Moving my son to in-patient rehab - this Mama Bear has questions! — Reeve Connect
Reeve en Español
Comunidad de información y apoyo para las personas que viven con parálisis y sus cuidadores en español.

Moving my son to in-patient rehab - this Mama Bear has questions!

My son's injury was 12 weeks ago today. He is an L1 complete paraplegic, due to a suicide attempt of jumping from a 100ft bridge onto concrete.

He is just now fully weight bearing as tolerated on his arms. The pins, sutures and casts have been removed recently. He doesn't have full rotation at this point, and may not. The facility he's moving to for rehab said their average stay is 3-5 days, but that some stay for up to 4 weeks. They received the referral packet, they know what he's been doing, what he's capable of at this point - see that OT is getting a shower or playing Yahtzee, that PT is them working his legs - and they seriously think they can get him to the point where he's 'ready' after only 4 weeks?

I don't know if they're naive or if they're boastful thinking they can rehab him and build up strength and skills to be able to transfer, dress himself, maneuver, get up from a fallen position, bowel program, etc.

What should we expect, what should we look for? What are things he may not be able to do? What are signs that maybe they're not doing all they should be?


  • Monica.T
    Monica.T Member Posts: 105 ✭✭
    25 Likes 10 Comments 5 Awesomes Photogenic

    If your son is a minor they may let you or other family member stay with him. Rehab may actually agree that your son will need more than 4 weeks, but [most] insurance only pays for 4 weeks in rehab hospital, and the rehab physician will have to fight to get the 4 weeks.

    In my son's case there was no games - he had therapy 3 to 4 times a day but therapy actually began as soon as he woke up, a nurse would come into the room and help him sit upright while teaching me the correct way to help him (had to learn not to pull on him in any way) then cath him, then move him into a wheelchair - while not in therapy nurses also helped him with brushing his teeth , showering and dressing , so basically he was always learning. After 4 weeks he could finally sit up without falling over and was using his arms some - the rehab doctor and therapists wanted him to stay longer but insurance refused. So we went home with in-home therapy sit up to begin the following week.

    Rehab is only the first step in getting "ready" - this is all so overwhelming the time spent in rehab is (in my opinion) very necessary for building strength, learning the skills to help transition to home and for the doctors and therapists to gather important information to help determine the direction treatment and therapy should move toward.

    Also, if I may, since your son attempted suicide make sure he will receive professional concealing while in rehab, his injury is going to add to his already fragile emotional health.

    Talk with his rehab doctors and therapists, together you can form a schedule for your son while he is there, to help him receive as much therapy as possible while there.

  • Monica.T
    Monica.T Member Posts: 105 ✭✭
    25 Likes 10 Comments 5 Awesomes Photogenic

    BelieveInBailey I realized my first comment may not have been much help on what to expect.

    My son was transferred by ambulance from the hospital to the Rehab hospital, at first we were told his stay would be five days - our first day there after getting checked in and seen by the doctor he was allowed to rest while I filled out a lot of paper work. The next day was spent meeting with his therapists, going to the therapy rooms and being evaluated for what he could and could not do. By the end of the day he received his schedule.

    Every day from the time he woke up he was doing something that would help him prepare for when he would go home. The first few days he had one on one therapy for everything but after a week he began group therapy once a day.

    It was on his fourth day there that the doctor informed us about the insurance policy of only paying for a limited number of days, but said he was requesting more time, he couldn't guarantee insurance would approve it, but they did, the doctor had to do that every five days.

    While in Rehab my son had PT  twice a day and OT once a day, sometimes more. With rest times in between each session, a session was usually an hour long. When not resting nurses and OT therapists were in his room helping him learn self care.

    Physical therapy was often painful and OT was often frustrating but within days we could see it was beginning to help.

    Take a notebook or journal to rehab, you'll be learning new terms and will want to jot down things the doctors and therapists tell you.

    I hope this helps answer some of your questions.

  • BelieveInBailey
    BelieveInBailey Member Posts: 18
    10 Comments Photogenic Name Dropper
    Thank you. My son is 23. He has already received 12 weeks of OT and PT in the hospital, but is now in an in-patient unit for more intense sessions. He will have 4 a day, 2 PT and 2 OT. The hospital is setting us up with SCI classes. 

    Staff thus far seems very nice - they're already working him hard, which he's not so sure of yet. He has many mental disorders and conditions. Time will tell as to whether or not they know how to relate to him. 
  • Monica.T
    Monica.T Member Posts: 105 ✭✭
    25 Likes 10 Comments 5 Awesomes Photogenic

    BelieveInBailey Sounds like you found a good rehab facility, my son has learning disabilities, I was amazed at how well the staff interacted with him and at how well he responded to them. I'll be praying that your son has a good and productive experience. And gains strength and healing.

    I know it seems rushed but now is a good time to start planning his transition home, what specialized equipment will he need, will he need in-home nursing care, will the furniture need to be moved around to accommodate his wheelchair, if he will be getting a hospital bed, will he need an access ramp to get into the house, stuff like that ... and since it takes time to arrange to get such things set up and approved by insurance ; though it seems overwhelming, now is a good time to start planning and figuring out what he will need, where to get it.

    Also - don't feel rushed into getting a wheelchair, he will probably come home in a (insurance covered) rental chair .... use that chair for as long as possible, because after a few months the dynamics of his body will begin to change and even the slightest change effects wheelchair comfort. (we were rushed into making a decision and got stuck with a wheelchair my son can barely use). So take your time and consult experts and therapists about choosing a wheelchair that will meet his needs.

    Keep in mind that insurance will only cover the cost of a new wheelchair once every five years ..... So take time making that decision.

    Wishing you peace of mind  and days that help you to smile.

Sign In or Register to comment.