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Old 07-13-2011, 10:36 AM   #1
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Red face Walking and Physical Therapists

I need some advice for my husband who had a stroke in March. I'm hoping you all can help me. He has been having physical therapy at home since May but starting 8/1 he has to go to the rehab for outpatient instead, due to insurance reasons. Anyway, the rehab place provides transport but not if he is in his wheelchair so I've been trying to find an alternate way to get him there with no luck (I have to work 8-8 so there is no way I can do it).

He decided he wants to practice walking more with his hemi-cane down our driveway to the curb so that maybe he can be ready for the transportation the rehab will send, without his chair. I would be with him during all the practices.

He asked his Physcial Therapist about this and she says its a bad idea. Now when I do walk with him I don't even really help him at all. I hold the top of his pants in the back but that's about it. He weighs about 290 and is 6ft 4in, so if he goes down I can't stop him from falling anyway. I am so frustrated that the PT won't let him practice walking more by himself. If he falls, I'll be there to help him get up. I don't see how he is ever going to get really better when he's only practicing walking the 3 hours a week that the therapist is there. He can't practice when I'm not home, and by the time I get home from work at 8pm he is too tired already to do it with me. He is wearing the lifealert button around the house now so he would also have that if he were to fall.

Has this happened to any of you? Did you stick to the PT's advice or just do it on your own anyway? Do they tell you not to do it because they are afraid of their liability if you fall and break a hip or something?


Last edited by mebbuddy; 07-13-2011 at 10:37 AM. Reason: typo

 
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:58 AM   #2
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Re: Walking and Physical Therapists

Oh my it seems so unfair he needs to have these challenges. Forced to walk because the transportation wont take his wheelchair. Oh I feel for you both. You certainly have enough on your plate with work/ caregiving/ and trying to wade through the insurance and theraphy bull.
I fought the wheel chair every "step" of the way. My saving grace was a walker on wheels. Not the manual one but the one on wheels. They have the breaks at the hand grips so you can stop if need be. My balance was terrible and my right side very weak. I also was dealing with a drop foot the foot would drag along then my arm would start tremoring. I was quite the show. But the walker was my saving grace. It also had a seat so if I got tired I could lock the wheels and sit down. Is this anything that might help. It really gave me the stability I needed during my walk. The walker folds up and can go in the trunk or back seat of any car. Easy to transport. The cane did not give me the stability I needed to walk until I got stronger. Still to this day I cant always get away with the just the cane. I also used the walker in the house going from room to room. It was very good.
Whether or not the therapist was just being cautious because of her liability or not is not known. However, hubby should be able to gage what he feels he can do and not do. Thank goodness he is wearing the emergency button.
God Bless you both
Mulchie

 
Old 07-13-2011, 12:08 PM   #3
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Re: Walking and Physical Therapists

Unfortunately his left side is weak and he can't grip with his left hand. So a walker that requires two hands won't work for him. But that would be a great idea.

 
Old 07-13-2011, 06:17 PM   #4
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Re: Walking and Physical Therapists

Hi Buddy,
Boy, he is a big boy huh? I am only giving you my opinion here. If he wants to walk, then let him walk. He knows his own abilities more than anyone. That shows to me a lot of strength and heart to want to try it on his own. That shows me a lot. BUT I have always been a person to show the nosayers what I can do that they say I cant. And I also agree it may only be a liability thing... who knows in this day and age?

I have always been cautious about what I do though. I never do anything that I do not think that I am not ready. So I say if he thinks he can walk a little, then let him go and try. I don't think he would want to try it either unless he felt he was ready. (But I will not take any liability about these statements)

God Bless you both lots,
Tim

Last edited by Positive Cynic; 07-13-2011 at 06:20 PM.

 
Old 07-13-2011, 07:32 PM   #5
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Re: Walking and Physical Therapists

hi mebbuddy, if I were you, I'd check with your county or state's devision of vocational rehab (DVR) there should be a state/county sponsored shuttle bus that will take him both ways for free. if he qualifies? which he should! after I was released from in patient rehab, a bus picked me up ever morning at 8 am and dropped me off at 5 pm at my wife's workplace. I rode that bus 5 days a week fr two years! let me guess, somebody mentioned that word "plataue"? now the insurance company doesn't want to pay anymore? to think that he has plataued at 3 months is crazy! he still need therapy of all kinds to get through all he has lost. please check with the (DVR) brfore you give up hope. ans his practicing walking will do him a lot of good

good luck and god bless

Larry/coupe
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:16 AM   #6
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Re: Walking and Physical Therapists

Hello there,

I hope Coupe's recommendation will work for you, but if he is not able to get the transportation that way, perhaps you can find someone in your neighborhood that can walk with him down to catch the bus. Since you mention that he is too big to catch anyway, it seems as if your help would be simply to make sure nothing happens between your front door and the curb. That seems like something a neighbor could do as well. Since he already has the alert button, he is already able to call for help, and with someone there to make sure he gets on, he should be fine. Perhaps you could install a sturdy bench down near the curb as well in case he needs to sit down. I know in my neighborhood there would be someone who would be willing to do such a small thing, that would be of so much help to your husband. A college student maybe, or a retiree, even an housewife could do the job. I hope you find a resolution, and your husband gets stronger by the day.

