The therapies are short and frequent. Sometimes I only have five minutes in between.
After waiting in vain on Thursday for transport for the Corona test at the rehabilitation clinic, I spent the Friday in quarantine at the rehabilitation clinic WIEN Baumgarten. They only have single rooms. The clinic was opened in 2013 and claims to be the most modern rehabilitation clinic in Austria. In 2017 they extended from orthopaedic to add a neurology department.
The male nurse served me meals in my room until the results of the Corona test in the evening. Then I was permitted to leave the room wearing a protective mask. He gave me a lanyard with a chip for the room and suggested I take a look around.
The Red Cross brought me here and I really had to laugh when they could not drive into the underground carpark due to just 2m overhead. All my trouble trying to get the transportation and then the approved carrier couldn’t even comply with their conditions to drive down into the basement! (previous article) even though it was apparently their smallest car.
They parked in front of the clinic and immediately an assistant came out to ask my name. The ambulance staff then rode me down into the basement in the transport chair where we waited for the doors to open for the corona testing. There were already people waiting to be admitted. The ambulance staff waited patiently with me until finally somebody came and opened the glass doors. We were admitted one by one. The ambulance staff had to leave me at the door. They handed over my luggage and allowed me to step out of the transport chair just inside the glass doors. Lunch and dinner in the room. Therapy plan had meal times only. First medical examination by telephone interview. Monday physical examination. New therapy plan available lunchtime Monday. First therapy Tuesday morning.
So the first four days of the twenty-two therapy days were meals only, one virtual medical and one physical.
Then extensive therapies. Not long or intense. The intensity came with the frequency. Endurance training, strength training, group gymnastics, water gymnastics, physiotherapy, individual physiotherapy, step analysis, psychological lecture, accident prevention lecture, spine structure lecture, lymph drainage massage, electric current therapy.
All in all I was impressed with the various therapies and therapists. The motor track to bend and stretch the knee felt just right. The lymph drainage surprised me pleasantly. So they do give lymph drainage for rehabilitation! (Remembering my experience at the health cure last year when I was told the health department does not cover lymph drainage.) My knee is still quite swollen and numb. I notice incremental improvement.
You can buy a package for extra laundry services or wellness area. I recognize this is a business enterprise which needs to run economically. I was expecting to be able to go swimming every day, but apart from the extra charges they are extorting, the corona virus has meant rationing spots to just eight people at a time, with registration required for monitoring.
So, after the discussion with the lady doctor over the phone on Friday, I’m just grateful that the personal medical examination resulted in water therapy being prescribed afterall.
The doctor listened and was encouraging. So was the physiotherapist. I put away the crutches straight after the personal medical exam on Monday. Next day I was really sore and understood why he suggested waiting with the reduction in pain therapy. I really need to get mobile and this whole process is a distinct challenge.
I marvel at the people who press all the buttons when they call the lift and then get into the one with the arrow going down when they want to go up. The people waiting at the bottom groan when the lift finally arrives with four people in it and only one gets out. There’s a bottleneck every half hour as treatments start. People complain about the lifts. Some people take the stairs. I’m doing that occasionally.
Each morning now I walk down to the first floor where I’ve discovered a scale to weigh myself before breakfast. I measure my blood pressure and write it down. Then I walk down straight into the dining room. When you wait in line for your assigned meal time they check each one coming in. If you are seen anywhere without a mask somebody reminds you to put it on. Every day there is an announcement over the loud-speaker system informing us of the changed conditions due to corona. The imposed regulations are prescribed by the Austrian government and thus compulsory.
I continue feeling incremental improvement. The knee is still swollen and partially numb. The numb area seems to be getting smaller millimetre wise each day. I guess the swelling has also gone down. In fact, that really surprised me after the first lymph drainage session. My whole left leg was swollen, not just the knee. I can see a big difference between my two legs. But now the left foot is less swollen than before.
My right knee is really playing up now. I fight the anger and resentment about the lack of a new appointment for the second knee operation. I recognize the power of gratitude, prayer and a positive attitude. Then I have a meal with a lady who had her hip operation by the same surgeon who did my knee. She informs me that his private rooms are not far from the railway station. So I take heart and realise in faith, all can and will be well.
The meals too, surprise me: Summer smoothie, chia pudding, elderberry compote. I feel like I’m getting special doses of exquisite vitamins to support my health recovery. So apart from my own supplements, I revel in the gifts of nature here in Austria. Or do you get this in Australia too?