Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | April 27, 2012

Rehab Day One – Beginning a Journal


Marge brought me over here for my three week rehabilitation stay after the car accident.  For anyone who doesn’t know, the fibula of my left leg was shattered when a truck lost control and smacked me off the road, down an embankment, rolling two or three times. I wound up, upside down, in a rock-lined ditch. That was April 18th.

Friday night, the 20th, I underwent surgery–about 3 1/2 hours, to try to put the bone together
For various bureaucratic reasons, I didn’t immediately go from hospital to rehab. Now, I’m here. It isn’t home, but being in this facility releases Marge from the stress and I’ll get therapy.



The two ladies who come to wrestle me out of the car into a wheelchair didn’t look strong enough to handle the chore.  I’m not very large, but they were so petite I was concerned that I’d land on the pavement like a soggy bag of vegetables.  Fortunately, a strapping young man—employed by the facility was nearby.

“Hey, can you lend us a bit of muscle?” I said.

“Whatcha need?” he said.

I bit my tongue and explained what should have been obvious.

After settling into the wheelchair, I was wheeled into Cloverdale Manor.

It’s widely accepted that scent is the first sense for remembrance.  Here, it was
the first impression. The pine-laden odor of disinfectant was strong enough, in my nostrils to create a physical sensation as well as a fragrance that lingered until the body’s ability to detect it had faded.

Wheels, rollers and tires. Hub-to-hub wheelchairs, rolling walkers an motorized scooters  contended for space in a hallway not designed for the traffic it carried. It reminded me of residential suburban streets that, while in good repair, are overloaded with traffic never imagined by designers.

For now, I’m sharing the room. The other man has not yet spoken.  The nurses aides whispered that he speaks infrequently and doesn’t have visitors. A mystery.  I’ll follow up on the situation.

After an industrial-strength painkiller, I’ve probably got just enough lucid time left to post this.



  1. Wow, Tom. This is my first time learning of you horrible accident! So sorry it happened, but I’m relieved you’re ok. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    • Thanks, Aaron. I’m going to make lemonade from this lemon. Good writing.

  2. Hoping for a speedy rehab Thomas. I pray all goes well and your leg heals well.
    In Christ,

    • Thank you, Donna, for your prayers and wishes.

  3. Wow, so sorry to hear about your accident, Tom, too many items in the inbox. Relieved to know you’re “ok,” at least in the grand scheme of things, or that you soon will be. Not at all surprised to see you making lemonade out of lemons! Maybe you can help the guy in the next bed with that, although it’s easy to be judgmental, and a backseat “driver.” Hmm, maybe not the best choice of words right now. Anyways, hang in there, get home and past this soon! Ron

  4. Wow, sorry to hear about this, Tom, and only just now. Too much stuff in the inbox. Leave it to you to be making lemonade out of lemons! Maybe that will rub off on the guy in the next bed, although I don’t mean to be judgmental, or a backseat “driver.” Hmm, maybe not a great choice of words right now. Do what they tell you to do and hasten a speedy recovery and return to Marge and your family. Best wishes. Ron

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