Janet

 
Old 07-15-2011, 04:21 PM   #7
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Re: Walking and Physical Therapists

Quote:
Originally Posted by Positive Cynic View Post
Hi Buddy,


I have always been cautious about what I do though. I never do anything that I do not think that I am not ready. So I say if he thinks he can walk a little, then let him go and try. I don't think he would want to try it either unless he felt he was ready. (But I will not take any liability about these statements)

God Bless you both lots,
Tim
I share that thought(s) Tim. Part of my self confidence issue. We should chat Tim.
Blessings, as always,
Nancy

 
Old 07-16-2011, 05:44 AM   #8
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Re: Walking and Physical Therapists

GíDay Mebbuddy,

Hope youíre in good health.
Do you have a treadmill at home? I found the treadmill to have helped me the most in my rehab. Can your husband use the treadmill? Maybe talk to your rehab people about using the tredmill, if not already part of his rehab.
The John Hopkins hospital has conducted a lot of research on the benefits of the treadmill in stroke rehab.
While I was in rehab, I was treaded with kid gloves, it was like take it easy, please donít fall on my shift. I never took risks that would put my progress in jeopardy. If I felt comfortable and confident in progressing to a new level, then I would, albeit ever so slowly.
All the best to you and all your family

George

 
Old 07-16-2011, 04:33 PM   #9
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Re: Walking and Physical Therapists

I found the treadmill very intimidating. I could not hold on with my left arm/hand so physio tied me to it. I hated that. The treadmill seemed to work for many...just not me

Hoping you find a solution that works for you both

cheers,
Nancy

Last edited by ennbee; 07-16-2011 at 04:34 PM.

 
Old 07-18-2011, 03:20 PM   #10
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Re: Walking and Physical Therapists

We do have a treadmill but since he can't grasp on with his left hand the physical therapist says he can't use it. I think he would be too uncomfortable tying his left hand to it but I will ask him what he thinks.

You all have given me several ideas and opinions to think about. Be all and end all, I have to remember that its my husband's decision ultimately on whether to stick to PT guidelines strictly or work more on his own. I can't rush him, I know that. I know he wants to get better but is frustrated too.

 
Old 07-18-2011, 03:39 PM   #11
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Re: Walking and Physical Therapists

Quote:
Originally Posted by ennbee View Post
I share that thought(s) Tim. Part of my self confidence issue. We should chat Tim.
Blessings, as always,
Nancy
Nancy,
If you have a moment and you haven't done this yet - look up on the left side up here under my settings. There you may get some more information.

 
Old 08-04-2011, 12:50 AM   #12
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Re: Walking and Physical Therapists

Hi there,
I think letting him be as independent as possible is really important. Of course it would be terrible if he fell and broke something which meant he was even more restricted in his movements, but I know that when I was in his situation I was constantly transferring from the wheelchair when the nurses weren't looking because I felt like a helpless child who had to constantly wait until others could help me.

The treadmill was too scary for me and I didn't dare to get on one for a long time, even when my walking was totally independent. Seems more dangerous than walking alone if you ask me.

His determination is a fantastic sign and will be instrumental in his recovery. I suppose even if you can't hold him up if he falls, you might be able to help him fall more gently. I don't know if this is possible, but getting some mates to build some parallel rails in your yard could be a good compromise?

Another little note I must share is that five years after my stroke I had recovered about 85 percent of the function of my left leg. I went to get acupuncture on my back because it was a bit stiff and the doctor used acupuncture to increase the movement in my leg! I couldn't believe it. And I couldn't believe nobody had mentioned it to me earlier. Apparently in China they have physiotherapists, but after a stroke, they use acupuncture to treat the paralysis. It is more effective apparently. Anyway, it's something to think about!
Good luck. I hope he continues to be as head-strong and independent as he sounds, it will serve him well.
Laura.

 
Old 08-05-2011, 06:18 PM   #13
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Re: Walking and Physical Therapists

Greetings MeBuddy: I have to agree that checking with DVR, or Aging and Long Term Care as well as People for People for transportation help is a great idea. I suffered a Massive Stroke during surgery in 2007, I'm still recovering. I agree with what everyone posted, you and he both need to keep a positive attitude to recover, best of luck!

 
Old 08-06-2011, 01:30 PM   #14
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Re: Walking and Physical Therapists

Hello bubbat,

Welcome to the stroke board, love your attitude. If you would, please start a thread and introduce yourself and tell us your story, We would love to get to know you and introduce ourselves to you. We have a fantastic group here, and always welcome you to be a part of our "family" of stroke survivors.

My name is Janet.

 
Old 08-06-2011, 02:25 PM   #15
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Re: Walking and Physical Therapists

Quote:
Originally Posted by writeleft View Post
Hello bubbat,

Welcome to the stroke board, love your attitude. If you would, please start a thread and introduce yourself and tell us your story, We would love to get to know you and introduce ourselves to you. We have a fantastic group here, and always welcome you to be a part of our "family" of stroke survivors.

My name is Janet.


Ok then,

My name is Leo, I'm 47-recovering from the effects of a massive stroke. In early 2007 at the age of 43, I awoke with a terrible headache. My now ex-wife, took me to the ER where it was determined I was having a double brain anurisym. I underwent emergency neurosurgery during which I ceased breathing, suffered a massive stroke, and sustained a spinal cord injury. After being told I wouldn't do more than move my eyes, I set out to prove them wrong. In the time since I have learned to walk using a walker, drive myself, and live independantly. I'm not done yet either, I WILL walk again unassisted..... So to those out there being told "accept it" and "probably not"..... keep on reaching for the stars, don't stop trying..... That's my story, or atleast the Readers Digest version....

 
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