A new entry in The Omicron Matter – Rachael Rehabilitates. Rachael meets Millicent and others to do her first occupational therapy. She practices getting in and out of chairs. The simple task is far harder than she expected but she has good success.
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A first workout session
Millicent pointed to the chair and said, “You will learn how to get in out of that chair today and how to get into your wheel chair.” The cushioned floor was soft and difficult to push on and she asked her father to move her to the center where the work began. Her father, Liam, and Millicent watched and provided advice as she moved herself from one chair to the others. She missed on occasion and fell to the floor. After her comments in the medical lab, no one moved to assist until she asked. She learned to lock the wheels and remove arm rails and slide into position and repeated the process back to the chair several times. After the exercise she was sweating heavily and panting but feeling better. She would not need people to load her like a sack of potatoes.
Millicent smiled and said, “Good start. Here is some water and a towel. Take a short break and we’ll move to getting in and out of bed.”
Rachael groaned and said, “I’m tired!”
Millicent leaned against a wall and looked at her. Liam and her father suddenly found the weights fascinating. Millicent said, “I’m sure you are. You’ve been nearly immobile for close to three weeks and you probably never used your arms and upper body that much ever before.” She found her own bench to sit on as she faced Rachael and continued, “Do you want me or someone else to get you out of bed tomorrow?”
Rachael took a drink of water and toweled her face. She scowled as she said, “Everything is going to be harder in this, isn’t it?”
Millicent said, “I wouldn’t know for sure. Your planet’s cities are poorly designed for non-ambulatory species. “ Rachael laughed at the phrasing and what she guessed was a gross understatement. Millicent continued, “However on a smooth stretch, I expect you’ll find us walking types rather slow. But you are going to tire quickly early on until you build those muscles.” Millicent looked around the room and then said, “Ask for help if you need it. I was serious about that earlier. Ask even if it seems easy to you. Jason not waiting for help nearly got him killed. There are a lot of tasks I can’t even think of that you are going to need help with. At least at first.”
Rachael drank more water and sighed, “I can go one more round on the chairs. If you or Eleanor or Simone can help me getting in and out of bed, I would appreciate the assistance right now?”
Millicent raised her eyebrow, “And Miss Rand?”
Rachael stretched her arm and said, “She is a dear and she has her own recovery. We can do workouts together. But I won’t add to her burden.” Mordechai smiled a bit as he heard this. Liam and Mordechai joined and once more Rachael was lifted out of her chair and worked her way onto the stool or her wheel chair. Rachael was becoming more comfortable shifting her weight from one chair to another. Millicent noted, “I expect most of the time you’ll find your wheel chair more convenient, but it can’t go everywhere.”
Rachael plopped in her wheel chair, once again covered in sweat. “I imagine not. At least outside the warehouse.”
Millicent said, “We are fixing the ship and we are working as quickly as we can on that matter. But you are right, outside the warehouse will be a whole new set of obstacles neither of us can predict.”