Mary Free Bed (Aug. 18-Dec 23rd 2008)

I stayed at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids for 4 months; from August 18, 2008 to December 23, 2008. In that time I relearned how to sit up, swallow, and talk. My mom stayed up there with me the whole time, all 4 months. My dad stayed home to work; while my sister, Makenzie, stayed with our Granny. Every weekend my dad and Makenzie would come up to the hospital to visit us. The hospital had a hotel on its grounds called The Inn at Mary Free Bed where they would stay. One of the first things we did while we were there was celebrate Makenzie’s 3rd birthday and that’s where my pictures begin…

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Every other weekend while we were in the hospital my uncle Jason, Wendy and their girls would come up to visit us. Because we were so close in age; Ashley and I were always very competitive, it wouldn’t matter what the activity was we’d always try to outdo the other one. That made it even more special, when I couldn’t hold the Uno cards in my hand and had to lay them all face up on the table that Ashley laid all of her cards face up as well.

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This is my first outing from the hospital; we went to the pumpkin patch.

I experienced the perks of being hospitalized around the holidays, the pediatrics floor got to ride in a limousine to the movie theater to see High School Musical 3. Not pictured is the time I got to go see The Rockettes at the Van Andel Arena, except our seats weren’t handicap accessible and I had to go up a flight of stairs! This was my first time ever doing stairs and it took 4 therapists to help me.

 

I experienced the perks of being hospitalized around the holidays, the pediatrics floor got to ride in a limousine to the movie theater to see High School Musical 3. Not pictured is the time I got to go see The Rockettes at the Van Andel Arena, except our seats weren’t handicap accessible and I had to go up a flight of stairs! This was my first time ever doing stairs and it took 4 therapists to help me.

12This is Chelsea, my speech pathologist and my Twister Sister. We always tried to coordinate our outfits (which was hard because I was in the hospital with a very limited wardrobe, so bless her heart for always matching me!) and she shared my love of the sitcom Friends and would loan me her seasons.

 

This is one of my physical therapists, Kim. I’ll never forget learning how to walk using 13the handrail along one of the main halls of the hospital and going up curbs (up with the good, down with the bad; I still use this saying to this day).

 

 

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This is one of my occupational therapists, Jen. She would always help me get dressed in the morning. We’d always do crazy hairstyles.

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Here’s another picture of me and S; see the blizzard outside? Mom and I had to drive home through that, the drive normally takes us anywhere from 2 to 2 ½ hours but this time in the blizzard it took us 5 hours! We worried the night before, when they were calling for all the snow, that we’d get stuck somewhere; but after 5 months away from home and family, you do anything you can to get back.
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Me with my physical therapists Kim and Aaron (a.k.a. Bruno Norman Beefcake)

 

And last but not least pictures of me and one of my occupational therapists, Daniela. My nickname for her was The Enforcer because she’d always catch me cheating. It turned into a game, to see if what I could get anything past her (I never could).

 

So there you have it, my stay at Mary Free Bed in pictures. I wish I had more space and time to rattle on about all my experiences at MFB; it was a great stop on my journey and one I never want to forget! It really set me up for the hard work down the road.

 

 

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