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July 15, 2021 / bikesbytesbites

Visit to a Rehab Center

Yesterday, I visited a friend who is recovering from a stroke he suffered in June. I’m glad I could visit and spend some time with him, but (sigh) he has a long way to go to recover. My visit was included on the Caring Bridge site dedicated to my friend. I’m reposting my report here, obscuring his name:

I met D through bicycling. During the pandemic, we sometimes managed to go on rides on weekdays, meeting around 4:15 PM in Dupont Circle or, occasionally, at his place.  The rides were limited to around 15 miles, and I remember visiting some temporary installations including the Flag of Fields, to commemorate Covid deaths in the US, and some of the Cherry Blossom sculptures that were on display this spring. Some of my favorite sites on a bicycle ride that we didn’t get to– because they are at the outskirts of DC and we were always near its middle — are the DC boundary stones. But what-the-hell – Adventist Rehab Center is near Boundary Stone Northeast 2 (near the Takoma metro), so I took a picture to show to D.

I got to Adventist just in time to share an elevator to the fifth floor with a physical therapist who knew D.  (Sorry, should remember the name and her exact position.) We talked a little about physical therapy, me all the time thinking about the skill and patience required to treat patients with severe brain injuries.  My thoughts were reinforced moments later – I got to D’s room at the same time as his physical therapist arrived for their morning session.

Today, they worked on a new way for D to transfer from his bed to the wheelchair. The wheelchair’s moving parts needed a little lubrication, for which WD-40 was the preferred lubricant.  (Sorry, inside joke for bike riders.) Today was the first time (I think) that D partly wheeled himself down the hall from his room to the therapy room. They also worked on some new exercises to strengthen his core and improve his balance.

After the therapy session we returned to his room. We talked for a while. I discovered that D is not a science fiction/Star Trek fan.  That’s too bad, because he couldn’t appreciate my reference/attempt at a joke:  Critics frequently remark on the futuristic technology that was commonplace in the Star Trek universe.  In particular one thing that the Star Trek designers seem to have gotten right, er, close to reality, are the communicators.  (We call them phones.) But the one thing in real life that I wish bore more resemblance to its Star Trek counterpart is medical treatment.  Where are Dr. Beverly Crusher, Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy, or even the Emergency Medical Hologram when you need them?  More important, that procedure whereby Mr. Spock’s brain was reconnected to his body would come in real handy right now. (Sorry, inside joke for Star Trek fans.)

PT must have been exhausting. After a short talk, and a visit from a doctor, D said he was tired and needed to get some sleep. So I left, unlocked the bike, and rode home.


Leave a Comment
  1. rootchopper / Jul 15 2021 10:12 pm

    The Field of Flags is coming to the National Mall. Saw an article in the WaPo

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