Firstly apologies for not having communicated in such a long time since my previous post. I have got used to being off the vent fully and breathing self sufficiently, I’ve got my appetite back, and gained some weight. I’ve also lost the trachy and the hole is healing well with just a scab to show and a huge belly button looking crater.

On Friday Ellen and I were visited by Polly, Olivia and cousin Fred. We visited the Occupational Therapy Centre to try out the ‘Smart Nav’ technology which would enable me to use a computer. This uses a metallic sticker on my forehead to reflect an infa-red beam which controls the mouse. Everyone was impressed at how successfully it worked. We also tried ‘Dragon’ which is a speech recognition tool with which we had moderate success. Olivia and Fred both brought wonderful CDs which have entertained me greatly. 

Two days ago I moved downstairs into St David’s ward from St Andrew’s whose friendly staff we will all sorely miss. The new ward is a rehab ward as oppose to an acute ward therefore the focus is on preparation for living outside the hospital. Now with more physio I shall gain muscle bulk in my shoulders and neck. 

The new room is huge to accommodate gym equipment as I’m not allowed in the gym due to my MRAB superbug infection status (similar to MRSA- it only effects seriously ill people with weak immune systems).

Yesterday I tried out my first powered wheelchair. This is controlled by the chin. I’ve been practicing since, in the process causing much mayhem around the ward. The powered chair allows me to have much greater independance and is possibly one of the most gratifying steps of recovery so far.

Fred and Tom visited yesterday from Oxford – two of my oldest and best friends. Although we did very little it felt amazing to hang out with old mates, as I would have before. We spent the day chatting as friends do and wandering around the hospital grounds.

Other visits include Tom Ernst, Ellen’s cousins Emily and Jo with Matt and Dan, Wheezy and Dad. All of whom attended a picnic on a field opposite the A&E entrance of the hospital. This was a brilliant day.

On another day I took a trip to the chippie down the road with Tom Ernst and Ellen and ate a lovely greasy battered sausage with Ellen on a park bench.

Ollie and mum visited this weekend after Ollie finished his exams. We had a great conversation about life priorities and relationships.

Other visits which I’ve appreciated include Laura, Raj, Cedric, Ivan, Babak, Matt, Riaz, Jay and Vicky, Barbara and Claudia and Kennah.

Today my cousin Luke, who’s living in California, visited and we caught up.

Special thanks to Mandy, Jay and Vicky and Will and Anna for the parcels and everyone else who sent cards and wrote comments on the website.

Sorry if I’ve forgotten anything but Polly’s fed up of typing!

Lots of love and best wishes to all.

7 thoughts on “Rehab”

  1. Tom – yet another milestone in that this whole update is from you directly – with the help of your wonderful and lovely assistant … It is true that all of us log on regularly and enjoy staying in close touch with you this way. A hug from Tom

  2. Hi Tom

    It is lovely to hear your news. The new gadgets sound fab and it is great to hear you are out and about more.
    I will be in England next month and am very tempted to go down the chippy for a greasy battered sausage!
    Let us know when you are ready for a Thai curry.

    Love Joy

  3. Excellent Tom, look forward to seeing you again soon crusing!
    We should do a feature based loosely on pimp my ride and fit bad ass subwoofers on your chair and drop some old school euphoria -i see raj doing the hosting for the show, sometimes he really reminds me of xzibit.


  4. Gary sounds like a bit of a legend. what a mental idea. But i want to co-host with Raj. I suspect i am a better MC anywho. Sweet news about the wheeler. Lotta maple syrup coming ur way. Seeyafe

  5. Hi Tom, really glad to see your getting better, I’m proud of you mate. Great photos and site!! I’m working close to stoke mandeville at the moment, so if you need any favours then let me know. Hope to see you soon Nod, Best wishes from the Townsends 🙂

  6. Tom,

    I was told about what happened by Tom Ernst whilst talking about freeskiing at one of the recent bathtub race meetings… quality to see you’re getting out and about again and fair play on the rapid recovery! Keep up the good work, and get someone to bring you some fish and chips from the chippy in Princes Risborough cos it’s way better than Stoke Mandeville!

    Will send some tunes your way too. Peace.

    Joe from TAPS

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