Swimming therapy and a proud brother
This morning, I had to get up at 7 AM. One of the former workplaces of my physiotherapist Esther is the Asklepios Klinik in Falkenstein, and so she had organized that we can use their swimming pool! Back in the days when I was in rehab, I could occasionally use the pool they had there, but it was under maintenance pretty much most of the time. At home I can use the outdoor swimming pool of our extremely generous neighbours who live across the street. But as I can’t move by myself, the outdoor temperature has to be above 30°C minimum for me to be able to go there without getting cold right away.
So I got up early, took my morning medication, got dressed in my neoprene swimming trunks (very sexy) and had a quick breakfast. My father came along, he is always very excited when it comes to something new! Andrzej, my caretaker, also came along to help where necessary.
When our transport service arrived at the parking lot of the clinic in Falkenstein suddenly the hand control of my electronic wheelchair wouldn’t work. Since this wasn’t the first time that this has happened, we already knew what to do. We had to deactivate the electric motor of my wheelchair and push by hand. Nonetheless, this came once again at the most inconvenient of all situations!
Esther had also already arrived and helped pushing me inside. Even though she quit her job there six years ago, everyone seemed to know her and greeted her warmly. We got into the elevator and I could already catch a glimpse of the spacious indoor pool.
But first of all, I had to be transferred onto a therapy bank in the locker room. Thanks to the great transfer skills of Andrzej, he made this in the blink of an eye. I was undressed and got transferred onto a terribly uncomfortable plastic wheelchair. Thank God the pool was in the room next door. There, with the help of another lifter, finally I was in the water!
All this time, Esther didn’t let me go and watched very cautiously that nothing would happen. She moved me up and down the swimming pool, and of course my father filmed and took plenty of photos, as he does all the time.
The feeling of water all around my body is very pleasant, because at least my back is always touching the wheelchair. There, I can feel weightless.
After approximately 50 minutes in the water we decide to go out again. Once more onto the painful plastic shower chair, on which Andrzej washes me. He dresses me, dries my hair, and lifts me back into my wheelchair.
We said goodbye to Esther and I get pushed back outside and into the transport van that already waits outside.
We drive back home where my mother is awaiting us with the chin control, that I normally use when I drive by myself. We have to rush because my sister Nina has her final oral examination for her psychotherapist apprenticeship, which kept her busy the last 10 years! In the final two years, my accident came on top. To top it off, last autumn she and her husband had a pipe break in their flat.
Our transport service drops us at the car park of the shopping centre, next to which Nina has her exam. Even though we are very punctual, we rush upstairs, my father doing all this with my chin control. Once we are in front of the building, where the exam takes place, we meet three friends with their three little children, two of which are godchildren of Nina! And of course her husband Otto.
The wait seems to go for ages for us all. Because it is quite windy, we decide to go inside the building where we take various group pictures and my father starts preparing the champagne he brought for this celebratory occasion.
We wait and wait, and finally there she is! She seems exhausted and relieved at the same time and immediately tells us, that she has gotten a 2, which is the second best grade one can get and extremely rare in her profession.
My dad pours the bubbly and we decide to go outside as the sun comes out. Christina, Nina’s eldest friend had baked her special marble cake that they used to have at their various children’s birthday parties. And it was delicious as always! One of her examiners who at the same time was her supervisor passed by, lifting his hat in front of her.
My parents and I have to leave as our transport service is waiting, and since Otto has to go back to work to his clinic (he only came out during his lunch break), Nina decides to go back home with us.
At home, I hand out to Nina a silver frame with a picture of the two of us that my mom has taken two weeks before in my order. Nina is very pleased and falls around my neck! Luckily, she didn’t get suspicious when my mom took the picture.
What an exciting day!