Rehabilitation centre – I was sent to the best one in Slovakia. I was driving there with my father and we managed to get lost on the way as the marking of the road is not the best in the world. The building I could finally see was really huge, it was much bigger than I imagined. My father helped me to bring my things upstairs and left right away as he was going home by train and bus which would take him couple of hours. The head of the nurses took me to my room. As I entered the door I noticed three beds and started to be worried a little bit how my roommates will look like. However, there was no time to wonder about anything as my doctor came to ask a few questions. It was a really nice woman who seemed to be really friendly and kind. She was talking to me for quite a long time, asking a lot of questions about things which she was interested in. My roommates came after she had left. The first one was dark haired lady using sticks to walk. Her name was Maria and later she became my “second mother” as she cared about me quite a lot and we spent almost the whole time together there. The second one was blonde called Zdenka. She was nice and she showed me the facilities. We were also together in the class which was called “the common exercises” where more people were doing exercises having one coach who was showing us what to do and how.
To be honest I did not expect the programme to be so tough. I had to get up at six every morning to be able to go to the bathroom as there was a bathroom for our room, but the shower was also for the room next to us and it took time when six people were using it one after another. We had breakfast at seven and then at 7.30 my programme started. I started with painting lesson which I had chosen the day before as the “work therapy”. At eight there were the common exercises. Then there were individual exercises with my individual coach and swimming pool after that. The lunch was from 11.30 to 12.30, but we had to be in our room already at 12.30 as the doctor used to come for check up every day to see if we are ok. The afternoon programme started again at one with magnet therapy and therapy with electric current. Finally I finished at 14.30. I came to my room so exhausted that I thought I would die. My body hurt me a lot and I started to have problems with the orthostatic pressure which resulted in problems with fainting. They wanted me to stay in bed for a few days, but I did not want that. I wanted to be ok again and walk normally without any support, so I went on with my programme normally as soon as I felt at least a bit better after couple of hours.
However, what I noticed as one of the first things was the fact there were people who were much worse than me. It was a real shock at the beginning to see them and to deal with them especially those ones after strokes who had problems with talking and it was difficult to understand them. Beside them, there were also people without arms, legs or those ones with really ugly scars even in their faces. There was no way how to avoid them as they were everywhere. The only way was to accept them as they were and not to make a mistake to be sorry for them as most of them were too sensitive. They did not want people to be sorry for them. They wanted people to accept them as they were – I later found this myself.
At first I was talking only to the women in my room, but later I met great people who became my dearest friends. They gave me so much and I have learnt a lot from them.