We have now officially reached almost a full week of being home, with a weekend included. As you know, Colin came home on Tuesday, and although many of his rehab goals were not met due to the initial time requested from the medical aid not being granted, but we will do what we need to do, and carry on. I won’t lie, it has been hard work. Physically and emotionally. But we are settling in and making new rules as we go – there are still many things we need to discuss, debate, and agree upon, but I think we are on our way.
On Friday we went back to the rehab as it was the paralympic games, and Colin has been looking forward to those so much. Everyone was motivational, and supportive, and it was an afternoon of celebrating each other and having fun.
There was an official opening ceremony where Robin (one of the physios) did an impromptu gymnastics routine (she used to be a gymnast at national level), and it set the tone for what was to come.
Although Colin was not officially a competitor due to having been discharged earlier this week, they let him compete in all the games, and he also received a t-shirt, and goodie bag.
The goodie bad and shirts were sponsored by Netcare Rehab, and you just had to pretend you went into a time machine to last year as the date was 2016, but it was such fun to get something. Of course, there were also prizes for the winners – various goodies from Chairman which is a wheelchair company, what looked like some chockies, and hats; and they also handed out the patient of the week award.
I have never encountered such an enthusiastic groups of people in my life. Every little action was applauded, with sincerity, and each win was celebrated. There is a special bond that develops between the patients themselves, as well as between the patients and the PTs and OTs. I know that this particular rehab centre is lauded as the best in the country as they get the best results, but there is clearly reason for this. Not only are they all dedicated and work really hard, but they care very deeply about each patient. It was clear, if I had missed it before, that Colin will miss all these people dearly. Not only was he there for 3 months, but he formed genuine friendships with the others.
There was the usual amount of chirping and teasing going on, but it is clearly underpinned with a genuine fondness and support of each other. When one of the guys fell on the basketball court (out of his chair) there was such a wonderful feeling of success when he was able to achieve his first floor to chair transfer, and instead of focusing on what went wrong, to use it as a learning. It may sound as if i am going on a bit, but you really have to experience it to understand how deep everyone’s level of commitment is to each other.
Of course, each person has a different injury, and is also at a different stage of recovery, but there were games for each ability, as well as some handicaps (excuse the pun) for some events. It appeared to me that everyone felt they had a similar chance, and there were no hard feelings for those who didn’t win.
All in all, it was a magical day, and the laughter continues.
Colin mentioned that before his accident he was not as jolly, didn’t have as much fun, and didn’t laugh nearly as much as he has since his accident. He is truly an amazing man and there are only positives for us in the future. (We ignore the little bumps and learn to overcome them)
Today I am grateful for smiles, help, and enthusiasm.
Here are some pics and videos:
Colin – first throw on the javelin event
Colin second throw on the javelin
Robin demonstrating archery
This is the opening ceremony with speeches, and some gymnastics:
Here are a few of the competitors: