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October 31, 2012 / angelavbolton

Week Four at NRH

Robert as a baby with his father, also Robert – or Robbie, I think he may have been called

It’s hard to believe that we’re into Robert’s fourth week at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, and it serves to remind me what a long road lies ahead and how slow progress is – and will continue to be. This placement which we so vigorously sought is now nearly a month old and the time has flown.

At a meeting last week Robert’s recovery goals were discussed and the inevitable ‘Catch 22s’ to be solved: he needs round-the-clock observation because of his tracheostomy but needs peace and quiet for SMART – so that hasn’t started yet as he’s in a shared ward. However, I’m told that this kind of situation has been faced before and they seem confident it can be worked out.

The other catch is that Robert gets extra oxygen and, while he tolerates being without that quite well and will need to be weaned off it at some point, it’s possible that without it he may be less wakeful – and for SMART he needs to be at his most alert.

In the meantime he is receiving physio, occupational and music therapy, and has had one medication change.

I see him every day and can tell he’s doing okay, he seems comfortable and well looked-after. I still play guitar and sing for him (just not as audibly), read to him and do my usual mini-therapies. The journey in and out by bus does take about 3 hours in total and that can be tiring but knowing he’s where he needs to be is all that I want. Tiredness is nothing in comparison to that.

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