The first few time I got in the water, I was quite emotional. When I had the stroke it was mid-August. Summer was in full swing, and we were still boating. I really loved the water and all you could do in it. When I was in the water after seven months of being in bed, that experience brought a flood of memories of the past when I was whole.I first transfer (where they help me standup and pivot) to a water chair. Then they lower me and a therapist into the water. (He is there to make sure I don’t drown, and makes me laugh.)
I thoroughly enjoy that part, because the hot bath water is a wonderful 94 degrees! There is a camera with a monitor I can watch. They are always telling me not to look down at my feet. (I learned my lesson when I sneezed my face into the water!) I execute knee lifts first. Since my hip is partially “thawed” out, I can use my momentum to swing it up. (The therapist says I thrust so hard, one of these times I’m going to hit my head on the bar!)Then I do squats. I am about halfway out of the water when I stand up. (That makes it harder, because I am working against 50% gravity.) I thoroughly enjoy these squats, since I can put weight on my feet.
After that, they start the treadmill on in the floor of the pool. I am finally walking at .07 mph. (It used to be at .04, so I’m steadily increasing.) I walk until I can’t walk anymore. I have to lift my knee so my toes don’t painfully drag. Sometimes the line of conversation makes me laugh so hard, they have to have someone stop the treadmill so I can compose myself!
When I just can’t walk anymore, I stop and happily rest. I really enjoy floating my back. (I remember to keep my hips up, from swimming lessons, eons ago.)
I am tempted to do the backstroke, but I’m not sure how well it would work one armed. (Micheal Phelps needs both arms to win those medals.) Floating is most awesome.It’s incredibly hard to get up from floating with one foot. Be super happy you have two feet and two arms to control yourself in the water.
My time in the pool is at an end. (Awwww.) He helps get the chair under me, and stabilizes it. The floor rises out of the water, as I seriously freeze to death.(Not my favorite part!) He gets me a welcomed towel, and then he drives my wheelchair close so we can transfer back. I hope they bundle me up well and dry me off. Because I have to drive back to my room all wet. (They do.) I get a nice warm shower after. (We all love a shower after swimming!) The moral to this story is: You have got to be thankful for the ability to swim, and the nice places we have to do so. Be grateful you have the use of all limbs to do those strokes as you glide through the water. I go through a lot of rigmarole to swim, but I sure incredibly appreciate it. And I appreciate all the people who make it possible!