Today, Pádraig and I went on a discovery tour of the NRH. There are places that you are not supposed to enter. One, for example, is the helicopter pad. Not that there have been any helicopters landing here so far.

FullSizeRenderAnother place we discovered is a gym. We only saw it from the outside, from behind re-inforced, thick glass that looked like a fence.


It’s the gym that houses the Lokomat. When we saw it first, it was being used. I didn’t take a picture then. Anyways, the only people who are using it, are people who can stand on their own. It’s such a valuable resource that you have to fulfil certain types of requirements before you are allowed in, so to speak. (If you hear an echo of the ‘return on investment’ mantra here, I wouldn’t blame you.)

I also discovered some extraordinary expertise today in the NRH, as well as follow-up and concern that would be hard to beat.

For example, today’s physio session was like Pilates: it looked really easy, but was, in fact, really hard. There were, during part of that class, three physios and one consultant. A real VIP treat and show of a level and type of expertise I had not encountered anywhere else. – The thing is that the moment Pádraig or anyone else leaves the NRH that will completely and entirely stop. There simply is no appropriate therapy treatment available in what is called the ‘community’, i.e. when Pádraig comes home. (Yes, this is where An Saol will come in.)

For example, the nutritionist is compiling some recipes for when we get home. She found out where we can get ready-made pureed food for Pádraig. And she organised a meeting with the NRH’s cook who will not only help us to get the proper kitchen machines but who will also help me to get some meals ready, just for practice. Where else would you find this?

I read a bit more of the book. And I remember a bit more of what someone at REHACare told me: Sometimes, you could get the expression that health professionals focus on what people cannot do so that they can teach them how to do it – in which case the whole treatment is driven by the health professionals who analyse, diagnose, plan, and implement treatment.

But there is another approach, which would also require a completely different prospective. It’s an approach where the focus is on what a person can do and where that person requires help to do what they can and want to do better. In this case, the whole process is driven by the person concerned, not by the health professional.

I half decided to do a little bit of work every day on An Saol. I most likely will not find the time to do a large amount of work in one go anytime soon, but I will hopefully find the time toto every day just a little bit. Over time, this little bird turn into something bigger and hopefully more substantial.