Yesterday was nice. I enjoyed Ben’s company, and he did a fairly good job at keeping me distracted. I have a feeling that today will be much different. Early this morning a nurse had come in to bathe me, and she told me that today I will be heading to the rehabilitation room to get started on my therapy.
The thought of that word ‘therapy’ is both exciting and terrifying. I’m scared it will be painful and exhausting, but I’m anticipating getting back to normal … well as normal as life can be for me now.
Around noon, Lexie and Ben both come in to see me. “I have playtime today.” I joke. Thankfully they decide to hang around until the nurse comes to get me. It’s always nice to have company to make the time go by faster.
“So, is that little brother of yours ever going to come in and see me?”
“Of course he will. He umm … he is, just a little confused about this whole situation between you and Dad.”
“Huh?” I don’t understand. “Is he mad at me?”
“What’s complicated about it?” My tone is edgier than I’d like it to be, but I haven’t seen my son Mathew since I’ve woken up. Why on earth wouldn’t he want to come see me?
“Sixteen year olds are just stupid Mom.”
“Hey! Don’t call your brother stupid.”
“That’s not what I mean. It’s just that … he’s really mad that Dad has a new girlfriend, and he thinks maybe you did something to push Dad away.”
“What? Your dad gets a girlfriend and your brother thinks I did something to cause it? So, it’s my fault?” I shouldn’t be upset with Mathew. He must be really hurting, but this information has me baffled. Why on earth would he blame me? This is down right ridiculous.
“Lexie and I both know his rationalization is way off kilter, but he’s just being a stupid kid—like I said. He’ll come around.”
I don’t know what to think. I feel a bit betrayed and personally attacked by my younger son. I know that he has always been a daddy’s boy, but to take his side on this—it stings. I need to get myself in check none of this is Mathew’s fault. He is young and he is probably very confused by all of this.
The nurse I’ve come to know as Penny comes in pushing a wheel chair. Before I lose my mind thinking about Mathew, she is a perfect distraction.
“Are you ready for this?”
I inhale deeply counting to myself, and then slowly push the air from my lungs, “ready as I’ll ever be.”
Two heavy metal doors swing open when she hits a large round button on the wall. A cavernous room opens up, revealing a state of art gym. She wheels me past all sorts of contraptions, “Don’t worry, we don’t expect you to be out here lifting weights this soon”.
“Thank you, Penny.” I needed her to confirm that they weren’t just tossing me into the ring this quickly.
“I’m taking you to the pools.” We make a large loop around the equipment to a brick wall in the back corner, except it wasn’t just a wall—it rounded and revealed two large pools and two hot tubs. On the left of the pools, we headed for the dressing room. I had expected the room to be lined with lockers like a regular gym, but there were only a few lockers. It did, however, have quite a few private changing rooms blocked off with curtains. Penny slipped behind one of the curtains revealing a fairly large room with a few odd contraptions tucked in the corner.
“Please don’t tell me you’re going to try to change me yourself.” Penny laughs loudly, she must have known what I was thinking; this redhead girl is way too petite to be lifting me by herself. Locking my chair in place, she goes over to one of the contraptions that looks like something a mechanic would use for pulling out an engine and pushes it forward to me. She’s going to hoist me. Talk about humiliation. I grit my teeth; I had always joked with my kids, if I ever needed to be hoisted around to just put me out of my misery. Who would have known … guess we should be careful what we joke about.
Penny was very gentle getting me into the hideous looking swimming suit. I definitely won’t be winning any pageants today. Besides the awful swimwear, I’m sporting a cast that is now wrapped up in a lovely plastic bag to keep it from getting wet. I’m hot. Penny makes no comments about my get up. She wheels me over to the side of the pool.
“Nikki, this is Laura. She is going to get you started on your road to recovery.”
“Yeah … yeah, hi. Are you ready for a dunk?” Her straight forward no nonsense personality takes me for a bit of surprise. Most of the people I’ve encountered in the hospital so far have been extremely friendly and helpful. This should be interesting.
“Can you help me get her into this thing?” Laura, Miss Abrupt, gives Penny a deadpan stare.
Surprisingly, Penny just smiles back, “Of course”. When strapping me into yet another harness, she whispers to me, “Don’t let the vampire suck the life out of you.” It’s hard to hold back the laugh that’s bubbling up. “All set. Good luck! I’ll be back in about forty-five minutes.” I know her good luck comment has a double meaning.
Dangling in the harness—my right arm and right leg—hang limply, I feel like I’m in one of those bouncers I’d hang from the doorway for my babies. Laura gives me no warning at all. She just pushes a button, and the contraption swings over the pool and starts to descend— plunging me into the pool. Thank goodness, it’s warm.
I had no idea what was about to come. Laura jumps in the pool with me and grabs my arm pushing and pulling it in different directions. “We need to get these muscles moving, and hopefully engaging. Water is a nice weightless way to exercise.”
I guess she’s not as harsh as my first assumption was of her. She’s just straight forward and to the point, and in reality dealing with her isn’t that bad. I’m sure I will get used to her brash personality.
An hour later, I’m thankful to see Penny. I feel beat. I hadn’t even been the one doing all of the work, but I feel like I climbed Mount Everest. Aching everywhere—I was happy to get back to my room.