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Raising the Bar in Rehab

Love and Marriage

Published September 22, 2011 11:49 AM by

I got married today. It was a magical day, filled with love and laughter of our family. We decided to make the celebration a small gathering, with only our parents, siblings and grandparents present as we exchanged vows. The day before the wedding, our families drove to our home, each bringing a contribution to the festivities. My mother brought a trunk full of flowers from the farmers market, which we placed in vases and made a bouquet for me to carry. My mother-in-law brought cedar benches for our guests to sit on during the ceremony and for lunch. My sister brought the cakes - both a wedding cake and a groom's cake, decorated with a Green Bay Packer logo! My dad brought the drinks and my stepdad made a beautiful cedar archway for the ceremony.

Everyone helped us chop vegetables, grill tenderloin and arrange all the food. It was a fun memory for me, being with everyone and having an active role in getting ready for the wedding, versus hiring someone else to do all those tasks. Many times over the weekend, I paused to soak in all of the joy in each moment. We had planned on eating outside, but when the rain started we all decided it was a more comfortable option to rearrange the living room! 

Yes, for the record, I did cry. I tried so hard not to! But when I saw him for the first time, waiting for me at the bottom of the staircase, I couldn't help it. I cried through my vows, too. It was a very, very special day and I wouldn't have changed anything about it.

It's amazing how many obstacles there were at our little wedding for some of our guests who have some physical disabilities. The car ride alone for my grandparents was over two hours, which was challenging for my grandfather who has recently developed a lumbar disc bulge. The slight down slope to our backyard was difficult for everyone - ladies in high heels and with the rain, everyone was trying to stay upright! We have six or seven stairs from the back porch to the backyard, and twice I glanced at my grandmother with her single point cane, noticing how much attention she gave to each foot placement and how much time it took for her to carefully negotiate them. 

Once your patients go home, are they able to negotiate some of the real-world obstacles? Can they tackle all of the little challenges that come up at an afternoon wedding?


This is good news and I hope you take a lot of time off to be with one another.  Dean brings a good point with community interaction.  There are folks we send home and they can barely get up stairs, not sure how they make it without more community therapy, how do they shop, go to appointments, and visit without an increased risk of falling?

Jason Marketti September 24, 2011 1:21 PM

Congratulations! May you both enjoy Love, Health, Wealth and time to enjoy them all!

You bring up some very good points about real-world obstacles. One of the things I do as a community based therapist is take patients on the paths they are likely to travel, through crowded supermarkets, and on and off a bus. Doing something in a gym or the comfort of one's living room is one thing. Preparing them for the real world is quite another. Often deficits don't appear until you add in anxiety, distractions, and broken pavement.

Now go and enjoy a honeymoon!

Cheers! Dean

Dean Metz September 22, 2011 12:15 PM

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