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JACK SIMPSON: Adjusting to the new daily routine

Jack Simpson

Jack Simpson

Another day in rehab. Thank the good Lord for all of the professionals in the health care business. Where do they find some of these truly dedicated professionals?

With each passing 24 hours, I meet some new person so anxious to serve and to ensure my comfort and safety. It amazes me to see the training these people have.

Just a few days ago, I had never heard of Nancy, Susanna, Shirley, Frank, Tim, Vera, Amy, Mercedes, Angela and GeeGee. Now they have become part of my daily routine and without them, my day would be hell. They, and a host of others I still do not fully know, are trying to restore an old lawman to maximal physical functioning.

Until you suffer a knee injury (mine was caused by a fall on the rifle range) you may not fully appreciate how important is a fully functioning knee. The staff at the Transitional Care Unit at Morgan Memorial Hospital in Madison make one's visit as pleasant as possible under the pain and suffering of a shattered kneecap.

Right now I guess I have met some pretty impressive administrators, nurses, physical therapists, dietary and housekeeping folks. Of course, I've been here too short of a time to be able to call all members of the fine team by name. I know by how the staff is meeting my needs that they are certified, licensed professionals.

One thing that attracted me to this facility, besides the recommendation of my surgeon, is the private room with television, phone and air conditioning. Another nice feature is the quality of the food. I have not had a bad meal yet!

Amy Utz takes your order and delivers a tasty meal. And she and her staff are so very helpful and supportive. Just last night, it was rice, baked chicken, broccoli and a fruit cup, with some unsweet tea to drink. The rolls are tasty, too.

Even in a situation where a fellow cannot move without help, family members try to bring some normalcy into the picture.

Just outside my room window is a bird feeder, so one of the first things my son and daughter did was go to Walmart, obtain some seed and fill that feeder. Now I can enjoy my birdwatching almost like back at home.

The staff has provided a sheet of exercises I can do in my bed when they are not busy putting me through my paces. I can do the straight leg raise. I try to bend one leg, keep the knee straight and lift the leg in the air. Or, I can practice ankle pumps. I bend the ankles up and down, alternating feet. If those two exercises do not wear me out, then I can try the gluteal squeezes. All the while stopping regularly to provide the staff with my vital signs.

So, whoever tells you life is dull in a rehab facility has not been to Morgan Memorial TCU, a place that provides care with a heart. Those who don't know just don't comprehend the fun of sitting, lying or standing squeezing your buttocks together while counting to 10 out loud. Let's see, where was I ... seven, eight, nine, 10. Repeat. One, two, three ...

Jack Simpson is a former educator, veteran, author and law enforcement officer. His column appears each Friday. For past columns, visit www.rockdalecitizen.com or www.newtoncitizen.com.