I handed out some leaflets!
We gathered round for tea after that and I had my first specially prepared meal. baked potato, chicken and carrots. Then jelly for desert 😀
Most of the evening was spent gossiping and then a few of us teamed up to decorate the ladies conservatory ready for Christmas!
We did two trees and put some beads up and some streamers in the windows too. It was s really nice evening 😀
Pretty huh! Anyway tomorrow I’ve got an early start again for the stretch class then physio straight after 😀 hopefully I’ll get some sleep tonight!
Ciao for now