Occupational therapy provided me with technical support.I didn’t want it, but had to pretend I’m interested. I got a number of electronic devices in my home, no use for them… They would have saved a lot of money had they listened to me. As for the motorized wheelchair, I gave that one away as soon as possible. Same goes for the electronic device meant to help reading books. Couldn’t stand it. The occupational therapist and the speech therapist gave me vital help with the computer, which by the way is my lifeline.

I talked with a psychologist when ever I felt a need, but that wasn’t often. I had no mental problems. But I recommend the help of a psychologist, if someone has been hit by a tragedy like I was and doesn’t know where to go from there. Many people have asked me what gave me the strength to take care of all the other business and rehab, all at the same time. The answer is simple: my children! I couldn’t stand the thought that I’d be living in an assisted living center, separated from my children.

The hospital has assigned a nurse just for me, and she was everything to  me during this whole process. Not all the nurses believed in my chances to make it at home and didn’t even bother to move things into that direction. My nurse always had my back, defended me against the other nurses, and in her own way prepared me for what was to come, living at home. Later we would vacation together a couple of times, and we had a lot of fun reminiscing about how feisty I was.

Time went by, and suddenly it was time to decide about my helpers; who would hire them, who would supervise them and who would plan their schedules. It still puts a smile on my face when I remember the looks in the room when I announced that I have already placed an ad and I definitely will not let anyone else hire the people that help me! So, I got thirteen applications, and I invited four of them to come to Käpylä for an interview. I was so happy to realize one of the applicants was on old student of mine, and she was an instant pro with the board and communication. I used my intuition and chose three of the applicants, who then joined me in Käpylä to practice how to move me and to learn the use of the letter board. I emailed my parents almost on a daily basis to let them know how things were advancing, and they took care of all the paperwork. Together we filed the first complaint about the mistakes made in my care.

We had long talks with the city of Saarijärvi about how to make sure it’s safe for me to live at home. I had done some research on this matter, and little by little we reached an agreement.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank the city of Saarijärvi and everyone involved for their open-mindedness. This must have been very consuming for them and required a lot of time and effort. I put together a Power Point presentation on how my living at home will affect people involved, and a group of ten people from the visiting nurse services came by to learn about moving me and communicating with me. Some of them now visit me at night.

I will never forget the moment when the neurologist let me know that the city of Saarijärvi has made a commitment to move me back home on February 1, 2006. The most important win in my life, and it was really happening!