Rehab Helps Keoki Adjust After Losing His Leg
In 1998 Keoki had a stroke that limited the mobility on the left side of his body. Already living with diabetes, this made caring and managing his health a little more difficult. He made adjustments wherever he needed to and continued on with life. Recently, his left leg was amputated below the knee and he is once again having to make adjustments. Rehab by Hale Makua is helping him adapt to his new body as well as getting him strong enough to return home.
Keoki has had to change and rethink the way he does things. He said one thing he’s learned is to “make every move count. Before doing anything, I think about where I need to go. I look at the path I’ll take and do two or three things along the way. This way, I don’t have to go back and forth so many times because moving isn’t so easy anymore.” This change in thinking has him coming up with innovative ways to care for himself instead of relying on others for help all the time. For instance, he’ll use walls and railings to hold up his left arm to stretch it or a gait belt to lift his leg or turn his hand to test his blood sugar levels.
He doesn’t hesitate to say that his recovery is painful. He’s wondered why he can still feel shooting pain in his leg that’s no longer there. When the phantom pains come, his natural reaction is to reach out and rub the pain away, but he can’t. The occupational therapy he is receiving here at Rehab by Hale Makua helps a lot and the therapists have taught him things he can do to get stronger and even things to help decrease those phantom pains a little. Keoki really appreciates the 24-hour care he receives at Hale Makua. That’s one of the things he’ll miss when he goes home. The nursing staff has taken good care of his wound, which has kept it free from infection and helped in the healing process.
As Keoki prepares to leave Hale Makua to return home, he feels he is ready and able to take care of himself. But he realizes he’ll still need some help and is relieved to know his mom will be there to give him the support he needs. He wants everyone to know the two things that have helped him get through his challenges can help anyone. First is being positive and the second is laughter. “I might hurt today, but tomorrow I’m gonna find a way to laugh about it. I have to laugh through the pain ‘cause it’s the best medicine,” he says. With his can-do, positive attitude and humor, nothing will hold him back.