Sanchez: Community based rehab

Nature Speaks

IN MY younger, healthier days, I remember a program, CBHP or the Community Based Health Program.

Now I’m recovering from cerebellar stroke, one of the less common types of strokes. It occurs when a blood vessel is blocked or bleeding, causing complete interruption to a portion of the cerebellum. The type of stroke typically affects only one side or section of the cerebellum. Except the focus of my health program is to recover my mobility.

When I type with my left fingers, my left leg would also rise. It hampers my ability to write. Now I’m stuck in a wheelchair dependent on caregivers to help me dress my adult diapers, check and ensure I religiously take my maintenance meds, and monitor my blood pressure.

Mind you, many caregivers are not professionally trained but are hands-on. My main caregiver is one. The other one is bound for Canada.

Then one of my physical therapists took up a college course but the other one took up his training from YouTube. He would walk me, help me stretch my legs and guide my steps.

Here are so many community home-grown talents that patients like me can tap. I owe my painstaking recovery from their skills.

My community based rehabilitation program is now no longer a highfalutin civil society concept but is a reality. I have to invest on the local knowledge and practice of my caregivers and therapists.

But I am thankful that I can feel that I’m recovering.

I’m also thankful to my American friend Ron Rathbun for encouraging me to write this piece.


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