Off to Rehab

Rob was in SICU for about two days I believe before they transferred him to Health South Rehabilitation. He was out of it the two days in SICU. I remember the neurology team came in the first morning I went to visit him in there. They were very concerned about his functionality because he was sleeping very heavily and not being as responsive as they would have liked.

I remember sitting in the only chair in the room and the team showed up at his door. I was totally prepared to hear some more bad news and I got nervous instantly.

“Mr. Izbicki, are you awake? Mr. Izbicki can you look at me while I talk to you. Can you open your eyes and make eye contact?”

Waking from what would seem to be a drug induced coma.

“Yeah..” He mumbles as he struggles to look at the Dr.

“Ok we just want to make sure you are responsive and everything is ok. We need to make sure your brain function is ok and nothing else is going on with you, that’s why we are here. We need to make sure since you haven’t been too responsive.”


“Ok Mr. Izbicki. The OT and PT will be in shortly to evaluate you. I wish you a speedy recovery and get better soon.”

Before the doctors leave, I introduce myself and ask a few standard questions. I felt a bit better knowing that was routine checkup and nothing else major was going on with him.

I’m in the room with him but he is very drugged up and barely responsive. I know his head is killing him because he mumbles and complains about it. He was literally laying on the side they had operated on. Maybe he should roll over, but I wasn’t about to start to try and move him, no way.

I just remember feeling bad and trying to see if I could see the scar and the incision for the first time.

I got there around 9-10 and I received a text from his mother’s cousin Liz. She was also there because Ed, her husband was still in recovery as well. I think he had finally been transferred to a room upstairs at this time. It was about 11:30 at this point.

I told Rob I was going to meet her for lunch in the cafeteria. He was so out of it. I remember being frustrated and upset because I couldn’t have a regular conversation with him. He did think it was the same day as his surgery and he thought his mom was still in the waiting room as well. I had to tell him it was the next day and it was just me there that day. He was very confused and disoriented.

At that time, I guess I was frustrated with the whole situation and tired. I remember getting upset and telling him I was going to leave. I ended up staying though because eventually the OT and PT came in to do their evals.

This was obviously the best thing for him. I remember Dr. Hanft explaining to me that some of the complications from surgery could include him having a lot of weakness on the left side of his body. What did this mean? Would he have to relearn how to walk? To talk? I would soon find out.

I remember sitting there watching the PT and OT try and help him stand up for the first time. Wow. Here is this 34 year old young, athletic man, can’t even stand up by himself. It is very heartbreaking to see a sight like that.

The OT told me she wanted to put him in a very aggressive rehab program due to the fact that he was super young and the fact that if he gets to sit around too long and not be pushed, it would do more harm than good for his recovery. I was excited to hear that and I agreed.

I took the next day off and stayed home with Peyton. Robin took the trip up there to be with him that day. I remember them calling me around 5 PM to let me know they were transferring him finally to rehab. YAY! That meant he would be about 40 minutes closer to me, and on his way back to recovering very, very soon!

His incision three days post op.

That brings us to Thursday November 15. I couldn’t wait to see him! I couldn’t wait for Peyton to see him! We were so excited to be together again. He was finally coherent and I could talk normal to him! I remember feeling so excited and positive about this whole recovery situation.

Rob and Peyton

Peyton and I had made it there and she was also very excited to see him. It had been a while since we were all together again because originally he was in the hospital from 11/2-11/6 then back 11/12-11/15 and then two more weeks of rehab coming his way.

We had absolutely no clue what the next week had in store for us. All we knew was, we were both excited the tumor was out of his head and he was on his way to recovering and hopefully being able to go back to living his life before he needed the surgery.

He was scheduled for three types of therapy a day: occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy.

The first few days went by pretty quickly. That Sunday was my birthday coming up. I was excited to just be able to spend it with him in general.

We definitely didn’t know what we were in for that day..


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