Just when I needed it most

They say everything in life happens for a reason. In the case of me beginning to attend RehabCare Dunboyne, it was certainly applicable. Starting on October 1st last, I wouldn’t have known that, within days, a bereavement would occur which although not family, per se, may as well have been.

It is not being fanciful to say that having the Centre to go to kept me going through some very dark days at that time. And is still doing. At this point, however, it must be admitted that I took quite a bit of persuasion to ‘Take the plunge’ in starting out. It was only when Megan, my Occupational Therapist, said to me that there was one man over there that I might know – “Donald Fitzpatrick” – that the deal was sealed.

To say Donie and I knew each other would be understatement. Very quickly, he took me under his wing, those in the Centre become another extended family to me, and Donie was the daddy of us all. Alas, our dear friend was called to the Resource Centre above a few short months ago. Our place could never be the same without him, yet, personally speaking at least, it’s his legacy, his memory and his spirit that drive me on.

And some days driving is required. Starting out at physiotherapy after a gap of nearly 20 years was daunting to say the least. However, not only is it getting easier all the time, the benefits thereof can be felt already.

There’s so much more that could be written here, but the best feeling is that the journey has only begun. Yet, even already, I can see, and feel, how being in and around the Centre has changed me. Others probably noticed too. It’s been very much a case of finding the place just when I needed it most.

Look again at the opening line. Now consider that, in between the bereavement occurring and the funeral taking place, I, with the help of the wonderful staff, sowed a crop of onions in the wonderful custom designed garden. Of which we are so proud. It was as if planting the onions gave me a purpose. A reason to keep going back. Before anyone gets any ideas, of course there are numerous other benefits garnered from going over as many days a week as is possible but the love of the outdoors and anything even loosely connected to agriculture is never far away.

However, it will be openly admitted that the thought of resuming regular physiotherapy sessions after a hiatus of 20 years or more caused untold trepidation. And yes, it has been painful at times. Most notably when pulling a hamstring a few weeks ago – I’ll never slag off another sportsperson again!

Therapy comes in many forms though. Regular visitors here will know sport and farming will always lead the line in that regard. With the climate of change whipping up locally, who knows how long such will be the case. There are other strands now, mind you. Were one to be simplistic, it could be said that Rehab itself is the biggest element thereof.

Perhaps better, instead, to flesh out above proclamations. It’ll be fairly well known, too, that elements of my relationship with education do not bestow happy memories. Ironically, one part of the difficult period I did enjoy was the one which yours truly was eventually stopped from doing – Woodwork. Science was prescribed in its stead and both the subject and the individual dispensing it were absolutely detested.

Thus, whatever about sowing the onions, the opportunity to engage in woodwork once more – again with the assistance of staff – has been exciting and rewarding in equal measure. The only thing I successfully made whilst in school – including varnishing – was a rack for holding keys which is still in use to this day.

For woodwork’s second coming in my life, a far more ambitious project was on the menu. Namely, the construction of a garden bench as a birthday present for my dear mother. Naturally, again, taking it to fruition wouldn’t have been possible without the assistance and encouragement of staff. Not to mention fellow service users in this instance.

CAUTION!!!! Man at work

Still, one of the many advantages of being now enveloped in Rehab life is having the facilities and, albeit slowly, the confidence, to get stuck into taking on missions that never would’ve been dreamt of previously. Look no further than this corner donning an apron and arming oneself with a paintbrush during production of the mammy’s birthday gift.

The finished product

Such was the success of the said operation, an order has already been placed by the lady of the house for construction of a bird table with which to keep herself occupied tending to its diners throughout the winter months. Thing is, not only will it keep her busy, construction thereof will give me a target to aim at in the weeks and maybe months ahead.

Admittedly, it would’ve been expecting too much for the sporting year to be anywhere near as glorious locally as was the case a year ago. Though presently our lady footballers, both for club and county, are engaged in earnest attempts to emulate the heroics produced multiple times in 2018.

However, even allowing for the fact that seasons such as that don’t roll around too often, that the wheels have appeared to come off the wagon quite rapidly couldn’t have been legislated for. It should be said that at the time of typing one more chance remains to rectify certain situations.

If it does go pear-shaped, though, RehabCare will be one of a few very important walls here will be leaning on very heavily if winter sets in too early.

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