(This blog tells my family's story. To see more, click "blog" at the top of this webpage.)
Three days after her second neck surgery, Beth left intensive care on a stretcher in an ambulance.
The rehab center in Toledo had a pediatric wing with six hospital beds in one room. Next to us, a little girl with a brain injury made unhappy sounds in a bed with high rails.
We had moved from a private room in intensive care with constant checks by nurses to...waiting. Waiting for a water pitcher and a cup. Waiting for a box of tissues to wipe away my escaping tears. Waiting for everything, anything. The first day held an eternity of disappointing moments.
How was this the magical place where Beth would regain at least a little strength?
The second morning in rehab, a nurse and I transferred my daughter from the bed to a wheelchair with difficulty. I pushed her down the hall to the first physical therapy session. During another long wait, I tilted the chair back to alleviate her dizziness. She had major adjustments to make--including the transition to a sitting position.
When it was our turn, the therapist said little and moved Beth to a mat table. The therapist solved the immediate, inevitable dizziness by returning her to the wheelchair and tilting the chair back. Done.
We considered other rehab choices in northwest Ohio, not realizing that top-ranked centers farther away also were an option. Beth made the decision to transfer to the St. Francis Center to work with a physical therapist who was an expert on spinal cord injuries. When we traveled by ambulance again, our destination was the tiny town of Green Springs, a fifteen-minute drive from home.
It was a decision we would not regret.
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