Tuesday, April 18, 2006

We keep moving along

Today Robb and his occupational therapist Marcella went out on a public transportation adventure. They walked down the lake, caught a bus, took the bus to the BART train, and then took a shuttle to the Alta Bates rehabilitation center. (We are beginning the process of shopping for an outpatient rehabilitation facility for when Robb is mobile enough to not need therapy that comes to him.)

Challenges included:
  • The BART turnstile that tried to eat Robb. It clamped down on his hips because he was so slow going through.
  • Using escalators for the first time. We take them for granted, but these things move quickly, and require a good deal of coordination.
  • The bus driver who seemed to be late for an appointment. The bus pulled up, overshot the stop, and the driver was very keen to get back on the road. Marcella was intentionally slow with everything she did to allow Robb time to get on the bus, use his new handicapped bus pass thingamajiggy, and get seated.
  • Teenagers who hog up the handicapped seats.
They avoided the biggest hurdle, by using the Alta Bates hospital shuttle. Robb figures that walking those additional seventeen blocks would probably have taken a total of two hours.

As it was, the plans we made to get together for lunch came to nothing. As with so much in our lives these days, things took so much longer than we anticipated, and Robb's therapy session was coming to a close. Marcella had to go work with her other clients.

It was a still beautiful and sunny when I got home, so we went for a slow mosey around the neighborhood.

A few Updates

Robb's surgeon just changed the weight limits for what Robb is allowed to lift. Previously, Robb was only permitted to lift between five and seven pounds, and now he may lift twenty five pounds. This is a real milestone, and will make cooking a lot easier. A stockpot of water is heavy! A pint's a pound, the world around, after all...

Robb's physiatrist has ordered electrical stimulation devices for use in physical therapy.

I don't have to guard Robb so closely when he climbs the stairs. His physical therapist is confident in his balance when he has a handrail. I still offer him a hand on stairs without rails.

But the really big news is that we've actually found a urologist who will accept Robb as a patient.

This has been so frustrating for us. There really isn't a urologist in all of the Bay Area who will accept worker's compensation insurance. Every single spinal cord injury involves issues of bowel and bladder, and so it would seem logical that workers who suffer these kinds of injuries would not have a lot of trouble finding a doctor. Up until this point, we have had no luck at all finding a urologist willing to accept our insurance.

This is a real eye opener. Just because you have insurance -- just because you have very, very good insurance -- doesn't mean that a doctor may be willing to accept you as a patient. Sobering.

Thanks to the tenacity of our insurance case workers and the therapy team (among others), we've actually managed to schedule a doctor's appointment. The doctor who will be seeing us told our insurance company that they don't accept workers' compensation. We don't know how our case workers managed to change the doctor's policy, but we are so very thankful that this has finally been resolved.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey there again- glad to hear you have been making the most of public transport.

I have a few ideas on how to make this easier. Have Robb dress in an old army jacket, that way the "patriotism factor" will help you out. Invent a tale of how he single handedly wrestled into capture -1 Saddam, 2 Osama, 3 any other werido seen to be a threat to the usa, according to bush. Tell people he's a war vet and people will give him a seat. If they dont- kick them.

If all else fails, attach a taser to the walker/cane and that will get those kids jumping out of the seat for him, pronto.

I LOVE public transport just for this reason. I'm not going to be explicit, except to say, taking bus rides has taken me to all sorts of new places I had never been before, (cause I usually got on the wrong bus) and I got to make lots of cool discoveries.

I think Robb could get a job as a writer, traveling around and writing reports on the accessibility of places by bus when aided by a walker.

see you later- My daffodils are opening up here nicely in Michigan-

Did you ever do anything with those sunflower seeds?


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