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Intense and consistent physiotherapy is a huge part of stroke rehabilitation.  So we look out for physiotherapists to come home twice a day.   Finding a good nurse, yes, we thought that would be some challenge.  But finding a good physiotherapist, didn’t know efficient ones were rare finds. 

In span of week we changed almost 10 physiotherapists.   One of the biggest issues turned out to be our father’s weight.  He was a big boy, weighing almost 80 kgs and with a height of 5 feet and 9 inches.  They just could not lift him.  It would take the physiotherapist, our nurse, our driver and one of us (my sister or myself) to make him stand.  However it all came down to our driver.   The physiotherapist would give directions and our poor driver would hoist our father.   So our main criteria - a physiotherapist who would not make our dear driver slave away.  Apparently that was too much to ask for.  Well, apart from this there were host of tiny issues  – most physiotherapists didn’t know how it make it participatory, they would treat our father as if he was comatose, some of them lacked good work ethics, and some, my sister simply just did not like them.

One day when I was frantically searching the net for some rehabilitation center in Chennai, chanced upon Pain and Stroke Rehabilitation Center.   Mr. Ravi, one of the primary physiotherapist from the center agreed to come for an assessment.    He was the first person we knew then who used a gait belt to handle our father.   We later learnt that it is only the Center (apart from couple of big hospitals) that pretty much used the belt in Chennai. 

We were very taken by his idea of rehabilitation and so far we have had almost three pretty good physiotherapists come to us from his center.   One Mr. Vishwanath from the Center has almost been the only one who could handle our father alone for assisted standing and walking.   For all this, he is not a giant of man to handle our father, so I guess it all comes down to skill.

Right now our father is yet to become independent.  He is gaining more truncal balance, his right side still is significantly hemiplegic – although we notice reactions and slight voluntary movements in his right leg.  He lifts his hips during physio and when he is in discomfort, and makes an effort to get up from the bed.   We should just keep at it for a significant breakthrough.  


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Ms. Sunanda and Ms. Rathna, who always field the calls, were at the office on the crisp and sunny morning when I walked in to Spandana.   The office is a flat in an apartment building located at a quiet and affluent neighborhood of Koramangala.  There were some nurses waiting in the outer office looking for work.  Walls in the waiting area were filled with motivational posters.  Got couple of ideas on what it takes to be successful.  There were Spandana trained nurses sitting in another room waiting to be placed.  In a smaller room past all these room, both the ladies sat with a mobile and a landline each that rang incessantly.
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