Healing With Physio

‘Living day in and day out with tetras and paras [tetraplegics and paraplegics] all in the same Rehab Nursing Home together gave great emotional support to me and my family who were with me all the time. All the patients and their few family members who lived here ate together, exercised together, shared each others’ experiences together, moaned and wept together, and laughed together. The emotional acceptance of my ghastly condition became a little easier, since I started feeling, “I am not alone in this.” We would chat and tell our stories to each other.

The days of my routine of rehabilitation continued at my nursing home. My body flopped like a rag doll when lifted, and I felt utterly dehumanized because of this, but everyone assured me that after six months with the intensive physiotherapy programme I was receiving, I would be a different person. At the time I did not have much faith in what they said but because the nurses and physios were so encouraging and dedicated, and coaxed me to give my all, I was most regular about going to my physio and swimming sessions. I enjoyed them thoroughly because it meant exercising my body which I had always done before my accident, being a very sporty person. So this sudden breakdown of my body and lack of control over it was very humiliating for me, having been so independent before.’

Shanoor Forbes, 67, quadriplegic