Category: General


Your C.A.R. — Part 2

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Your Towel Sir

Every time I take my bath towel in my two hands and scrub my back dry, I think of Celine.

Celine was the first therapist I met the day I started the C.A.R. Program. Celine was nothing like the French Canadian singer of the same name. Sure, she had a mop of curly, black brown hair. But this Celine was a no-nonsense professional Occupation Therapist. Celine did a quick history. “When exactly did your accidentyoccur?” As usual I subtly corrected her for using the word accident, “My car crashed into the concrete sound barrier some time in the wee hours of August twenty first, this year.”

Even though she had my records from Foothills Hospital right in front of her, Celine insisted on verifying every detail. “What did the OT at Foothills do?”

I only remember some of it”, I said. “She met me three times a week. She had me do some pencil and paper exercises like balancing a cheque book. I had to draw that stupid clock again. What is with that clock drawing exercise?”

Celine said, “Drawing that clock and the hands on the clock show how your motor function and spatial reasoning are working.” “Now what else did the OT do?”

For me the most important exercise was the typing I did one or two times a week. She toured my apartment . I think to make sure it was hazard free. She made sure I had ordered a bath bench from the Red Cross and a walker. Then she had me cook a meal that I planned. She did the shopping. But I did all the preparation and cooked the meal. A little thing I call Lyle’s Ginger Zinger Stir Fry. That’s pretty much it.”

When did she inspect your apartment?”

About four days before I moved back in”. I said.

How did you perform on your kitchen assessment”, she asked.

I did pretty well. She told me that the only mistake I made was that a couple times I forgot to use my cane.”

Her next question floored me.

Did the OT suspend your driver’s license?”

Not that I know of.”

Well. We’ll have to see about that. I want you to call Alberta Driver Monitoring. Tell them you were in an accident and had a hemorrhagic stroke. Then they will suspend your drivers license until you can take another drivers test”, she said.

Take another drivers test?” I was stunned and bewildered. I had been driving for forty six years. I was a good driver. Well, except for the Crash!

Yes. We don’t want people who have had a stroke driving. You can see the wisdom of that. You need to do your rehabilitation. Then when you are ready you’ll do a drivers test. Here’s the phone number. Phone them this week. I will check up.”, she said.

She stared at me with those piercing brown-black eyes.

I knew I had to do it. And, I did the next day.

We were done for now. “The next time we meet you will complete another assessment. Then we will know how your exact program of rehabilitation will role out. Any questions?’

I had no questions. Celine intimidated the shit out of me.

Celine looked down at her paperwork and I was done with her.

And, I was off to find someone named Adeline.

An excerpt from CRASH! Memories of a Healing Journey, All Rights Reserved, Lyle T. Lachmuth


CRASH! Table of Contents (Updated)

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Even though I enjoy the mysteries of James Patterson, especially the Alex Cross series, when it comes to writing I am much, much more like Lee Child. Lee has no idea where he will start his next bestseller. Well, maybe a vague notion. But he starts with a few totems by his side — freshly sharpened pencils, even though he now types all his works. And, he just starts.

I write like that … but slightly differently when I am writing this missive. Even though I lived it, I need to give some structure to my story, my memoir, and thus the evolving  Table of Contents. And, the evolving chapter titles. Like the other writer I know and love, Diana Gabaldon, I feel compelled to give both chapter number and chapter title to my memoir. I blame it on our shared background in research. That said, I present …

Table of Contents

x Author’s Note
xi Prologue
1. EMS to the Rescue
2. Surgical Intervention
3. The Policeman Always Rings Twice
4. C is for Coma
5. Family Meetings
6. Dreamland Delights
7. Awakening As If From Sleep
8. Too Much Company
9. Friends and Family Plan
10. I Meet a Policeman
11. Facebook Follies
12. Showering WithThe Nurse
13. Coffee With Daphne
14. Visitors
15. A New Roommate
16. Escape From Heck
17. The Lay of The Land
18. Speaking of Words
19. It Becomes My Job
20. I Learn To Walk Again
21. Love At First Sight
22. I Prescribe
23. Time Passing
24. Who Is Coming To Dinner
25. The Denizens of Unit 58
26. Family Meeting
27. The Messenger
28. Comes A Social Worker
29. Community Assisted Rehabilitation
30. Driving Ms. Daisy
31. Suicide Is Painless
32. Home Again, Home Again
33. Exploring The Prairies and The Ocean
34. Friday Night Fever
35. You Have The Gall
36. Interludes At The Lake
37. Vegas Baby
38. Brewers Droop
39. Calgary Pain Clinic
40. My Mission Is Healing Myself
41. Dropping Like Flies
42. Twenty Fifth Anniversary
43. Descending Into Pain
44. Packing Up, Moving Out, Moving On
45. A Frozen Hell
46. Cancun Miracle
47. Pain Redux
48. Bahamanian Delight
49. Futurecast
50. How To Heal/Empower Yourself
51. Curiosity * Openness * Intuition
52. Facts Are Friendly
53. Experiment, Document, Hypothesis, Repeat
54. Like A Bolt Out Of The Blue
55. The Future Awaits

An Excerpt from CRASH! Memories of a Healing Journey, Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved