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Continued Progress in Rehab

April 14, 2008 Steve Patterson 6 Comments

For those just tuning in, I had a stoke on Feb 1st. Following a few weeks in ICU, I began the long rehab process. I started rehab at SSM REHAB/ST. Mary’s just days after coming out of sedation. The therapists there were able to get some limited movement on the left side of my body (see video done by my friend Antonio French). While there I was still very much a medical patient — feeding tube and all. On the 21st of March I switched to Missouri Rehabilitation Center in Mt. Vernon, MO for additional care.
Here they practice tough love — if the staff knows you can do something for yourself then they will not do it for you. For example, I am expected to dress myself each day — no small feat when you only have the use of one arm/hand. The trick is having the days clothes next to the bed. Now that I can move my left leg it makes putting on pants so much easier. In the last week I have one new article to put on — a custom made AFO (ankle-foot orthosis). This brace helps me in walking by keeping my left foot from dropping and dragging as I walk.

Speaking of walking, earlier today I handed my camera to my physical therapist so he could take video of me as I walked down the hall with student intern Barry right next to me holding onto the “gait” belt they have around my upper body. At SSM I was just starting to move my leg so the therapist had to push my left leg forward for each step.
This video is just at a minute in length. I’m doing pretty well during most of it but I get tripped up a bit near the end. The voice you hear is my physical therapist Geoff who is always working hard challenging me to push myself.


Before the video was taken I had walked the short distance from my room to breakfast & lunch. I had also had a morning PT session in which they exercised my left leg to increase movement and build strength. We had also just completed another walk in the hallway where Geoff was timing me — I was just short of 1mph. By this point my muscles were a bit fatigued. After we did this walk I did a short flight of stairs (3 risers) and a couple of curbs of different heights. I’ve now walked on all sorts of surfaces including grass, wood chips, gravel and foam.

Over the last two weekends I left the facility four times for meals with a friend and one of my brothers. Transferring from a wheelchair to a vehicle and back is relatively easy now. Everything is getting easier although a lot is learning how to work around physical limitations. A good seat cushion on the wheelchair helps too!

The old saying, ‘That which does not kill you makes you stronger’ is so true. Only a strong person can endure the reality of recovering from a stroke. If you would have told me on January 31st what I would face in the following three months I would have told you I could not handle it at all. But I have found the drive to move forward and do what it takes to get my life back.
So while my full recovery will be measured in years I am pleased with my progress these last five+ weeks. Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers.

Make note:  I will be a guest on KDHX again on the 28th (7pm) and I will be back at home downtown before May.   In the meantime I still have a lot more walking to do.


Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. john w. says:

    Walk on.

  2. Brad Mello says:

    Dear Steve,

    Your progress amazes me! I’ll have to call off the “team” I was going to hire to motivate you. You look so good buddy. I am happy for you.


  3. john says:

    Good job. When you’re ready please bring some of that tough love to your writings and perhaps the StL public can start to get the right message: Quit depending on more government and “better” leadership to solve your problems. Change can only begin when the natives insist on it.

  4. Dawn says:

    You look awesome. Can’t wait to have you back!

  5. Dionna says:

    YAY, Steve!!! That’s awesome.
    You’re doing a great job, picking up speed all the time.

    We miss you and can’t wait for your return!!!

  6. ella says:

    Amplification systems for hearing impaired:- hardwired system: not used much today, child wears earphones and plugs into a system on the desk therefore allowing no mobility, teacher wears handheld microphone, sound child hears is different from hearing aids.
    Alcohol Rehab


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