Chris Currie tells us more about his recovery journey after being diagnosed with bowel cancer in September 2016 and then having a major stroke. You can find part 1 of his story here.
On 20th December 2016, I was then transferred to an inpatient rehab centre, where I spent 6 weeks trying to learn how to do the basics of living. Still in a wheelchair but slowly trying a quadstick aid to try and get around. It was a breath of fresh air being moved to somewhere smaller and quieter so I could leave King’s hospital behind and really focus on my intense daily rehab.
The transitioning period was hard. The first night when I was admitted there, when I was settling into the 8-bed bay ward; I remember looking around and seeing other guys walking around the bay and corridor going to the shower room unaided with their towels and washbags. I was thinking how can they do that and I’m laying here not being able to do much on my own at all, that was hard to watch. It was noisy so they moved me to my own room which was better with a window plus more space. I didn’t want to isolate myself from the groups as this was all part of finding and rebuilding myself again plus making friends, so the experience is enjoyable too. I just thought I needed to settle in first. I must say though breakfast was very good, I asked for double portions of eggs sausages and toast as I am a tall guy and needed the weight gain at this point. I was looking forward to 7am each day but I knew it was only for a short time, as I wanted to eat well everyday once I got up to my desired weight. Mind you, my shelf full of carbs and treats kept looking at me!
As time went on, I was settling in well, making friends and having a laugh which was a great feeling. My physio Ana Santos was great, she knew my sporting/fitness background, so I said I want to be able to get back to what I love doing. I also said I wanted to go home, she said give me 6 weeks and let’s see how you go after then. Ana got me working hard in the neuro gym, with slow movements of learning my gait pattern with a quadstick, plus strengthening exercises which was challenging, but good for me to start reigniting those neural pathways.
I was allowed to go home at the weekend’s and for Xmas in Dec 2016 which was nice; but coming back was hard. I knew it was the place I needed to be to get stronger. A new year and on a Monday, I spoke to my OT whilst we were having a kitchen practice session in the morning. She said Chris you look like you want to tell me something. I said ‘I want to go home’ she said: ‘you can’t leave me.’ I told her I would come back to see them all.
After 3 months in hospital on 27th January 2017, I was discharged as I felt that my recovery would accelerate being at home, having a physio and an Occupational Therapist come to the house every day. I spent a further 6 months in a wheelchair eventually getting out of it on 17th February 2017 to attempt my very first outdoor steps on the tarmac. Unsteady, but progressing forward.
This is the second part of Chris’s story on his road to recovery, look out for part 3!
Chris’s pulsin top picks
Chris Currie Cancer and Stroke survivor with a goal of becoming a fitness and health advocate. He is currently rebuilding from the ground up, with a deep passion for passing on his life lessons to others. Chris is a firm believer that if you take mini vision micro steps towards any obstacle challenge or goal, you will find a new path that will guide you to help manage anxieties. Cementing new habits and installing positivity into your subconscious mind.