Rebecca puts marathon mindset to use

Rebecca puts marathon mindset to use

Rebecca was just twenty-four years of age when she suffered her first stroke, discovering that she had polycythemia, a rare blood disorder which causes the blood to thicken, increasing the risk of clotting and bleeding. Since that life-altering moment, Rebecca has been on blood thinners and aspirin, and undergone venesection procedures, where blood is removed from the body to manage her condition.

It was Rebecca’s second stroke at age 44 that led to her experience at MetroRehab Hospital (now known as Royal Rehab Private Petersham.

“I suffered a series of minor strokes which led me to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital 3 times. I started my rehab at MetroRehab as an outpatient for only a week before I was back in hospital due to an internal bleed and unfortunately had a major stroke there. After spending a total of 7 weeks in the ICU, I was released from hospital and was straight back into rehab at MetroRehab.”

Rebecca commenced MetroRehab’s inpatient program just before Christmas and spent a total of three weeks at the hospital. Having had a stroke in the past, Rebecca was aware of the work ahead of her and was proactive in her approach to rehab.

I knew I was going to need to work with the right healthcare professionals, so I was the first person to put my hand up for rehab. MetroRehab Hospital was a recommendation through RPA’s stroke ward. With such a fantastic reputation, a senior team and so close to home, I knew exactly what I wanted and what I had to do.”

When Rebecca commenced her inpatient program, she had no function on the left side of her body and could not walk. After only three weeks, she was able to walk and go to the bathroom independently. Her long-term goals include returning to some of her hobbies which include running, swimming, and driving.

“I had to relearn the whole motion of standing up and taking steps. At the time, I didn’t know whether walking was even possible. The part of being in rehab during Christmas and New Year’s was those goals were achieved during a pivotal time, so yes, for Christmas I got to go to the toilet on my own and I could walk there!”

Rebecca’s program consisted of a range of allied health therapies including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, hydrotherapy, and psychology. She notes herself as someone who is self-motivating and credits the team’s support for her progress.

“If I want to achieve something, I’ll put my mind to it. This applied to me in marathons and applies to me in rehab! Taking that mentality into this real-life situation has meant my recovery has been fast and I feel like I can achieve these goals, even if they are lofty.”

Rebecca also credits her husband and extended family for their ongoing support.

“I’m very lucky because I had an amazing group of physiotherapists with me on this journey, a very supportive family and an incredible husband. I can’t thank my husband enough and I am very lucky to have him as my wingman.”

Following discharge, Rebecca attended the day program at MetroRehab Hospital twice a week with regular physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and occupational therapy to continue to improve her mobility and fine motor skills and the goal of “getting some sort of normal back”. This included driving, going out to the shops and getting back to running.

“I was told by other patients that I’m a real motivator. That made me happy and all the more motivated!”

For more information about Royal Rehab Private Petersham, please contact us on (02) 8585 4900.

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