I found Dagmar already in physical therapy with Heather when I arrived this morning. She was pumping away on the petals. Dagmar did a great job of all the exercises and was measured at an 80° knee bend. She also earned a green ribbon on her walker which means that she is welcome to amble around the center whenever she likes. Earlier in the morning she practiced standing and used weights with OT.


Today Dagmar had her first session of OT, doing some exercises to strengthen her arms and absorbing some practical skills for getting by while her knee heals. She also had some conversations with the medical staff about her desire to balance pain management with limited opioids. Dagmar also enjoyed talking with her aide about her home in Sierra Leone. Altogether she was in better spirits.

Goals for rehab

After a brief flirtation with coming home from rehab early, Dagmar has decided that she has a lot to gain from finishing out at least her two weeks here. She has set some goals for rehab including gaining range in her new knee, getting past the need for opioid pain killers, preparing her apartment for her return, and setting up a clear PT and nursing strategy at home. Mary Jo taught her some new skills yesterday and plans some more bodywork with Dagmar next week.

In her own place

Today Dagmar is talking about wanting to get home a week earlier than she had been planning. I (Eric) have been planning to drive her car back to Cleveland on Wednesday (I fly home early Thursday morning). Dagmar had been planning to stay in rehab for an additional week, but now is considering returning to her apartment in Cleveland with me. We can’t really discuss this with the rehab staff till Monday, since most of them are away over the weekend.

If Dagmar is to pull this off, though, it means that a number of things need to be arranged. She will still need PT at home, and to my knowledge that physical therapy has not been set up yet. She needs a walker, the one she has been using here is not her own due to a mixup in the transfer from the hospital. She would need to take responsibility for her own pain medication routine, which has been a bit muddled for the past few days. She may also need to meet certain milestones that we are not fully aware of. In other words, even though she has begun talking about heading home after one week of rehab, that is far from a certainty.

If you have thoughts about what we need to arrange before getting Dagmar home, please leave them in comments on this post. Thanks!

Meanwhile, here is a picture Christopher and I found last night of Dagmar in her first apartment in the United States, in New Haven.

PT under way

Dagmar started her physical therapy routine at the rehab center today. A long walk down the hallway (she made it about halfway there), a number of stretches on a platform, and some range-of-motion work on a petal machine of sorts.

Settling in

Dagmar has arrived at the New Albany Gardens & Rehabilitation Center (5691 Thompson Road, Columbus, OH 43230). She expects to be here for the next two weeks. It will probably be easiest to reach her on her own cell number from here on out.

She has been moving around much better, though everything is still slow going. While she is still in pain, that too is a bit less.